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[P]
Only in Canada

By three-pipe in Media
Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:01:35 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

I don't know how you Yankees among kuro5hin's readers react to blatently ludicrous political promises, but we in Canada like to have a little fun.....

A Canadian satire news show takes a right-wing party up on its offer.....


As you may or may not know, Canadians are going to the polls on November 27 to elect the federal government and, consequently, the Prime Minister.

One of the parties vying for the prize is the Canadian Alliance. Now the Alliance is a newly-formed aggregate of former members of the Reform party as well as a number of Progressive Conservatives. As a fledgling party, its still working out a few bugs. One of these bugs is its platform. In a policy handbook distributed nationally to its candidates, it supported opening a referendum on an issue supported by 3% of the electorate as shown by a petition.

Considering that a referendum in costs the Federal Government around $150 million [Canadian], this is not exactly sound fiscal policy. To make matters worse, anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality groups have collected signatures far in excess of the required 400,000 (keep in mind that there Canada's population is in the range of 30 million people) to force a refendum.

Of course, politicians are in the business of deny, deny, deny, and Stockwell Day, the leader of the Canadian Alliance, is no exception. He now disavows this 3% policy... publicly, anyways.

But journalistic integrity being what it is, Greg Mercer, one of the minds behind This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Made In Canada, runaway successes and critical hits on Canadian TV, decides to take the moral high ground and take tha policy at face value. On last Monday's episode [November 13, 2000], he prepared a segment inciting the public to add their names to 22 Minutes' own petition @ 22minutes.com.

the aim of this petition?

To demand that the Canadian Government force Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris.

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Only in Canada | 82 comments (74 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
Interesting story, disagree with tone (3.83 / 6) (#4)
by sparks on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 10:10:35 AM EST

Is it really such a ludicrous proposal? Getting 3% of the population of even a small country (in population terms) like Canada is quite a huge effort. If it can be done, it's probably a good demonstration that there is a genuine issue needing to be addressed.

And referenda are one of the purest forms of democracy. Let's take the anti-abortion proposal for instance. If you believe that most Canadians would vote to keep legal abortion, what's the problem? If you believe that they would vote against it, don't you think the law should reflect the majority will of the people? The only people who should be scared of this are those who a) think that the people would vote against keeping abortion, and b) believe that democracy doesn't work because the people can't be trusted.

Yes, at first there would be probably a lot of frivolous referenda called by these single-issue groups. But they'd die down. I assume there'd be some sort of limitation rule saying you couldn't have two referenda on substantially the same question less than, say, five years apart.

As to the cost, I don't believe it would cost $150 million for each one. Perhaps when you have two or three referenda a century it can cost that, but if it was two or three a year instead it could be done much more cheaply. Canada's population and geography are such that a strong-crypto electronic voting system could be rolled out quite cheaply, and used at a very low ongoing cost.

Doesn't California have a large number of referenda each year? And their population is quite similar to Canada's in number.

I really like this idea. In fact, I'd consider moving to Canada because of it.

It is ludicrous (3.60 / 5) (#7)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 10:40:45 AM EST

Aside from giving new motivation for special interest groups, it's spineless politics. Rather than making party policies regarding these sensitive issues, they're taking the coward's route and proposing this petition law. If Stockwell Day and his party believe that abortion should be legal, stand up and say it. Let people vote for you based on the merit of your ideas. Propose an abortion law that will withstand scrutiny under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A 350,000 (a number closer to 3% than the 400,000 quoted in the article) name petition in a country with the population of Canada is not as difficult as you suggest. In fact, the satirical petition in question has collected over 375,000. We're not talking about 3% of the population, we're talking about 3% of the electorate.

As for the cost, it's accurate. You have to take into account that, with all due respect to Quebecers, referenda are uncommon practice in Canada. There is no infrastructure in place to handle the string of votes that this law would produce. We also do not use electronic ballots. We mark X's beside candidate names. As primitive as that is, I'm sure it'd look pretty good right now to Floridians. No manual recount controversy, because there's no other method of counting. If you put the infrastructure in place you lower the cost of individual referenda, but create a new government bureau. The CA is supposed to be about smaller government.

If you're going to move to Canada, do it because of universal healthcare or the higher standard of living.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Re: It is ludicrous (2.00 / 3) (#11)
by forgey on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 11:10:13 AM EST

If you're going to move to Canada, do it because of universal healthcare or the higher standard of living.

Or how about the crappy dollar, higher taxes, lower pay for similar jobs, higher cost of gas and an airline monopoly.

forgey

[ Parent ]

Re: ludocrityness (2.00 / 1) (#15)
by one zero one on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:43:25 PM EST

A small price to pay so that I may sleep at night without having to worry about robbers, shootings, junkies breaking down my door and crack whores. Not to mention the CIA or FBI stealing anything and everything. Oh wait, they can invade my home outside America(TM). I guess every bully corp. needs some strong arms! Gotta make sure America(TM) and it's media blitzkreig on the world keep's on chugging away.

[ Parent ]
Re: ludocrityness (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by one zero one on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:44:18 PM EST

Or how about the crappy dollar, higher taxes, lower pay for similar jobs, higher cost of gas and an airline monopoly. forgey A small price to pay so that I may sleep at night without having to worry about robbers, shootings, junkies breaking down my door and crack whores. Not to mention the CIA or FBI stealing anything and everything. Oh wait, they can invade my home outside America(TM). I guess every bully corp. needs some strong arms! Gotta make sure America(TM) and it's media blitzkreig on the world keep's on chugging away.

[ Parent ]
Re: It is ludicrous (4.50 / 2) (#17)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:49:06 PM EST

In the face of a higher standard of living, things like lower pay are hardly important. The price of goods is lower, and our taxes pay for useable social programs. On average, a Canadian lives better than a USian.

The high tax rate is also blown out of proportion. The difference in personal income tax paid by a NY resident as compared to an Ontario resident is tiny. What do they get for it? Universal healthcare? No. A strong social safety net? Ummm...no, not relatively.

Cost of gas is a small price to pay, and the airline monopoly is under the thumb of government regulation.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Cost of goods... (none / 0) (#69)
by Miniluv on Mon Nov 27, 2000 at 10:17:48 PM EST

The cost of goods is "relatively" lower, in that a $45USD shirt also costs $45CAN, the thing is if I live in Canada I'm not PAYING in USD at the current exchange, I'm paying CAN.
Being a US citizen having spent some time, and knowing quite a few canadians well enough to be intimately familiar with their standard of living, the SoL isn't any better in Canada that I've seen.
Comparison for you: I work 2nd/3rd level support and make approx $45USD/year. I live quite comfortably on this money in the suburbs of Chicago, not a "cheap" place to live. A good friend of mine works as a sysadmin for an ISP in Calgary, makes roughly $55K/year canadian and lives in the same or lower lifestyle, despite the supposedly lower cost of living in Calgary than Chicago. Why? Taxes and the much touted health care. My health care is employer provided, it's Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO and I pay a mere $20USD per month, and while I realize this isn't the "norm", it is in my industry. For that $20/mo I receive roughly equivalent benefits to what Alberta Health Care would provide me...having compared total expenditures with a person of roughly the same means there who had roughly the same doctor visits in a month, I came out about $15USD ahead at the end of the month compared to him.
Alberta Health Care rocks if you don't work now, get sick, and never ever work again so you don't have to pay arears. Other than that, it's not significantly better or any worse than what many people in the States have. I cannot speak for any other province as I haven't compared bills with anyone in those provinces.
I will say that the social atmosphere in Alberta (Calgary) is at least as nice, if not better, than it is here in the windy city, I really enjoy spending time there.


"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
[ Parent ]

wow! (1.00 / 1) (#22)
by mikpos on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:09:11 PM EST

You mean Canada isn't absolutely perfect in every way imaginable?! I guess it's not very good then!

[ Parent ]
Those things are irrelevent (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by bemann on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 08:25:17 PM EST

Canada has a much higher standard of living than the US. Just because the US is stronger than Canada doesn't mean that the people of the US are any better off (they're worse off in reality).

[ Parent ]
well intended question alert (none / 0) (#53)
by el_guapo on Sun Nov 19, 2000 at 03:42:31 PM EST

i'm an international topic ignorant american (hey, at least i *admit* it...), by what measure do canadians have a higher standard of living? i consider myself pretty typical in the ole standard of living department, and i really have nothing to complain about. i know there are those significantly less fortunate than me, but that sort of applies wherever you go....
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Canadian Standard of Living (none / 0) (#67)
by Tisniq on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 07:26:23 PM EST

Canadian Standard of living, I think it is actually an interesting perspective.
Pretty low crime, I like that one, the police are generally nicer then American Cops. Probaly cause they get shot at a little less.
Social safety net & support services, less desperation, I can just walk into a hospital or clinic, see a doctor and get taken care of, doesn't cost me anything at the time.
Despite all the bitching about health care, I rarely have to wait to see a doctor, and most people I know don't wait that long for specialists.
Taxes, well they are a bit high, but not by much. Some states (arguably the nicer ones) also have higher tax rates.
Coloured money, I like colourful money and the $1, $2 coins.


[ Parent ]
I also doubt the $150000000 price tag. (3.50 / 2) (#14)
by Woodblock on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:41:42 PM EST

I seriously doubt you could create a referendum that would cost taxpayers $150000000. Presumably, if it's a citizen led referendum, the government would not take sides and would not pay for either side's advertising and political campaigns surrounding the referendum. However, this is the same entity that misplaced $1000000000.

Besides, health care is far from universal here with close to half of all money spent on health care coming out of people's pockets to private business, and the higher standard of living is debatable depending upon what you base your standard of life
-- Real computer scientists don't use computers.
[ Parent ]
The price tag is correct (4.50 / 2) (#18)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 12:57:18 PM EST

It has nothing to do with advertising. It is about the cost, in taxpayer dollars, required to setup and carry out a national vote. No media costs here. No campaign costs. Temporary infrastructure costs.

Health care is universal. I can get treatment at the hospital, and pay $0. I can get a checkup at my doctor's office and pay $0. Two years ago when my son was born, it cost me $0. Granted, this standard is eroding. Certainly you don't think Doris^H^H^H^H^HStockwell will help with that?

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

try getting drugs... (none / 0) (#21)
by mikpos on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:08:11 PM EST

...without paying. Personally I think drugs are roughly on par with surgery, and fiscally should be handled similarly. There is also a huge amount of debate about what constitutes "necessary" medical operations (ergo the big MRI thing).

[ Parent ]
Move to Quebec (none / 0) (#48)
by weathervane on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 05:03:54 PM EST

Yes, Quebec actually has Pharmacare. There is a $2 deductible, so it's not quite like medicare, but overall it's very civilized. The rest of the country would do well to emulate it (in this particular way).

[ Parent ]
Not all (none / 0) (#31)
by Woodblock on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 04:47:26 PM EST

It's still far from universal. You probably have to pay for pain relievers for your son when he gets a tooth ache. You probably pay for dental costs for him. Health care is more than what a doctor prescribes you, or what the government happens to think you require to be healthy. And yes, the standard is eroding, but certainly you don't think the Liberals cutting $25000000000 from it helped that?
-- Real computer scientists don't use computers.
[ Parent ]
OK (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 06:25:50 PM EST

I actually posted a response regarding the drug plan thing before and it vanished. Oh well. I'd like to see some sort of universal drug plan, but it'll never happen. I'll settle for fixing what we've got.

Of course the Liberals have damaged health care. I don't trust them either. I never said, or even hinted, that I plan to vote for them.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

the benefit of the doubt (none / 0) (#29)
by mikpos on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 04:42:21 PM EST

...is that they will truly be benefiting the people. Imagine you wanted to get marijuana decriminalised (which I believe the majority of Canadian citizens wanted the last time I read about a poll dealing with this). Who do they vote for? Liberals, no. CCRAP, no. PC, no. Bloc Quebecois, not that I know of. NDP, yes. Marijuana Party, indeed! However, what if you don't like the rest of these parties' platforms? Maybe I want taxes to be cut and marijuana to be decriminalised; that leaves out the NDP (and the Marijuana Party too, I believe). Under this referendum system, I could vote for the Alliance (which promises big tax cuts) and then start up my own referendum to get marijuana decriminalised. Stockwell Day might want the death penalty for marijuana possession, but there's nothing he can do about it.

[ Parent ]
Well put... (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 06:33:01 PM EST

but I expect the CA would include a "not withstanding" clause in the referendum law that would prevent such things. Do you really think that fundamentalist Christian Stockwell Day will legalise pot? Don't you think his right-wing caucus would be calling for a leadership convention shortly after?

The current Marijuana posession law was quashed a while back by the Supreme Court of Canada, as I'm sure you know. If you want pot posession to be legal, vote for a party that won't be interested in making a new law.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#47)
by weathervane on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 05:00:39 PM EST

Marijuana decriminalization was part of the 'secret' Alliance platform that was revealed in the same Globe and Mail article that made public the 3% referendums proposal. If you believe referendums are part of the Alliance platform, you might as well believe that they're going to decriminalize marijuana.

Not that I think either policy is likely to ever see the light of day.

[ Parent ]

Marijuana Party (none / 0) (#65)
by Tisniq on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 07:09:35 PM EST

Actually the only party policy for the Marijuana Party is the legalization of pot.
ALL other policies are left to the individual candidate.
Which is one of the reasons I like that party, free votes are good.
I think the Alliance is right, everything should be a free vote.


[ Parent ]
California (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by a humble lich on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 04:42:19 PM EST

Yes California does have a large number of referenda, there are usually about 8 or so on each ballot. I think for the most part they are a mistake and the system is broken. Not so much that there are a large number of frivolous referenda, but that there are lots of issues that the average citizen is not informed enough on to cast a reasonable ballot. There have been a fair number of measures that have tried to change details of how the legal system works. I didn't know how the system worked before the law or how the propsed changes would affect things. All of the arguments were of the form "the people opposed to us are paid for by special interests" which does not help the uninformed voter become informed.
   That does not even consider the legality of the proposed laws. It seems that after every election there is a second stage where the new laws are challanged in court. There was even a measure here that the arguments in favour of it said that the law was unconstitutional and not to vote for it. It passed by a huge magin.
   So please don't agree to something because people in California do it. People in California do many thinks that I wouldn't wish on the rest of the world--we outlawed bilingual education, I have a feeling that wouldn't work to well in Canada :-)


[ Parent ]
The myth of bilingual education in CA (none / 0) (#81)
by flieghund on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 06:19:26 PM EST

The originators of so-called "bilingual" education in California made a major PC coup by chosing to call their system "bilingual education." In fact, the system was not bilingual -- it was almost exclusively Spanish. Children were taught the core curriculum -- reading, writing, math -- in Spanish, often all throughout elementary school. When they arrived in junior or senior high school, they were magically expected to understand and perform in English-instructed classrooms. Guess what? They usually didn't.

In a few extreme cases, even children whose parents did not want their child taught in Spanish were forced into the "bilingual" education racket. Depsite huge promises of success, most of these students were left woefully unprepared for later years in school.

Since the dictated end of "bilinugal" education in California, test scores have almost unilaterally improved, often by dramatic margins. Granted, these are only very early returns -- but they look very promising, and it certainly seems to be a better system than the old.

If "bilingual" education in California had actually been bilingual -- that means two languages, Spanish and English, not just Spanish -- then it would be a great system. I knew a lot of kids growing up that went to a nearby Japanese immersion school, where classes were taught in a combination of Japanese and English. In later years, these were some of the best students in school. But not because they were taught exclusively in Japanese -- they weren't, it was split close to 50-50 with English -- but because they were exposed to two very different languages early in their life.

Limiting children of Spanish-speaking families to Spanish-only "bilingual" education does nothing but set the foundation for an underclass of citizens who are uncomfortable in the English speaking business world and therefore limited in their future plans.

Of course, if you're a cynic, you might suggest that this is exactly what the proponents of California's "bilingual" education had in mind all along.


Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Combine referenda with the nothwithstanding clause (none / 0) (#76)
by OuterHull on Fri Dec 01, 2000 at 06:35:41 PM EST

Referenda are not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion and I think they could be made workable and I think it would be nicer to have more. True, cost is a problem, esp. if it were an all manually-counted affair, but several questions could be asked in a single referendum to cut down on costs. Also, once the system is in place for referenda on a regular basis, there would be less overhead. Personally, I would not trust electronic voting but that's another rant...

My problem with Stockwell Day and referenda is that he seems trigger-happy with the nothwithstanding clause of the Constitution. He or the CA has already said it would used against biker gangs, certain refugees and, I believe, homosexuals. That's not including his or the CA's general stance on the Supreme Court undermining the legislature. (An observant person will notice that they've identified all relatively unpopular groups.)

I would love to see more referenda, but not administered by a government gung-ho with using the notwithstanding clause of the constitution. People seem to forget that some sections of the Constitution guarantees certain freedoms and equality for a reason, i.e., to keep the government in check, to prevent it from becoming too authoritarian. It appears as though the CA wants to remove those checks and balances. A slope too slippery for my feet.

[ Parent ]

Stockwell Day? (2.18 / 11) (#5)
by Refrag on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 10:26:49 AM EST

What kind of wierd Canadian holiday is that?

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Canadian Election (3.21 / 23) (#9)
by the Epopt on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 10:44:42 AM EST

...Canadians are going to the polls on November 27....

Canadians still haven't finished the election?!? Why can't they keep up with the rest of the country?!?!?


--  
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

K5_Arguing_HOWTO
need to be shot (none / 0) (#36)
by riley370 on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 09:06:34 PM EST

What a great little poem. Where is it from?
riley stevens
[ Parent ]
Only in Canada... (4.00 / 12) (#12)
by mattk on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 11:55:17 AM EST

...does a nutbag like Stockwell Day have a chance of becoming Prime Minister. Seriously, I grew up in the same small town where Stockwell Day was a minister for a church. He takes the bible extremely literally and pushes it upon other people.

Remember Kansas and the whole evolution/creationism thing? Stockwell, the possible Prime Minister has been quoted as saying "The earth is 6000 years old.", "Man coexisted with dinosaurs.", "Adam and Eve were real people."

In the mid 1990's, when I was attending high school, and he was my representative member of parliament, he fought to have the book Of Mice and Men banned from my high school because of foul language. This was a success.

When he was still a minister, I remember him organizing a prayer group that went down to the local church, prayed to god for a bit, and then made their way down to the (only) local bar. They pressed their hands on the wall and asked god to collapse the bar so that the sinners would be punished.

Nothing against religion, but this guy is wacked.



Here here. (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:02:28 PM EST

The same man who refuses to campaign/work on Sundays because of his religious beliefs. His staff, however...well that's different. He apparently has no problem allowing his staff to work for him on Sundays.

Backlash against the Liberals and all, playing to the fundamentalist right in Canada can only get you so far.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Hear, hear, actually... (3.00 / 2) (#41)
by bigbird on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 12:22:18 AM EST

At any rate, it is amusing to note the discrepancy between the parent comment and your post to this topic. From the original post to this thread by mattk:

He takes the bible extremely literally and pushes it upon other people.

From your post:

He apparently has no problem allowing his staff to work for him on Sundays.

As long as you meant the word "allowing", would you prefer that he "pushes it (the bible) on other people"? Did you notice that you are attacking Stockwell for the opposite reason that mattk was? He complains that Mr. Day is forcing his religion on others, while you complain that he is not? Could you guys at least be consistent?

There is nothing special about the day Sunday - most early Christians were slaves in the Roman Empire, and did not get Sundays off. As a Jew, Jesus only took the Sabbath off, which is sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday, as is still done by Orthodox Jews and Seventh Day Adventists today. Good luck finding a directive from Jesus anywhere in the New Testament to take Sundays off. You will not find one.

Why do people make such a big deal about taking one day off a week - I generally take two, and more when I can (long weekends, holidays, powder days at the ski hill when I was in school, etc). I would appreciate if someone could come up with a reason why taking Sundays off matters - sorry people, but the universe does not rotate around the postition of the Prime Minister of Canada, and the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west if any future PM takes the day off. World events rarely depend upon the Canadian PM being ready to respond at a moments notice - that is why people write contingency plans, and delegate responsibility. Rapid response time matters a bit more for someone like the President of the US, but not as much as people think.

Did anyone here read How Connected is TOO Connected? on this very weblog? Why do we decry connectivity for ourselves, yet expect instant availability from others, even though it probably won't matter in the big picture? Fer crying out loud, the Prime Minister of Canada makes a lot less money than most of our bosses (you have to go three or four levels down from the top rung in the company I work for to find someone who is paid less than our PM). Given that it is a 12-16 (at least) hour a day job, why not allow whoever is doing it a day off?

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Ummm, no. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by Phil the Canuck on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 07:55:45 AM EST

You accuse me of heading off on a tangent and then miss my point entirely. I'm accusing Stockwell of hypocrisy, not bashing him for taking a day off. I respect people who hold fast to their beliefs. I also would expect a fundamentalist Christian boss to give his employees that same day. As leader of the opposition, he can take whatever days off he chooses. I just expect him to extend the same freedom to his staff.

Yes, I do expect the leader of my country to be available at any moment. That's part of the job of being a world leader. As for pay, that has nothing to do with anything I said. Mr. Day has the freedom to not run for PM, and take a higher paying job elsewhere. He chooses to run for PM, and should he somehow win, I expect him to do the job.

One more time so I'm not misunderstood. Allow him to take his sabbath day, but have his caucus and staff do the same.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

You changed your statement (none / 0) (#46)
by bigbird on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 03:13:44 PM EST

Your first post:
He apparently has no problem allowing his staff to work for him on Sundays.
Your second post:
One more time so I'm not misunderstood. Allow him to take his sabbath day, but have his caucus and staff do the same.
See the difference? Allow vs require (have to do something). If you had said "allow his caucus and staff to do the same" in your second post, you argument would at least be coherent. He has no right to require his staff to take Sundays off.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

what!? (none / 0) (#52)
by el_guapo on Sun Nov 19, 2000 at 02:25:16 PM EST

i was watching your threads with a bit of interest. (meaning, i totally disagree with you, but you seemed to be making some fairly level-headed/valid points) but when i got to this one, i had to raise the "bullshit flag", quoting "He has no right to require his staff to take Sundays off." - give me a friggin break. are you trying to imply that this guy said: "OK peeople, it's close of business Saturday. ***I'm*** taking tomorrow off due to my religious beliefs, ya'll are welcom to take tomorrow off as well." to which his staffers would reply: "Oh nonono, we are soooooo dedicated, that even though YOU won't be doing anything but attending religious services, WE want to come in and keep working!". Sorry, ain't gonna happen.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Campaign workers (none / 0) (#54)
by bigbird on Sun Nov 19, 2000 at 06:02:01 PM EST

I worked on a provincial campaign in the 90's - and yes, I could see staff doing that. There are some people out there who live, eat and breathe politics, to whom victory in politics is more important than breathing, and who will sleep after the ballots are counted.

I only spent a half-hour looking for information about the status of staff on Sundays. If you had any direct quotes, please post them - I rather doubt that they would support your case.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

the quote i was having an issue with was YOURS (none / 0) (#55)
by el_guapo on Sun Nov 19, 2000 at 09:50:21 PM EST

namely "He has no right to require his staff to take Sundays off." that's complete bunk, while i freely admit that there are fanatics in ANY profession, that doesn't help support this quote. so "my case" is that your argument about REQUIRING people to take time off is silly (yea, i know, pilots, truck drivers, etc. REQUIRE time off, this is different...).
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
One more time (none / 0) (#56)
by bigbird on Mon Nov 20, 2000 at 03:26:20 PM EST

The basis for this entire thread is flawed. We have no direct quote outlining Mr. Day's policy for time off. As stated before, I spent over 1/2 hour searching Google, press sites, and the Canadian Alliance site, and could not find a direct quote from Mr. Day regarding his staff working on Sunday, in context, from a reputable source. Or even a disreputable source. Or out of context. So until one is found, we could argue in circles ad nauseum.

The following meaning was intended for the sentence "He has no right to...":
a)it is not acceptable to take a particular day off and not allow your staff a day of their choice for whatever reasons are important to them. There has been no evidence whatsoever presented in this thread to indicate that this is the case. Mr. Day has been a politician long enough to know that to not allow his staff the same amount of time off he enjoys, if his staff want it, would be called hypocrisy. He has enough people calling him that particular name already. For all we know, his staff could work shifts, taking different days off as they choose throughout the week to balance the workload. Requiring that his staff get Sundays off alongside Mr. Day is pointless - if Sunday has no meaning to the person, let them take a day that has meaning, or whatever day they want (including Sunday, if they wish). Re-read my previous post, and the one by Phil the Canuck before it. Look up the meaning of the word require. Please. Re-read the thread in context.
b)while the labour code in most provinces allows weekend work, minority groups such as Seventh-Day Adventists have successfully won exemptions to working Saturdays (the sabbath). Thus, for any staff members who require a particular day off for religious or other reasons, an employer generally has to give it to them.

Hope that clarifies my statement for you.

Mr. Day has indicated that if elected PM, he would be available on Sundays in a time of crisis or a national emergency. I do not believe an ongoing six week political campaign to be a national emergency. As a side note, I recall Mr. Chretien continuing his vacation at Whistler a few months back when King Hussein of Jordan died. Jean underwent substantial criticism as one of the few world leaders who failed to attend the funeral. Perhaps skiing is more important to Mr. Chretien than Sundays are to Mr. Day?

Myself, I would hire a couple of Seventh-Day Adventists to work Sundays - I would just have to ensure that they got Saturdays off (or agnostics or atheists, and give them whatever days they wanted - I enjoyed having a weekday off at a previous job - stores are empty, ski hills, bike trails and beaches are deserted, there are no lineups at banks, you don't have to miss work for a dentist appointment or haircut). While I have worked Sundays (and still do, esp. for work-related travel), I prefer not to.

You may find the following links to be of interest, given Mr. Day's reasons for taking Sundays off. The first, Matthew 12 includes a brief story used as a teaching example about working on Sundays (verses 11-12). The second, John 9:14-34 illustrates the reaction of the religious authorities in Palestine circa 30 AD to Jesus doing work (performing miracles on the Sabbath). IIRC, at that time and place you could get stoned (no, not that kind of stoned, DJBongHit) for doing work on the Sabbath - this would include walking beyond a certain distance, lighting a fire or cooking food. Interestingly, one of the reasons that the Pharisees wanted Jesus hung on a cross was his attitude towards the Sabbath - it was too liberal, if you can believe it.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Hear, hear, actually... (none / 0) (#45)
by mattk on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 02:20:23 PM EST

Did you notice that you are attacking Stockwell for the opposite reason that mattk was? He complains that Mr. Day is forcing his religion on others, while you complain that he is not? Could you guys at least be consistent?

Actually we aren't co-conspirators here, and to attempt to attack my argument because of this guy's completely unrelated comment is silly.

Matt



[ Parent ]
He won't get elected (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by earthling on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 09:41:18 PM EST

The only reasons why Day is so popular right now is because:
  • He's leading a new party for which the majority of canadian don't know the full platform yet.
  • The Conservatives (the only other right-wing alternative) can't seem to get their act together.

I consider myself lucky to live in Canada. I've seen the Christian Belt States, and it's frightening. I truly believe that only a very small minority of canadians support the extreme right-wing platform of the Alliance. Most of their voters are attracted because they want a tax cut and feel the Conservatives don't stand a chance to be elected this year.

-Earthling
"I'm sorry, I had to; the irony was just too thick."
[ Parent ]

Take me please!! (none / 0) (#59)
by erotus on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 03:24:19 AM EST

"I've seen the Christian Belt States, and it's frightening. I truly believe that only a very small minority of canadians support the extreme right-wing platform of the Alliance."

Yes... I live in one of those "Belt States" as you put it. I would move to Canada in a heartbeat if I knew they'd take me. I grew up here in the Bible belt and I can tell you it SUCKS. Actually, let me back up. I live in Texas and that is a bit different from the rest of the bible belt. People here are ok I suppose.. I have relatives that live in Lousiana and Mississippi and I can tell you that both of those states suck! I would rather die than live in either of these poor, backward, downtrodden, and bigotted examples of states that clearly win the "screwed up" award hands down.

[ Parent ]
Learn a little about politics (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by bigbird on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 11:50:52 PM EST

He takes the bible extremely literally and pushes it upon other people.

Everything he has said in the campaign indicates his support for freedom of belief for all people, and from what I have heard of his record in Alberta, he does not force Christianity on people. Trust me on this one - real Christians do not have any interest in forcing people to adopt their beliefs, as the entire point of Christianity is that I consciously choose to follow Jesus. Forcing anyone to go to church on Sunday won't make a person a Christian (didn't work when I was a kid), it is a choice you have to make of your own free will. I am a little bit tired of the liberal humanist education establishment pushing things like evolution, sex education, and utter garbage like the current school curriculum on people. The reason my kids will be home schooled or attend private school is that the state, which is composed of people like you, is pushing a lot of stuff which I do not believe, condone, or accept.

Remember Kansas and the whole evolution/creationism thing?

So? I could make a good case that evolution is more of a religion than a science. This is after completing a science degree, including cell biology / evolution classes. Oddly enough, even though I went to church as a child, I was not a Christian at the time and I believed in evolution until I actually took a course in it. There is no evidence supporting either side which is conclusive enough to change anyone's mind, and I will not be drawn into further debate on the issue beyond stating this - either you have faith that God is omnipresent, or you have faith that matter (the universe) spontaneously appeared. Either is equally improbable.

In the mid 1990's, when I was attending high school, and he was my representative member of parliament

In Alberta, it is called a Legislative Assembly. Stockwell Day would have been you Member of the Legislative Assembly, or MLA.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Re: Learn a little about politics (3.00 / 2) (#44)
by mattk on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 02:17:20 PM EST

Everything he has said in the campaign indicates his support for freedom of belief for all people, and from what I have heard of his record in Alberta, he does not force Christianity on people.

Actually, you're wrong. As I said in my previous post, I have nothing against religious beliefs, so long as they aren't pushed upon other people. Have you ever read the book Of Mice and Men? Arguably, it's one of the best classic works of literature ever. I missed out on the opportunity to read, review, and discuss this book when I was in high school because Mr. Day felt that it was inappropriate for a high school student. Where did he arrive at this conclusion? From his fundamentalist Christian beliefs. And this doesn't affect me?

Rather than spouting off with more anecdotal stories, I'll let the facts speak for themselves.

Choice Stockwell Quotes and Stories

"God's law is clear," said an angry Day to the Alberta Report in 1984. "Standards of education are not set by government, but by God, the Bible, the home and the school."

``in 1984 [Day] made headlines for defending fundamentalist school curricula that a government commission later found to hold `a degree of insensitivity towards blacks, Jews and natives.'''

``"As a Christian, I acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ over the whole universe,'' explained Day in 1998, in response to a gaffe made against single-parent families. "I believe that The Bible is the infallible word of God and every word in it, cover to cover, is true.''

``But there was more to the ACE material than just Bible teaching. Social studies lessons warned students that democratic governments "represent the ultimate deification of man, which is the very essence of humanism and totally alien to God's word.'' Science lessons taught pure creationism, noting that all evolutionists were guilty of "depravity and sinfulness.''

http://www.dlcwest.com/~e-westernclarion/pvaug00.htm

http://www.mike-warren.com/links/ffwd-stockwell-day.html

http://www.straightgoods.com/item317.asp

That's enough of wasting my time with this guy. As for evolution vs. creationism, like I said, you can believe what you want, just don't force me to listen to it and don't take away my choices.

Whoops on the MP vs MLA mistake.

Matt

[ Parent ]
Actually not (none / 0) (#50)
by bigbird on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 04:56:29 PM EST

I missed out on the opportunity to read, review, and discuss this book when I was in high school because Mr. Day felt that it was inappropriate for a high school student.

Did you try any of the following?
1)School library
2)Public Library
3)Purchase Of Mice and Men at a used bookstore for $2.
4)Purchase a new copy of the book for $5-7 at bookstore.

Spare me the histrionics, you had full opportunity to read the novel, discuss it among like-minded individuals, and review it to your heart's content. You just did not have it as a part of your school cirriculum. There is plenty of fine literature available which does not include coarse language. Those parents who actually care about exposing their children to coarse language have every right to demand that the school system not require their children to read books containing coarse language. End of story. Sort of the same way that you expect the right to not have religous indoctrination of any form in school.

And this doesn't affect me?

As pointed out above, no, not really. The [humanist] [secular] [evolutionist] beliefs promoted in the current school system affect people as well. It just so happens that they impact people you happen to disagree with, so that makes it all right, I guess.

Your choice quotes are rather limited when it comes to policy issues. One is actually Day stating a basic doctrine of the Cristian faith - he would be a hypocrite if he did not believe that. What exactly is "a degree of insensitivity" - I am not much of a sensitive, understanding 90's guy, so please enlighten me here. The current public education cirriculum shows more than a degree of insensitivity to many groups. The final quote does not even mention Day and was not said by him, so why did you include it without more of an explanation?

Your first link is to "The Peoples Voice", with a banner "Workers of all lands, unite". Nice, objective source, comrade (cough). The second is to a person with an apparent dislike of Stockwell Day. Another quality source. The third site, "The Straight Goods", while more credible than the first two, reminds me of The Ubyssey (shudder). Find something on the National Post, and I might actually read it.

As for evolution vs. creationism, like I said, you can believe what you want, just don't force me to listen to it and don't take away my choices.

I have no intention of forcing you to do anything, or limiting your choices. Will you offer me and others who share my beliefs the same freedom? Or is freedom only available for people who share your beliefs? Given how irrelevant evolutionary theory is to the physical sciences such as physics and chemistry, you can still get a quality education without it. Many people in my high school took no real science courses of any type beyond Grade 10 (not that science courses up to Grade 10 are any good, but I digress).

Day has the socialists in Canada very worked up. It must be frightening for them to visualize a politician who actually says what he believes, does not sink to the lowest common denominator, and who has moral character.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Daily Tubby (none / 0) (#72)
by Mandos on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 03:37:40 PM EST

Day has the socialists in Canada very worked up. It must be frightening for them to visualize a politician who actually says what he believes, does not sink to the lowest common denominator, and who has moral character.

Oooh, those commies! (I suppose it never occurred to you that they also say what they believe, at least as much as Day.) I belong to a Traditional Religion and have fairly traditional moral views that aren't necessarily that far off from Day's own, and yet Day scares me. This is more because the attitude with which he holds those views, rather than the views themselves. Jean Chrétien and many other politicians actually hold similar moral views as well, but the difference is that they understand that people have to be able to decide for themselves...

Find something on the National Post, and I might actually read it.

The Daily Tubby is at least as bad as any "commie" newspaper. In their defense they also carry Linda McQuaig every other week, but that's just to retain some sense of credibility--need that Token Socialist.
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`o Mandos `o tyrannos tôn 'exoterikôn
[ Parent ]

Re: Daily Tubby (none / 0) (#73)
by bigbird on Thu Nov 30, 2000 at 08:56:46 PM EST

Get it straight - socialist was the term I used. There is a difference, albeit slight. Neither has any conceptual underpinning of how a modern economy works, or ability to increase freedoms for it's people. As far as Chretien allowing people to decide for themselves, I really appreciate expressing my views in the many referenda he has held, the increase in freedom and property rights I enjoy now that police have expanded search and seizure powers under Bill C-68, the decision-making power he freely and voluntarily granted to the provinces for health care funding, and many, many other things.

You do not need a token socialist for credibility. The Economist maintains a consistent free trade / small government viewpoint and maintains an excellent reputation. Perhaps you prefer the Globe and Mail? I am going to have to accept a bias in amything written by a human, and I happen to dislike and distrust socialist biases. While I listen to CBC, I also get frustrated with their bias, which can be fairly blatant at times. I heard portions of the pre-election Cross Country Checkup show from Calgary. The NDP candidate was the only one to receive clapping when they were announced, and anytime they spoke. While it may not have been a stacked audience, it was certainly not reflective of the typical Albertan, or Calgarian (for you Americans, kind of like getting clapping for the Democrat candidate in Texas, while the audience is silent for the Republican). Look at the election results to gauge NDP support in Alberta.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Modern economy (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by Mandos on Fri Dec 01, 2000 at 09:47:28 AM EST

Actually, the whole point of what you call "socialism" is to protest how the modern economy works. Most of the really serious ones have quite a powerful grasp of its mechanisms, and they generally are still morally offended by it.

As for freedom, that's exactly what "socialists" claim about "corporatists". I don't think you understand the nature or logic of the claim. I understand exactly what claim "capitalists" and right-wing liberatarians are making--that freedom is a function of property rights--and many people, myself included, think that excessive emphasis on property is a cause of social hierarchies quite independent of the actual merit of the holders of its positions and that these unjustified social hierarchies are antithetical to freedom. From an economic standpoint, you may consider me to be a left-wing libertarian, aka an "anarchist".

While I myself am not afraid of referenda in themselves, many people are skeptical of the actual motivation behind the proposals. It would really suck if a referendum on abortions became a shouting match about baby killing, which is what usually happens. In a sense it can be seen as an imposition of views by stealth. Even if a majority of people in Canada decide, it could be a terrible infringement on the minority. That being said, I doubt a "yes" vote would occur on a Ban Abortions referendum, but I think people fear that damage can be cause by the question itself. Words can kill sometimes, you know. As for Chrétien, I am not a fan of him, but in his defense, Day has had a track record as recorded by Toronto Life of direct and indirect political interference in order to further his moral agenda, but I don't expect you to believe that because you only believe Tubby's propaganda. Chrétien has no such record, despite being a devout Roman Catholic.

As for the Economist, I am well-aware of its viewpoint and its respectability in mainstream intellectual circles. Nevertheless, I think it is wrong, and the evidence strongly points to how much of a detriment its ideas have been to "third world" economies, no matter how many excuses it makes; and respectability does not mean correctness, as a Reform Renamed supporter himself should know. However, the Economist is quite different from the Daily Tubby. The Economist is quite self-admittedly a magazine by and for mainstream economists, who are engaged in the art of promulgating ideology as science, which is what the study of economics is, after all. It exists because of its biases, and it is a trade journal for that segment of primarily British economic thought. The National Post, however, is claiming to be an unbiased news source, and failing that, an balanced source of perspectives, something quite different from the Economist. But since its news and editorial makeup are so obviously a reflection of Conrad 'n' Barb's prejudices, it adds a Token Socialist to preserve some semblance of credibility. As for the Grope and Flail (the University of Alberta had a spoof newspaper called that), I consider it only slightly to the left of the Daily Tubby. And I suspect you've never read anything by Linda McQuaig.

Watching it, I generally felt that CBC television was biased against Chrétien-who-I-didn't-vote-for because of the way he's starved it for funds and pursued a long-standing vendetta against it to the limits of what the Liberal Party would endure. As for the radio show, its the general pattern that the non-mainstream viewpoint is more determined to flood audiences.

I suspect you have a view of modern left-wing thought informed mainly by the failure of the Soviet state-corporatist experiment. And that you are blinded to the relationship between ownership and dominance, and the poison to freedom that dominance is. Ultimately, I am not a fan of big government, but at present it's the only corporation in which everyone has an equal vote in, and can protect everyone's freedoms at the same time. And I am flabbergasted at how religious people can support the Alliance, who have, as a party, a terribly limited and materialistic view of economic values that I think have been robbing us of our spiritual fulfillment and encouraging exactly the social trends that religious Alliance supporters decry. "Social liberalism" and "economic liberalism" go together, not "social conservativism" and "economic conservativism," a lesson less North America-focused sects have learned much better than the ones that have come to prominence here.
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`o Mandos `o tyrannos tôn 'exoterikôn
[ Parent ]

Dualism and Perspective (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by erotus on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 04:11:53 AM EST

"either you have faith that God is omnipresent, or you have faith that matter (the universe) spontaneously appeared. Either is equally improbable. "

This is very dualistic thinking. This is Aristotolian logic gone mad. Our western society is based on this and our language and mindset forces us to catagorize and separate into this or that. We see true or false, zero or one, black or white, all or none. The big bang vs. creationism argument goes back a long way. The question I ask science is: who made the big bang? I do believe in God but I also logically follow science and I've learned to take things from a historical perspective. Here is my perspective that I will now share with you.

Creationism, as it was written in Genesis, is revealed in very simple terms and anthropomorphizes God so the simpletons of many thousand years ago could comprehend. Could you tell a shepard of 500 B.C. about how amino acid chains are formed? Could you explain to him time on a "geologic scale" and have him comprehend that kind of time span? Can you describe a non-physical being accurately with physical terms? No... The best that could be done was a very simple approach to give people the foundation or sequence of events that would eventually lead to man's creation.

These events, as they are described in Genesis, are actually correct if we look at them in a simple way. The intent was to show a forward progression in that the earth was created then water then man. etc... The point here is to show a sequence and therefore set a foundation. The first day, second day, etc. was to show progression in a way simple people would understand. Millions or even billions of years would have made no sense to these people. The answer to creation that these early people received was not wrong, it was right in that people of that time could only comprehend so much.

Do you teach a child calculus in the first grade? NO... you give him the foundation. Calculus will later be understood by the high school senior. If a child asks what makes him grow bigger you'll probably give him a glass of milk and tell him to eat his greens. You wouldn't tell him the intricacies of cell mitosis - cyclin dependent kinase, adds phosphate to a protein, along with cyclins, which are control switches for the cell cycle to move from blah blah... The kid would get bored and this info would go right over his head.

So where am I going with this you ask? Maybe you've already figured it out. Today, we have an understanding of our physical universe that nobody in previous eras of history could have ever imagined. Do I now discount genesis? No... I simply realize that this very simple childlike description of creation was setting the foundation for scientific belief. Science is one of God's most important creations and allows us to understand our physical environment. Big bang, is but one idea describing the method which God 'may' have used to create our earth as we know it. We are still learning and we are still progressing. Creationism and Big Bang/science do not cancel each other out. One is an extension of the other. The mature college senior understands human reproduction while the immature first grader has a rudimentary understanding of how chickens make eggs. The chicken/egg textbook is setting the foundation for the human reproductive cycle as it will be understood in biology class much later in life.

A thousand years from now, our understanding will be even greater. The future beings will look upon our rudimentary view of science and call it primitive at best. Perhaps, they will have figured out some of the mysteries and maybe they will laugh at the thought of a "Big Bang" theory as we know it. They will call us simple and childlike, lacking intellect, and understanding. History will repeat itself.

[ Parent ]
Creationist Lie: Evolution is a belief (none / 0) (#62)
by EricsTrip on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 12:48:03 PM EST

So? I could make a good case that evolution is more of a religion than a science. This is after completing a science degree, including cell biology / evolution classes. Oddly enough, even though I went to church as a child, I was not a Christian at the time and I believed in evolution until I actually took a course in it. There is no evidence supporting either side which is conclusive enough to change anyone's mind, and I will not be drawn into further debate on the issue beyond stating this - either you have faith that God is omnipresent, or you have faith that matter (the universe) spontaneously appeared. Either is equally improbable.

Please do make that good case. I really would like to hear your scientific arguments that evolution is simply a belief. Before you start with everything that's been said by creationists many times before, read this from www.talkorigins.org:

What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has--evidence, and lots of it. Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others. If you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better. Of course, to do this, you must know both the theory and the evidence.

[ Parent ]
Okay (none / 0) (#64)
by bigbird on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 03:23:24 PM EST

This was a political discussion. But I do not mind going offtopic, so if you mind, stop reading now.

I have no intention or ability to attempt to prove or disprove evolution or creationism. I will attempt to demonstrate that portions of current evolutionary theory require faith, as there are critical gaps in knowledge. It may be that the gaps will be filled in one day. It is equally possible that multiple theories will remain in place. When two or more competing theories are present, you do not have knowledge, you have faith that one will be correct. All but one of the theories are certainly wrong, and it is possible that all are wrong.

From Mirrian Webster
re·li·gion
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
faith
2 b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

I reviewed the definition of evolution at talkorigins, which is as follows:
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.

It is rather narrow. In my post, I was replying to someone who stated "Remember Kansas and the whole evolution/creationism thing?" By "evolution", most people I know are referring to the "creation story" promoted in high school science textbooks. I admit to little interest in evolution past the point of a multicellular organism with specialized cells which uses sexual reproduction. There is a large body of evidence after this point, which forms a plausible theory for natural selection and improvement of what is already a highly complex organism.

While I have a general education which covered evolution, I cannot profess being a specialist in the field. The part of evolution that has always concerned me involves feedback loops and transfer of information. This includes areas ranging from the development of cell differentiation, to metabolic pathways, to conversion of information between DNA / RNA / proteins. I have learned more about abiotic chemistry in the course of researching this post than I knew previously, but I still do not know a lot about the subject.

Before we reach the point of a multicellular organism with specialized cells which uses sexual reproduction, there are many data gaps. They are quite understandable - there is little or no fossil evidence to guide the way, there is only guesswork based on observations of the chemcial makeup of other astonomical bodies and models of the primeval earth. Labratory demonstrations are difficult, and based upon a series of assumptions including the makeup of the early atmosphere, and so on.

From The Beginnings of Life on Earth in the American Scientist:

As certain as many people are that the RNA world was a crucial phase in life's evolution, it cannot have been the first. Some form of abiotic chemistry must have existed before RNA came on the scene. For the purpose of this discussion, I shall call that earlier phase "protometabolism" to designate the set of unknown chemical reactions that generated the RNA world and sustained it throughout its existence (as opposed to metabolism--the set of reactions, catalyzed by protein enzymes, that support all living organisms today). By definition, protometabolism (which could have developed with time) was in charge until metabolism took over. Several stages may be distinguished in this transition.
Faith: "some form....must", "set of unkown chemical reactions that generated the RNA world","which could have developed". This sounds like uncertainty. Thus, faith. Faith in a belief == religion.

From Talkorigins again:

The first replicating molecules were most likely RNA
The common ancestor of all life probably used RNA as its genetic material.
The first cells must have been anaerobic
About a billion years later, a second photosystem (PS) evolved, probably from a duplication of the first photosystem.
I am an environmental consultant. A large part of my vocabulary is what we call "weasel words", such as indicative, possibly, probably, may be, likely. We use them to express varying degrees of uncertainty, and to reduce our liability. We use them when we know that Point A appears uncontaminated (based upon analyses completed on samples collected), and Point Z appears uncontaminated (based upon analyses completed on samples collected), and have to answer a question about Points B-Y, which lie between points A and Z.We are fairly certain that B-Y are clean, and have increasing certainty as the distance between A and Z decreases, but we do not know for sure. At this point, the evolution-based creation story has a well defined Point Z (natural selection), and good evidence for several other points (say M, N, P, S, T, V, Y). Good guesses and competing theories are in place for the remainder of the alphabet (including my personal favorite, where did the universe come from. A big bang. [laughter] A really big bang. Really really big. Or maybe it was a cyclical universe, constantly collapsing, expanding again, collapsing.....)

No-one knows with certainty. At this time, there is a some element of faith required to believe that the universe exists (no, I am not a philosopher, so don't go there), there was a primordial soup with a reducing atmosphere, that RNA-based life formed, and ultimately developed into the cell systems we see today. Twenty or forty years from now, I may very well have to retract much of the above, due to new developments in the field of abiotic chemistry. Maybe not.

Until you have conclusive evidence for every step of the process, I will maintain that there is some element of faith required to be certain that it actually happened. From my Alphabet analogy: even if you knew B-Z with a high degree of confidence, but were dependent on A, for which you had two theories (either or both of which could be wrong), you would know most of the alphabet, but would require some element of faith to refer to the entire alphabet as a body.

As a side note, an equivalently biased source as talk.origins, gives the impression that a reducing atmosphere is not a given. Unfortunately, I do not have time to look further into this, and would not trust any article which discusses evolution (or creation) without a careful review of the references to ensure that they were used in context, and received peer review.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

cool (none / 0) (#70)
by EricsTrip on Tue Nov 28, 2000 at 04:58:14 PM EST

Thank you for an intelligent reply.

I was actually referring to 'evolution' as the theory of organisms changing over time as a result of mutation and natural selection, but the problem I have is that you seem to lump abiogenesis with the theory of evolution, 'evolution' defined as mentioned above.

It sucks because now we have little to argue about all of a sudden :)

Now, I most likely know less than you do in that field, since my nerd background is solely computers, but what I think your objection is the fact that current scientific view of abiogenesis amounts to religion:

Faith: "some form....must", "set of unkown chemical reactions that generated the RNA world","which could have developed". This sounds like uncertainty. Thus, faith. Faith in a belief == religion.

So what I want to say is that scientific theory woulnd't be scientific if it didn't explain current observations and predict new ones. Self-replicating RNA is speculated to be as the original molecules that gave rise to life - I think that is consistent with current observations in the lab. That is the best scientific explanation of origin of self-replicating "things" on this planet. Maybe new evidence and discoveries will come into life, but throwing your hands up in the air and saying 'God did it' is not science. There is evidence that, well, RNA replicates itself. I would give you examples of simpler self-replicating molecules, but I'm ill-informed in that area. However, my point is that you will never have 100% certainty for the scientific explanation of abiogenesis, but it has always been the case in history that science has been able to explain what religion has labeled as 'God's Work' and instructed not to meddle in.

And even so, you know that subscribing to the theory of evolution in no way refutes a God as the creator of the universe. It's when people try to interpret Genesis literally that scientists start laughing. But that's getting way off topic.

[ Parent ]

Why argue? (none / 0) (#71)
by bigbird on Wed Nov 29, 2000 at 01:07:20 AM EST

Lets just be friemds :)

There will always be gaps. If I were to stretch my reasoning to a ridiculous extent, I am a priest in the cult of chemistry - I have not repeated Milliken's oil drop experiment, I have never seen an atom or comfirmed the molecular weight of a mol of carbon. I have to believe most of what I was told in class because I do not have a thousand lifetimes to confirm everything for myself.

There are several issues I do not really enjoy arguing - abortion, religion, and the issue of how the world began. They are all linked, strongly held beliefs which are hugely emotional, and no-one ever "wins" these types of discussions. Ever.

Too much is taught as fact in schools where I believe a degree of uncertainty should be stressed. My second year Cell Biology professor gave an entertaining series of lectures on the recent history of the cell membrane. What he was taught as facts about cellular evolution in high school was laughable today, by the time he reached college the theory was revised, and only slightly less amusing, ditto for when he was a grad student / postdoc, and finally, there was the current (or recent, now) theory. We are talking about dramatic changes to the theory here, with no reason to believe that new evidence will not cause further revision (which is the scientific method, as you pointed out). Natural selection depends upon abiogenesis, which depends upon the big bang (or alternate theory of your choice). I skipped a few steps, but to say that evolution is the way is to ignore some shaky foundations. Of course, to say that Jesus is the way requires faith, and may be considered totally irrational from a purely scientific viewpoint. Faith cannot be repeated on a laboratory benchtop.

it has always been the case in history that science has been able to explain what religion has labeled as 'God's Work' and instructed not to meddle in.
If you were to say "science has been able to propose a theory which could explain....", I would agree with you.
And even so, you know that subscribing to the theory of evolution in no way refutes a God as the creator of the universe.
I have had close friends who are Christians with whom I disagree on that very line of thought (hint - they agree with you). We don't bring it up much, because in the long run, it is not an issue that is worth arguing over - one of us is wrong, and the other is right, arguing repeatedly over it will not make a difference, and we wish to remain friends. It is not a central tenet of the faith, and those are about the only things that I will argue vigourously over. Everything else is for fun.

It has been interesting conversing with you to date - at first I feared you were a troll, and it was a pleasant surprise to read your latest reply.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

learn a little about logical & unreal Christians (none / 0) (#75)
by OuterHull on Fri Dec 01, 2000 at 06:04:22 PM EST

Trust me on this one - real Christians do not have any interest in forcing people to adopt their beliefs, as the entire point of Christianity is that I consciously choose to follow Jesus.

This is not the attitude I'm afraid of. My experience (rather limited I will admit) with fundamentalist Christian communities has been that there is no shortage of people who are willing to hate somebody just because they're not Christian; there's no shortage of people willing to accuse other Christians of being non-Christians just because they do not believe in their brand of Christianity; there's no shortage of people who "decided" I will go to hell (even though the last time I looked at Christianity, it was God's decision). These people do call themselves "real Christians". Saying "real Christian" versus "Christian" doesn't change anything. I guess you can say it's the interest of "unreal Christians" who are willing to do whatever it takes to convert me that I find troubling. They've existed for almost two millenia; they'll keep existing for rest of my days. Most (but not all) "practising" Christians I know have no objections with accepting the love of Jesus; they just have issues with sharing that love.

Also, using your definition of a real Christian, my concern then becomes: Is Stockwell Day a "real Christian"?

And even if "real Christians" aren't interested in converting me, I still have concerns about their interests in punishing me as a sinner.

Ironically, if I were to become Christian again, these same people would still hate me almost as much as they do now and would probably still say I'm not a Christian.

either you have faith that God is omnipresent, or you have faith that matter (the universe) spontaneously appeared.

A logical fallacy. Either you have faith that God is omnipresent or you do not. By omnipresent, I mean "everywhere present at the same time". I do not believe in an omnipresent God; I also do not believe that a deity of any sort created this universe. However, I do not have any reason to believe that the universe spontaneously appeared. Who is to say the universe had a beginning (or an "initial beginning")?

There are practitioners of major world religions that believe the universe is cyclic, that the universe (as we "know" it) is destroyed and recreated every so many years; I'm not sure what those religions say is the cause, if any, of this happening or exactly what the destruction and creation of the universe actually means. Just because I do not believe in one thing, that does not mean I have to believe in something else.

In short... I disbelieve the universe (as we "know" it) always existed. I disbelieve the universe (as we "know" it) was created by a "personal God". I disbelieve the universe (as we "know" it) spontaneously appeared.

[ Parent ]

I cannot speak to your fears (none / 0) (#78)
by bigbird on Fri Dec 01, 2000 at 10:53:28 PM EST

Sorry, but the behavior you are concerned about is not something I will defend in others, and I hope that I do not display it myself.One thing I really love about kuro5hin is that there are such diverse people, whose beliefs are so different from mine.I often do not agree with or understand some of their beliefs, but forcing others to change is not, and never will be on my to-do list. Look to Spain for an interesting history on changing religions - when the Moors invaded, the peasants became nominal Moslems,when the Moors were kicked back off the Iberian peninsula. everyone switched back to the religion of the conqueror of the day. IIRC, some land changed hands a lot, but I wonder what the people actually believed at any given time. It is easy to walk into the door of a particular building once per week, but calling enforced behavior a conversion is pointless. How can I force you to change what you believe? Answer: I cannot. Even though various regimes have demonstrated that torture shatters people to the point that they will say anything you want, and not even know what they believe, does it change beliefs. I doubt it. Would it count as a conversion by biblical standards? Hardly.

I do not understand other people's actions and motivations. To dislike someone, I generally have to observe an action or behavior which has a significantly negative impact on others. The action of certain "Christians" in many instances throughout history is somewhat embarrasing, from the crusades to the orphanage at Mount Cashel. Of course, the behavior of any other group can be similarly criticized, from other religions to humanity as a whole. As far as hatred of entire groups, please be specific, and do not expect me to be willing to defend or explain the actions of other individuals. Unless you wish to discuss my behavior, which you know almost nothing about, and my beliefs, of which you know only a little, it is not an issue I need to delve into.

Deciding who is a Chistian is not my job. All I can do is decide who I will associate with. As for "punishing you as a sinner" - get real. Everyone is a sinner by any definition I have seen in the bible. Including me. For sure.

With regard to the rest of your post, my statement was in reference to a specific creation / evolution issue - creation versus evolution as taught in schools was the concern in Kansas. I was not referring to other religions. On that basis, what is wrong with what another post already called dualism? You read too much into a statement because it did not refer to or include your particular belief.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

re: I cannot speak to your fears (none / 0) (#80)
by OuterHull on Sat Dec 02, 2000 at 04:50:42 PM EST

Sorry, but the behavior you are concerned about is not something I will defend in others, and I hope that I do not display it myself.

No need to be sorry. Defending the behavior I'm concerned with is no more your responsibility than it is mine.

I was trying to explain why some people (including me) have the fear they have of organized and politicized religion. You may not want to force your beliefs or way of life on me, but that doesn't mean all other Christians won't want to, including Stockwell Day.

Forcing people to "become" Christian is not something I would expect Stockwell Day to do; it's forcing his Christian views on others that scares many people. To illustrate, consider homosexuality... There's a difference between believing that marriage should be a heterosexual union and believing that the law should define marriage to be a heterosexual union. It's possible to believe the former but not the latter. Similarly, there's a difference in believing that two gay men and an adopted child do not constitute a family and believing that the law should reflect that by not letting gays adopt. There's a difference between having an opinion and trying to force that opinion on everybody else.

You read too much into a statement because it did not refer to or include your particular belief.

I did not read too much into your statement because it did not refer to my (dis)belief. I was trying to illustrate the flaw in your logic when you said, "either you have faith that God is omnipresent, or you have faith that matter (the universe) spontaneously appeared". It wasn't the exclusion that was relevant but your assertion that either one or the other possibility was the case. The easiest way to point out the fallacy was to provide counter-examples to your assertion.

On that basis, what is wrong with what another post already called dualism?

Nothing. I read it after I replied; however that post made a different point. In my response, even within the context of a dualistic logic system (Propositional logic: propositions are statements that are either true or false, but not both), your statement illustrated a logical fallacy*. That's why I suggested the statement "either you have faith that God is omnipresent or you do not". (My statement may not make sense, for example, if "faith" is something you can have some of and is not necessarily all or none.)

* specifically, "bifurcation", if I recall the term correctly. It's been a while since I saw or used that word.

In any case, I'm tired of politics... I will read any replies you post, but I'm not taking the time continue this thread.

[ Parent ]

Religion and politics (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by Erf on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 12:09:00 AM EST

I have nothing against a person believing in Creationism, even if he does stand a chance of becoming Prime Minister. What I do have a problem with is the idea that this man will let these beliefs govern his policy-making.

Now, anyone who says their beliefs don't affect their judgement is lying. And I do agree with Day's statement that the media is being hypocritical on this: they're hassling Day about his belief in Creationism, but not how many other potential PM's believe in the Virgin Birth (or was it Immaculate Conception that he mentioned? FYI, Virgin Birth and Immaculate Conception -- two different concepts -- are both basic Catholic dogma, and possibly dogma of Christianity in general, I'm not sure). Hell, he could be a Yogic Flier for all I care.

The problem I forsee is that science in Canada could suffer under a Creationist's reign. If he so firmly believes that the Bible is a complete scientific document containing everything we'd ever want to know about biology, physics, geology, astronomy, etc, he might see no reason to keep pouring so much money into science when it could be going into rich people's pockets.

I don't think Creationism is mentioned anywhere in the official CA platform documents, but the news has already uncovered several "private" documents that contradict the CA's public face...

Now, the fact that someone is a Creationist doesn't mean he's going to shut down science. That would be a very prejudicial point of view. But given what else we know of Day, it wouldn't surprise me to see.

-Erf.
...doin' the things a particle can...
[ Parent ]

Read My Lips (1.90 / 10) (#13)
by pwhysall on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 11:55:51 AM EST

No More Election Stories.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
But... (4.50 / 2) (#20)
by Phil the Canuck on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:06:49 PM EST

...this is a different election. One that will take 1(one) day to resolve. OK, it might go til after midnight if Doris can penetrate fortress Ontario, so maybe two.

If you're tired of Gush and Bore, fine. That doesn't mean that Canadians can't cover their own bloody election. No mis-punched ballots, no endless recounts, no lawsuits. No American litigation, Canadian democracy.

------

I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver
[ Parent ]

Why this is a bad idea (2.60 / 5) (#24)
by red on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 01:40:44 PM EST

Monetary costs aside, majority rule is not always the best way to go.

A system like this could create serious problems with regards to human rights (age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc). Just because a lot of people would like to persecute/disadvantage a minority of people, doesn't mean they should be able to.

And the Alliance hasn't even clearly spelled out the legal significance of these referendums. (Then again, this is the party willing to use the not-withstanding clause to turn over Supreme Court decisions they don't like - a bit scary when it comes to Human Rights)

Think about being on the sharp end of the stick here. You are part of a group whose rights are being threatened. By having these rights you hurt no one, and in fact are probably a more productive member of society. Why do a lot of people want to take these rights from you? Maybe they're scared of you because you're different, or they don't understand your situation - whatever the reason, should they have the right to take away your rights because they feel like it?

I sure as Hell hope not.

Red

election day (3.50 / 2) (#27)
by mikpos on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 04:36:34 PM EST

A system like this could create serious problems with regards to human rights (age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc). Just because a lot of people would like to persecute/disadvantage a minority of people, doesn't mean they should be able to.

To paraphrase Harry Browne, do voters somehow rise above themselves when they go to the voting booths? If 80% of people think that anemic people should be killed (I guess they got confused between anemics and caucasians, but they really hate white people all the same), does removing the ability to hold a referendum somehow prevent the same 80% from electing a majority government who promises to kill all anemics? You could argue that it would help a little bit (the assumption is that politicians are better educated on the issues and specific bills proposed), but I'm skeptical as to whether it would really lead to huge changes in legislation.

[ Parent ]

Read this (3.00 / 1) (#63)
by red on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 01:03:55 PM EST

Here's an article which explains why referendums are more trouble than they're worth better than I.

http://cbc.ca/election2000/diaries/omalley001121.html

Red



[ Parent ]
Better than dictatorial rule by PM (2.00 / 1) (#42)
by bigbird on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 02:17:43 AM EST

See the title. The office of the Prime Minister of Canada is a virtual dictatorship. Jean Chretien has spent the past 8-9 years doing whatever he feels like, because he can. The authority of the Governor General is limited to moral suasion, the Senate is toothless, and none of the backbenchers or even cabinet ministers dare oppose the PM. As for Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, they are ineffectual against a large government majority.

When people are concerned about referenda, it seems like they confuse restrictions to fundamental rights with restrictions to entitlements. An example of a referendum question which removes an entitlement would be one which asks:

"Do you support the removal of all affirmative action legislation and other forms of reverse discrimination within government?"
A question which removes a right would be:
"Do you support requiring all women to wear a veil in public?"
The first question could (and should, IMHO) pass. The second should not, and likely would not. The difference between the two is that the first does not restrict anyone or remove fundamental rights (it actually restores rights removed by affirmative action), while the second removes several basic rights.

As far as the notwithstanding clause, I do not believe in bogeymen. The clause has rarely been used, and requires exceptional circumstances to survive it's use past the next election. The activist Supreme Court has done a poor job of reflecting the beliefs of many ordinary Canadians (outside of the centre of the universe, T.O., anyways). The notwithstanding clause exists for the times when they cross the line. In the words of Juvenal, "Quid custodit ipsos custodes?". In the case of Canada, the notwithstanding clause, apparently.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Free Vote (none / 0) (#66)
by Tisniq on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 07:09:48 PM EST

Well the PM only has a dictatorship because YOU let him.
Free votes should be the norm.
Why don't you show up at the Candidate debates and ask your MP why they voted for/against this issue?


[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 0) (#68)
by bigbird on Sun Nov 26, 2000 at 11:39:36 PM EST

Yes, free votes should be the norm. Look at how many of the major parties have it in their platform. Free votes are mainly an issue outside of Ontario, as they would act to minimize the impact of legislation which is not wanted outside of the only place in Canada that matters (T.O.) - little things like the GST, the Softwood Lumber Agreement, bill C-68, and so on. It would make it a lot harder for government agendas to be passed, which is why people like the Liberal party oppose free votes. There is no requirement for MPs to vote the wishes of their constituents, and no history of free votes in Canada on any issues that actually matter.

In this country, being a member of the correct party (with the fundraising and advertising that you get as a member of a major party in election campaigns) means a lot more than what constituents want. A single meeting where you get a single question every four to five years is a pretty poor way to hold someone accountable. Referendums and recall of MPs would be a better idea. Again, as far as I know, only the CA has recall and citizen referendums in their platforms.

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

No bogeyman,but some things do go bump in the nite (none / 0) (#77)
by OuterHull on Fri Dec 01, 2000 at 07:10:11 PM EST

As far as the notwithstanding clause, I do not believe in bogeymen. The clause has rarely been used, and requires exceptional circumstances to survive it's use past the next election.

If this were just a Liberal accusation, I'd use the word "bogeyman" as well, but it's not. Didn't Stockwell Day or the CA say they would use it against biker gangs (I'm also worried about the language of that law), certain refugee applicants, and homosexuals?

The activist Supreme Court has done a poor job of reflecting the beliefs of many ordinary Canadians

It's not the Supreme Court's job to reflect the beliefs of Canadians. It's their job to follow the law and the Constitution guarantees certain equalities and freedoms to prevent the government from becoming too authoritarian. The Supreme Court ensures this will not happen. The notwithstanding clause can be used to legally over-ride those equalities and freedoms but just because it's rarely been used by other political parties doesn't mean it won't be used by a new political party that has already said on several occasions that it would be used. As I said, Stockwell Day (or other members of the CA) has already said they would use it in several specific circumstances. In addition they have a general statement in their Declaration of Policy:

Supremacy of Parliament

75. We believe that an independent judiciary is a vital bulwark of the freedom of Canadians against the exercise of arbitrary power by the state. However, we also believe it is the role of Parliament, not the courts, to debate and balance the conflicting rights inherent in developing public policy. Final responsibility for public policy must rest with Parliament instead of with unaccountable judges and human rights officials. We therefore affirm the legitimacy of the use of the Section 33 notwithstanding power in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in cases where a court ruling conflicts with the intent of Parliament and the will of the public.

What's the point in having those constitutional guarantees if, whenever they conflict with intent of Parliament and the will of the public, they're gonna be ignored? I thought that was the point to having some of those guarantees.

[ Parent ]

Notwithstanding (none / 0) (#79)
by bigbird on Sat Dec 02, 2000 at 12:00:36 PM EST

Bogeyman. Do not make allegations, provide direct quotes in context. Also, for a history of referendums which refutes your fears, look at Switzerland and California. I doubt people are that different in Canada, or any more likely to support radical propositions which remove freedoms. I am an ardent supporter of "freedoms", less so of "rights" which tend to be entitlements used in the promotion of political agendas (such as the right to health care. All I see is the right to waitlists, and hospital closures in BC).

It would be political suicide to use the notwithstanding clause without immense public support. If used, any law enacted under the clause is only valid for 5 years. Plus, one would hope that any referendum law ensured that only propositions which are constitutional and conform to the charter of Rights and Freedoms are allowed.

As far as using the notwithstanding clause in issues relating to homosexuals, you have taken a specific incident relating to a Christian school, Kings University College, and expanded it to support your argument. Use of the notwithstanding clause was discussed by the Alberta legislature to protect the freedom of association at Kings University College in Edmonton. If I want to pay to be taught by Christians, and be in a private institution with a code of conduct which excludes homosexuals, that is my choice. If it requires the notwithstanding clause to maintain freedom of association from intrusions by the courts and human rights boards, so be it. You may find the following conversation from a CBC interview to be of interest:

MESLEY: Yeah, but there is a big difference. That's a similarity. There is a big difference though because Liberals, or at least this Liberal government does try to protect the human rights of homosexuals and you had a problem with the way that it was drafted in the Alberta legislature.
DAY: No, no. There was a ruling made that was going to affect a religious institution, saying that religious institution would not be able to have their instructors follow a certain way of life. That particular religious institution said sex within marriage is what we teach within the institution.
MESLEY: Well do you believe that the rights of homosexual couples should be protected and they should have the same rights as other couples?
DAY: Oh, and they do.
MESLEY: And you believe that they should?
DAY: Absolutely. People have the freedom of choice to form relationships as they wish.
MESLEY: The signal, whether you think this is fair or not, the signal has been sent out to gay people that you are not tolerant of their lifestyles. Now just what do you say to gay people or to people who have...
DAY: To my many, to my, to gay friends and gay people that I have worked with down through the years, they know that I am a person of equality. A person who treats all people equally. And I think, frankly, the media should stop sending the signal out that has no basis in fact. And the people that I have worked with for years understand that. But when I say, I'll go back to this Wendy, when I say that I agree withe Liberal position that families should be defined in law heterosexually, why do you never quiz a Liberal on that? And that's their position. I say, yeah, I agree with that. And in the full range of human rights to all people, I absolutely support that. And I'm on record supporting that. But when a religious institution is told they have to accept anybody on their teaching staff, even if that person doesn't follow their way of, their way of instruction, that would be like, this has bearings, possible bearings on the Catholic church which happens to say if you want to be a Priest you can't be in a marital relationship. So I'm disqualified from being a Catholic Priest. And I think a Catholic Church should have the right to say if you're going to be a Priest you can't be married. I think they should have that right. And that was, this is a very clear point Wendy. That was the issue in Alberta, not an issue of denying human rights to people because of who they choose for partners. I have never gone there and never will.
There was also discussion of using the clause in Quebec to fight the biker gangs, starting in mid-September:.
But Quebec Public Security Minister Serge Menard said police and prosecutors need wider powers to deal with outlaw bikers and organized crime.

Menard has suggested that such powers would include invoking the Constitution's notwithstanding clause for a period of five years to make it illegal to belong to groups identified as criminal organizations. Bikers and their associates would also be subjected to property seizures and jail terms for their activity.

In late October, the issue entered the federal campaign:
However, he said, existing laws are adequate to deal with the warring gangs if only the government had the gumption to use them.

"There may be a time and a place to talk about the notwithstanding clause, but we have to have a policy of vigorously looking at the laws that are there and we're not getting that now from the present Liberal government," said Day.

Again, your fears are generally unfounded and taken out of context. Existing laws are good enough, but when was the last time you heard of the maximum sentence being handed down? The longest sentence handed down in Canada for killing someone while driving drunk is 10.5 years. The maximum under law is 15 years. The full sentence has never been handed down for killing someone intentionally in this manner (if you picked up your first drink voluntarily, you should be fully responsible for all subsequent actions).

bigbird

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16
[ Parent ]

Majority rule *is* the best way to go (none / 0) (#49)
by sparks on Sat Nov 18, 2000 at 10:08:28 AM EST

...as long as it doesn't infringe the rights of minorities anyway.

As Winston Churchill said, Democracy is "the worst possible system, except all the others".

[ Parent ]

Globe and Mail Article (3.33 / 3) (#25)
by red on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 02:47:59 PM EST

Here's an article for those of you interested on how the 22 minutes petition is going.



They have passed the required number. (4.00 / 6) (#26)
by x0dus on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 04:23:43 PM EST

According to this CBC article:
TORONTO - The CBC program This Hour Has 22 Minutes has surpassed the magic number of names in a satirical petition to force Alliance Leader Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris.

The petition, a lampoon of Alliance policy to hold referendums on issues if three per cent of voters- 395,244 signatures based on the last federal election's returns- agitated for one, had received approximately 420,000 votes by 2:00 pm ET Thursday.

"We demand that the government of Canada force Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris," reads the petition.

Comedian Rick Mercer said he wanted to show that any idiot could get enough names for a referendum under the Alliance policy and said he wanted to be the idiot to do it.

While on the topic of Mr. Day, please visit this page on IndyMedia.org. There you can find some of his more interesting quotes and policies. For example:
  • In 1994, Mr. Day advocated the death penalty for teenagers convicted of first-degree murder.
  • "Homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be cured by counselling."
  • Mr. Day was part of the Alberta Cabinet that decided to cut the Health Care Budget by over 30% while at the same time hiking up "premiums" so that "fees" paid by individuals to government were made to cover all the actual costs without resorting to any tax funds what so ever.
  • "Women who become pregnant through rape or incest should not qualify for government funded abortions unless their pregnancy is life-threatening."
  • "Standards of education are not set by government, but by God, the Bible, the home and the school."
  • Stockwell Day added he would eventually end all taxpayer financing of CBC television and eliminate all cultural subsidies to all cultural institutions and individuals.
Please remember that we do not live in a two party system. Just because you don't like the Liberals doesn't mean you have to vote for the Alliance.

Thank you for the link. (none / 0) (#33)
by Spook on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 06:21:46 PM EST

Thank you for the link to IndyMedia.org. Prior to the election I knew some of who Day is. I had hoped more of his past record and who Day really is would come out during campaigning. Day really would make a bad Prime Minister (or MP for that matter).



[ Parent ]

Quick Primer on Canadian Politics (2.66 / 3) (#32)
by Grum on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 04:49:59 PM EST

1) The candidates for the major political parties are:

a) Jean Chretien - Liberals (we actually have a party with that name!) - a caricature of a man, his outrrrrrageous accent and facial expressions are a comedian's wet dream, he's going for his 3rd term as Prime Minister

b) Stockwell Day - Canadian Alliance Party (who originally called themselves the Canadian Reform Alliance Party, or C.R.A.P....honest!) - as previously mentioned, as scary a right wing guy as you'll find in Canadian politics

c) Joe Clark - Progressive Conservatives (imagine the Republican party only having 2 members of Congress after Bush lost...that's what happened to the once powerful PC party) - this man was the Prime Minister of Canada for about 8 months, 20 years ago...so it's like Gerald Ford suddenly jumping up and saying "I want to be President again", and the Republicans saying "Okey-dokey!"

d) Alexa McDonough - New Democratic Party (once the perpetual 3rd party in Canada, and once controlled Ontario (sorta like the Green Party running California)), they are in shambles and are not even considered an official opposition party in Parliament) - somebody has to be the shrill voice of socialism

e) Gilles Duceppe - Bloc Quebecois (a party whose primary goal is to obtain independence for the province of Quebec, and will only campaign in Quebec) - I have no idea who this guy is...the previous leader of the party at least had the trivial fact of having lost a leg to the flesh-eating bacteria

2) We elect Members of Parliament (MP), instead of the Prime Minister directly. The party that has the majority of MPs elected, is then the government. The party with the 2nd most MPs becomes the official opposition, and any party that receives a certain percentage of MPs also gets to participate as the opposition in a lesser capacity.

3) Minority governments are common in Canadian politics. In fact, Joe Clark (see above) held the last minority government. He was quickly crushed by a non-confidence vote and the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Liberal) won the next election.

4) Whichever party wins the election is the government for a maximum of 5 years. But (and this is the interesting part) the government can call an election at ANY time during those 5 years. This is what is happening this year. The Liberals feel that their showing in the polls is strong (but slowly losing ground) so they have called an election this year to grab a quick win and hold on for another 5 years.

I hope that helps anyone that was confused by any of the previous discussions.

Grum

C.R.A.P. (none / 0) (#38)
by Erf on Thu Nov 16, 2000 at 11:41:41 PM EST

Nitpick: it was the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance, or CCRA. The media conveniently (and amusingly) added the word Party themselves, sort of like referring to the Liberal Party or the PC Party.

But of course, it's still funny. :)

-Erf.
...doin' the things a particle can...
[ Parent ]

C.R.A.P. (none / 0) (#82)
by Mr. Excitement on Sat Dec 23, 2000 at 09:17:58 PM EST

Reminds me of an old issue of Mad Magazine...

The organization in question called itself "Christian Rights Against Pornography", happily oblivious to the acronym it formed. :)

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
[ Parent ]

The latest Tally (2.00 / 1) (#57)
by red on Tue Nov 21, 2000 at 06:29:11 PM EST

As of Monday, November 20th the 22 Minutes petition had over 900,000 signatures. They stated that they would continue to collect signatures until it was enough (As Stockwell Day said that the original figure may be a little low)

Go Rick :)


Red

All we need.. (1.00 / 1) (#58)
by k5er on Wed Nov 22, 2000 at 11:58:39 AM EST

All we need is for Stockwell Day and Ralph Nader to run North America. That would be funny...there goes the continent!
Long live k5, down with CNN.
What an insult... (1.00 / 2) (#61)
by PenguinWrangler on Thu Nov 23, 2000 at 09:20:20 AM EST

to Doris Day, who made all those films with a gay co-star.

Actually, it is quite funny. Anything to mock horrible right-wing bastards is worth it...

"Information wants to be paid"
Only in Canada | 82 comments (74 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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