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View Diary: BREAKING: Canadian Government Falls (updated with poll) (243 comments)

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  •  You know nothing (4.00)
    As an American who has lived for 35 years in Canada (and griped about taxes), I have to say that you know nothing. I make half the after tax salary of people at my (very high) level of performance and achievement in the United States, and I live twice as well.  I would have to make easily 300 grand to live as well in anyplace besides Evansville IN as I do on half that amount here.

    I live in a city of two million people where coming into December we have had less than 30 murders.  I don't worry about walking around at 2:00 am (I'm a little too old for this, but my student's aren't). My property downtown where in the US the violence would make it worthless is worth a bundle of millions of dollars -- and I started out witih nothing.  Give me a break on your taxes.

    Did I mention not having to worry about being bankrupted by a medical deficiency?

    Go back home.  Enjoy.

    •  Did you read my posts? (none)

      I don't mind the higher taxes for healthcare.

      Canada has a budget surplus. And what are the Liberals doing with it? The latest is <strike>bribing</strike> spending $2billion towards victims of priest molestation.

      •  I've read them, and they're still foolish (none)
        1. Most of the payments you're talking about are either small ($2.5 mln, come on), or reflect actual Canadian mainstream opinion (the Native peoples pretty clearly WERE screwed by the residential school system). While I agree the museum item is vote buying, the native schools thing pretty clearly isn't -- First Nations make up a tiny percentage of the Canadian population spread out over many, many ridings.

        2. These are one-time payments. Unless they're truly enormous, which these aren't, one-time payments aren't usually budget breakers. It's continuing commitments that get you. On the residential schools issue, there's a perfectly credible argument to be made that it's better simply to settle up now and avoid many years of expensive litigation and more-or-less fruitless political arguments.

        3. I'm willing to accept that the perhaps the money would have been better spent on capital projects such as schools and hospital improvements. This is pretty much what the NDP was adovcating.

        4. While I'm not a Liberal (long-time NDP supporter), attempting to paint the grits as radicals in the Canadian context is belly-laugh funny. You're attempt to justify it with "They're not moderate in their pandering" just sound like whining in context. As for the Sharia thing, it had to do with alternative dispute resolution, to which both parties would have to agree, for civil disputes. It was controversial because some of the people who were advocating it wanted it available on family-status issues, which would put women at a disadvantage.

        In the future, everyone will have a blog, and none of them will be read. My unread blog will be Symmachus

        by gracchus on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 09:15:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  adsf (none)
          1. That $2.5 million is just an example. Then there's the 12.5mill going to the Chinese:

          And do you want more examples from a person who's been observing them with disgust for only 2 years?

          How's this one?

          4.3billion to the Native Canadians?

          I'm sorry, but since I pay taxes here, it stings to watch it wasted this way to buy votes for Paul Martin.

          1. I know the budget isn't being "broken". I know Canada has a surplus. My objection to the whole thing is that the Liberals or the even further left-wing aren't positive examples to look upto.

          2. No argument there.

          3. I'm saying the Liberals are wasteful, corrupt and to an outside observer like me, no better than Harper's conservatives. I, as an American, hope that the Democratic party doesn't ever turn this rotten. These Liberals would sell their own mother to buy a vote.

          And their blocking of the Arar enquiry is plain and simple shameful.
          •  Are you a bigot? (none)
            I do see a thread running through your comments though: you're against ANY spending by Canada to redress its racist past. ALL of the things you mention are do with either symbolic (Italian museum, Chinese payment) or substantive (Native reparations). If the Japanese hadn't settled out some years ago, I suspect you'ud be against that, too.

            With the exception of the far right wing, there's pretty much a consensus in Canada about the need to make amends, including payments. This doesn't make the Liberals far-left (and the NDP in world social democratic party terms ain't radical, either) The fact that the U.S. hasn't taken this route doesn't make Canada radically left wing.

            On the native payments you're just wrong. There's almost no votes to buy there.(have you read ANYTHING I wrote on that point?). An appeal to the small-l liberals in Canada perhaps, but that's not vote buying, in any conventional sense. You may disagree with the payments, but I think in this case it says troubling things about your priorities.

            On the Chinese, the issue is more complicated because that's a sizeable urban constituency in play, but the Chinese WERE victims of atrocious racism, much of it official, for more than a century through the late 1960s, when the last racist legislation was finally rescinded. And again, the amount is small.

            Very little of your tax money actually goes to these one-time payments. And making them doesn't make the Liberals corrupt. Ending them wouldn't provide any permanent tax savings (maybe a one-time refund) Your objections, however, make you sound like Archie Bunker, rather than a liberal. I'd rather spend the money fancy medical equipment: there's little evidence that CAT and PET scans actually improve medical outcomes, but it would close down one of the rightwing arguments in the States against the Canadian system.  

            In the future, everyone will have a blog, and none of them will be read. My unread blog will be Symmachus

            by gracchus on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:54:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah-- the "B" word (none)

              That's fine, I accept that as the cost of being a realist.

              IMO, when there is a surplus, the government should be either helping the middle class in forms of tax breaks or putting that money into programs which would increase middle class income and enable them to generate more income and therefore, more taxes.

              I understand 25 million is "piddling". I understand 2billion isn't that big either but it is the principle of the matter, not the amount. Payouts just days before a no-confidence vote?? That's like Bush pardoning Libby at the 11th hour of his last day.

              And you are right, my priorities are to improving the present and the future. In Canada, a nation of immigrants, why should a new immigrant, working long hard hours owe anything to someone he never wronged?

              Instead of labelling me a bigot, I suggest, you do something about your Liberal party and examine their failure in the Arar matter and their failure in the prosecution of the 1983 Air India bombing. In 20 years, they'll be paying handouts as compensation to the descendants of these people also, trying to look good before a no-confidence motion.

              If you think I support the Conservatives -- I don't. By instinct I'm turned off of them. But I don't think the Liberals here are the ideal of how the right-wing should be opposed.

              •  Not it's not at all like Bush pardoning Libby. (none)
                In fact that's an extremely foolish analogy. Libby has actually done something wrong. The only crimes comitted here are the ones done by prior governments (mainly Liberal governments, for that matter).

                Tax breaks are ongoing expenses, as are new programs. These are both ONGOING costs which will cost money for years, unlike the one-time payouts the Liberals have proposed. If you said the government should spend the money buying the high-tech scanners Americans are so enamored of. That at least, would be a one-time capital expense (until they have to be replaced of course, and then there's operating costs, but for these purposes, it's a one time expense.)

                As for Air India. 1. The Liberals didn't fail to prosecute; the government DID prosecute and the prosecution failed, i.e. a jury acquited. Maybe you think the prosecution was incompetent, but that's more of a matter for the RCMP and the crown prosecution service. 2. What on earth does that have to do with ANYTHING? Unless you think there was a political decision to deliberately do a bad job on the prosecution, why on earth is this relevant? This strikes me as you grasping at straws. It's not a valid argument.

                All nations are commonwealths that stretch across time; in immigrating you bind yourself not only to the current nation but to its past, for better and worse. I wasn't born in Canada, but I'm willing to accept the burdens of the nation's past as part of the burden of being Canadian. It's this sort of fellow feeling that keeps nations together, ESPECIALLY fractious immigrant nations like Canada.

                As I said above, I'm not a Liberal supporter. I just think your grounds for attack are specious. And anyone who calls the Liberals radical leftists is unlikely to be any kind of small-L liberal.

                In the future, everyone will have a blog, and none of them will be read. My unread blog will be Symmachus

                by gracchus on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 07:44:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  There's something that is awful trollish (none)
            about your comments. I mean you act as if vote buying is a unique invention of the Liberal Party. You don't think the GOP does it down here? Or the Democratic Party for that matter? Indeed, I'm quite sure they do it much worse. You've heard of "pork barrel spending," right? Thats what Congress is pretty much all about.

            The only reason you know so much about it because the media has focused a lot on it because of the Gomery scandal and the fact the Conservatives have focused relentlessly on it as a means of making political hay.

            Your attitude strikes me as astoundingly myopic and selfish.

          •  The kind of arguments (none)
            you are advancing remind a lot of the kind of fodder right wing radio throws out. Focusing on "wasteful" spending, which as gracchus notes, shows an ignorance of government finance. Anything not approaching a 100 million dollars is piddling, esp. if its a one time pay out.

            Luckily, opinion polls seem to suggest most Canadians don't share your views.

            •  My views (none)
              Are as an external observer, as someone who's only relationship with Canada is paying 15% sales tax and high income taxes. But I didn't mind till I saw this blatant corruption.

              I came to Canada thinking how great this country is and it is! But the Liberals here are amazingly corrupt. The Gomery scandal really exposed outright corruption. And then you have these blatant vote buying compensation deals 2 days before the no-confidence vote.

              Your "piddling" comment reminds me of wingnuts back home saying "200 billion is a small price to pay for freedom".

              Why is 200 mill here, 2 billion there, "piddling"? What if the Conservatives start doing the same? Or the Bloc in QC? If you support Liberals, don't you value a high moral conduct from them? Even if some of these payouts were justified, there is no appearance of propriety in them.

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