2011 Results

Conservative majority government, large NDP opposition party, devastated Liberal party and a vastly diminished Bloc presence (thanks to the NDP).

Thank you Quebec for collectively taking your heads out of your asses and actually voting for a Federal Party. I’m happy you’ve realized that voting Bloc really doesn’t further any agenda – not even your own. For all the passion and pride Duceppe had for Quebec, he was unable to do anything with the limited number of seats.

I am a bit disappointed that there is a majority, but it’ll save us from having another election in short time.

Message sent to the Liberals?

There are a number of interpretations.

1. Stop fucking us around with elections every couple of years. It’s clear you had a new front man and wanted to try again to see if he would be able to win it for you. (Yes, I realize there were other issues)

2. We don’t want arrogant people for our leaders. Be respectful – “neener neener” is not something we expect one Canadian leader to say to another. I don’t know how much Ignatief’s dismissal of Jack Layton and NDP during the debate hurt them. I do remember how devastated the PC Party was after mocking Cretien occurred.

There are probably a few others that I’m too tired to mention because I was up watching the results and waiting for Harper’s speech.

For the record, I didn’t vote Conservative. I voted for a party despite being in a riding that has voted Conservative several years in a row.

I have to agree with some of what Ken says over here.

Crazy Times

Lots of news.

Osama dead. Good. It was a clear act of cowardice that he targeted innocents and worse, used other people’s beliefs to do what he wouldn’t do himself. If he would have done it, do you think he’d have stayed hiding away for so long?

Canada Election Day. I’m still not sure. Fortunately it won’t stifle the TV shows I usually watch tonight, but you can rest assured I’ll be watching.. or at least have it on the TV while I’m at the computer. I’m having a hard time with this one. I don’t think the lack of communication, openness and accountability of the current government warrants a majority for that party, but on the other hand, if someone doesn’t walk away with a majority, we could be facing another election. My other options likely lead to higher taxation – I’m already having to hand over about half my income in taxes. We have provincial and HST/GST or whatever the fuck it is ST (sales tax). I don’t need another tax – really. We’ve already got a Political Stupidity Tax – which we eat every time there is another election. Grr…

Castle looks like it’ll be good tonight. Swimsuits help. I’m curious as to why they’re changing locales and are they bringing the rest of the crew? Esposito and Ryan, I’ll miss you! /manlove I’m guessing more information on Beckett’s mom’s case. Or maybe they’re going over there for Ryan’s wedding and something comes up? It’ll be on right after the Election stuff so I’ll be watching it for sure.

WoW stuff is going. Smaken is geared up to 347 so he can start queuing up for the troll instances. I ate through all of my heroic randoms on the weekend – and wife faction too. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again anytime soon. I did managed to work through Zul’Gurub with a guild group. That was good fun. Did a bit of Zul’Aman with a guild group as well, but didn’t finish because people had to crash for the night.

For the Heroics, my DPS is rocking 13-17k on heroic bosses. I admit I carried a group through GB, well, me and the Paladin healer. They were either speaking Italian or Spanish and were REALLY slow to move or pull. And the tank (a Gnome) would bitch if you didn’t loot a corpse that was skinnable and hop up and down until you did. We got to the last boss and had one attempt in. Amazingly, we wiped but we got further than I thought. We got to the second phase of adds which released some whelps – our healer healed through them. On the third add phase we didn’t get one of the adds down before it healed. Really, there was only so much I could do when the next DPS is doing 7k and 6k to my 14k.

I love Marksman spec.

I almost brought him to raid instead of Kremus, but I’m going to hold off. I mentioned I was switching in the Guild Meeting, but I don’t think people believed me. That’s what you get for being a prankster.

Raid was good. We downed Atramedes but struggled with Chimaeron. That’s a tough fight to heal and we put our Guild Leader on the spot to switch to Resto Druid spec. He is usually Feral Tank/Boomkin so he didn’t really have the gear, enchants, gems or reforges for healing. Still, he did surprisingly well. (nerf durids!) We’re going to be looking at the Council raid in Bastion of Twilight on Tuesday.

I played some of my Druid with my son’s DK. Then we made Trolls – the whole Jamaican shtick stuck with the LBO. This morning he was ending every sentence with, “mon.” Yay. Then we made Goblins, again. He really likes driving around the goblin town running over citizens. Yes, it worries me.

For reading, I’m 200 pages into Horus Rising, part of a Warhammer 40k novel series of The Horus Heresy. I’m actually quite impressed. The reading seems more mature than what I’d expect from novels based off a game system – I’d say it’s written a cut above Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms type novels – even though DL, FR and Eberon novels have great stories, the writing is a bit more common and accessible. I’m enjoying it so far.

Leaders Debate 2011

Wow.

I’ll go over a couple of highlights, paraphrasing mostly.

Liberals

Ignatief to Layton, “At least we have been in power” – well neener neener Jack Layton! There’s my side of the debate. Despite the many good answers he had, the one thing that stuck with me was his ‘neener neener – we’ve been in power recently’ statement. Oh, that and some of the items he was pushing we things the Conservatives have already done.

The thought of raising corporate taxes is scary (given that I work for a corporation) but having seen how much other countries tax corporations, I know we could bump it up to 18% and still be far more competitive the several other major countries. But there was no talk of tax relief other than things that are already in place – subsidies for renovations to make our homes more green? It’s already in place. I am curious about this School Pass item mentioned.

One point he brought up continually was the plans for budgeting money for ‘jets’ and prisons. I won’t talk to prisons yet because I can’t fathom how he can be so against budgeting for military upgrades, like “jets.” Not budgeting for upgrades (or updates) to our military’s equipment is forcing our military (fathers/mothers, uncles/aunts, brothers/sisters, and sons/daughter) to do their job with aged equipment. And when your job deals directly with situations involving death – do you really want them flying around in vehicles that are nearing the end of their life expectancy?

We need to plan for these things. Ignatief suggested we put out a competitive demand for the vehicles – no kidding. That should be done, but you still need to budget and plan on how much you can spend. You don’t say, “We want to buy jets… but don’t know where we we’re going to get the money for it because we haven’t planned for it. Let’s talk cost then we’ll try to raise the money for it.” Where do you think that money will come from? Either more taxes or digging a deeper deficit.

Remember, these aren’t obscure people fighting for your freedom – they are fellow Canadians. Family members of yours or your friends or neighbors (currently fighting for freedom and peace outside of Canada). I’d rather see money going towards keeping them safe and well equipped than funding language police in Quebec or being wasted on gun registries that govern types of guns rarely used in crimes.

Prisons. I agree that there should be better systems in place to prevent crime, education and rehabilitation being main areas to improve this. Citing that most of the offenders didn’t have high school diplomas was interesting but the real question is – why didn’t they? Is it something Canada could change? Knowing several of the kids that dropped out of High School or turned towards crime – no, I don’t think it was something the government could handle unless they adjusted our education system and allowed it to be more flexible.

NDP

Layton on healthcare, shortage of doctors, “We will implement more doctors…” – seriously? I thought they took years of education, internship and a certain type of person willing and capable to do the remarkable things doctors do. They’re not something you ‘implement’. This isn’t a software service solution – these are highly trained and educated people. Another beauty was calling out how the Bloc has 17 seats while the Green Party has none, yet the Green Party had almost as many votes as the Bloc – why does our election system work this way?

Well, Mr. Layton, the Conservatives held a referendum to get this changed years ago but Canadians foolishly voted it down. Where was your voice and your party’s efforts in backing the Conservatives and ensuring the proper message of what this change was got out to the voters? You ducked behind the Conservatives and let them take the bullets of ignorance and fear over ‘making this country in the U.S.’. Really, that was one of the overarching tones of being against the election changes. You did nothing to clear that up then, but now you’re complaining?

Most of the ones I talked to didn’t understand it so they went with the status quo. Worse were the ones that wanted the new system but didn’t understand that it was exactly what they wanted. It really was sad.

I agree with Harper when he suggested you cannot just set metrics for green action without planning for how to meet this metrics. I love your ideals, but there is little substance behind them. They’re ideals, not plans or measures to implement them. On the other hand, he’s looking to implement people – how do you ‘implement’ doctors? Maybe they could help the Liberals implement teachers to sort out the School Pass idea.

I think his heart is in the right place but can’t help but feel he lacks the means or know how. Now, it might not be fair to suggest he needs to know everything – that’s why you have ministers of various areas.

Conservatives

Harper.. I can’t really quote anything from him *half-grin*. He did his best *smile* to keep his nose clean and *grin* stick to the message of his *smirk* party. Even if he hasn’t learned when *smile* to slip a smile into a *smile-no-wait-no-smile* his dialog, er, I mean *grin* defense.

Because it was like his government was on trial – it was a debate, not a hearing. The questions often got lost as which ever candidate was talking attempted to smear the current government.

To be fair, the Conservatives upset a Liberal party majority that was getting away with far too much and platformed on accountability. We haven’t seen so much of that yet from the Conservatives. This wasn’t quite a point brought up in a tangible fashion.

I did think they defended themselves well enough, but still wish there was data backing their defense and even the attacks against them – more so the attacks against them. If the others had valid points, they needed to qualify them because they were getting lost on the fact that Harper was a target.

“Okay, this question is up for one on one debate between Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatief. Roll the tape for the question.”

This was followed up with more negative comments about Harper and the Conservatives. Why wasn’t this an actual debate between NDP and Liberal viewpoints? Harper and the Conservatives weren’t part of the question – the question was how would YOU address it. The mudslinging made you (other) parties look bad, petty even, and gave Harper the opportunity to turn the other cheek or show himself as being a better man.

You handed him this.

When asked about Immigration, Layton couldn’t help but sling mud at the Conservatives. Instead of saying, “We recognition there is a significant backlog of immigration applications and here are our plans to improve this process to ensure Canada brings in good people and their families in a timely, cost effective way,” he went on the attack, looking for pity and sympathy for immigrants who are waiting for the rest of their families to be allowed to join them. Yes, it’s sad… what are YOU going to do about it? Details.

Bloc

Duccepe? Again. I don’t understand why he was there. I can’t vote for him and his agenda is to milk Canada for all he can, directing those tax dollars towards Quebec until he can somehow managed to tear Quebec out of Canada … while still getting federal funding. His party has some pretty awesome plans… just for Quebec only. Instead he played the role of the devil who’s made deals with each and every party member.

For the record, when I mention ‘candidate’ in this post, I exclude Duceppe and May. Again, Duceppe can only be voted for in Quebec so there is no way in hell he can be Prime Minister unless the rest of Canada simply doesn’t vote.. May is excluded from ‘candidate’ only because she wasn’t present for the debate and I’m discussing the debate.

General

I was pleased to see the candidates appeared to be against coalitions working over existing minority governments. Even though Harper pointed out the wording used implied the Liberals would go this route. On the other hand, the other parties made it sound like Harper (and the Conservatives) were refusing to compromise with the other parties on some of their items. Though he said he did.

While no one directly said the other was lying, they did point out that most of what was said wasn’t the truth.

So what do you believe? What can you believe? No one really provided any evidence of anything they claimed. Can you believe any of it or was it all just a waste of time?

I think it was rather ineffective and next time, candidates should be allowed to prepare and bring data forward. Back up what they’re saying with hard data and not hearsay or, in some cases, incoherent rambling and clever double speak.

Or maybe our candidates are ineffective?

Clearly our system is ineffective or out of balance. Two out of three candidates appear to agree – I couldn’t really see where the Liberals stood on that regard but I think they stood to benefit from overall votes. I know in my riding, it was pretty damn tight.

Again, I’m excluding Duceppe. It’s clear that if we moved to a system that tallied total votes, his party wouldn’t have much of a voice.

I’m not sure which way I’m going to vote this year. Obviously, I can’t vote Bloc. I don’t like Ignatief’s less than humble (and somewhat childish) attitude. Layton has great ideas for Canada, but not a whole lot in the way of plans. Harper hasn’t shown the firm accountability he promised during the first election. Did he word it as “other parties and governments other than our own”? And I haven’t the slightest idea of where or how May would have presented herself or represented her party on the various topics.

Sad thing is, I don’t feel I can spoil the ballot.

Election Results and Desktops…

… weren’t really all that surprising but the actual numbers, when you look at them and think about it, should raise questions about how elections work in Canada. Darin says it best over here.

End result is that we have another Conservative minority government.

I admit, I was unsure of who to vote for until I got the the voting station. I eyed the list and asked myself if how I’d feel if each of the parties were elected – I don’t tend to focus on the representative because my issues are mainly with the platforms of certain partiers.

I also admit I voted Conservative (and that representative got in) but I don’t feel a sense of “WOOOO! Conservatives won!”. It’s more of a… well, those others didn’t really win.

I’ll leave it at that and hope things work out.

So what am I talking about when it comes to desktops?

Well, there is a site I hit up when ever I feel my desktop wallpaper isn’t doing it for me. It has a ton of wallpapers – work safe ones at that – so I swap my desktop regularly. I spotted one and just had to grab it… and share it too.

Why?

Because it’s as awesome as I am.

New Democratic Party (a.k.a NDP)…

… my biggest worry here is that they seem to be anti-large corporation. They seem down on large banks and big companies. Now maybe a lot of that is from their apparent dislike of Canada’s resources being exploited so maybe it’s directed more at the oil companies and banks, but I’m not hearing a whole lot of information from them with regards from high tech.

I hear a lot about the everything else. This is going to be a party whose plan I’ll actually have to read through because I do like a lot of what they have to say. But I’m worried about where they’re going to get the money for this.

Raising my taxes? Raising taxes against the company I work for? Fortunately, the company I work for is very ‘green’ and actually has ‘green’ office buildings all over the world. But still, will the NDP increase taxes despite that? To the point where they will move to other countries to do business?

I’m not all that worried about finding another job because after, almost, 11 years of working in high tech for who I’ve been working for with my hand in as many products as I have, I shouldn’t have a hard time. The worry comes from the unknown. Will I have to look for another job? Will I have to move? I really like working where I am now and I have to admit, I’d miss it.

Either way, I’ll be reading the NDP plan to see how it suits me. Here are the videos to The National’s interview with Jack Layton, Leader of the NDP. I have to admit, I like that Peter Mansbridge is questioning them and not giving them a lot of wiggle room.

Green Party…

… sounds pretty reasonable until I hear May suggest that Canada’s worst threat is the climate and she will be removing the term ‘Defense’ from the military.

One thought on that is: what happens when things change and some one else does become a threat?

I’m currently running checking out The National’s coverage of the leaders. In truth, it’s far better than the debate was so far.

I’ll check out the other two they have up there next. The have one for the NDP and Jack Layton and one, recent one, for the Liberals and Dion (which doesn’t appear to be up yet).

There was another video about the debate and examining the points. As expected, most leaders focused on bits and pieces of the truth that suited their ends. Although, they were mostly honest in their defenses… apparently.

Politics…

I was reading up on a friend’s blog about why he’s not voting Conservative (Canadian politics folks, not U.S.). He’s got a lot of good reasons and I know they’re not the typical blind zealotry you’ll see from people that are Liberals or… NDP.. or… well, that’s about it right now.  We have several other parties that are represented but they don’t have candidates in all the ridings.

Anyway, I’m actually really curious about these sorts of things too because I went Conservative last couple of elections where I was Liberal before. I’m not hard core for any one party and I’ll go over why below.

I watched most of the Canadian debate last night and finished up the parts I missed this morning (yay technology) and after having watched it, I was left more undecided (if that is possible) than I was before I watched it. There were so many contradictions, lots of finger pointing, flaming (as in cheap shots) and statements without fact or even half statements being made to prove a point while disregarding the rest of the numbers.

I like a lot of aspects of the various parties.

Green Party – I liked how May represented her party. There was minimal childishness from her and, ultimately, it sounds like her party didn’t really have a lot of difference from Liberal and NDP. On comment that raised an eyebrow was with regards to the increase in violent crimes. She said it wasn’t as bad as people thought and said the media made it seem worse than it was. All other leaders there said otherwise. Was this something she missed? Was she right and the others were wrong simply agreeing that the issue was an issue because it mattered to someone that was voting?

Bloq – Duceppe was easier to understand and more direct than Dion was but ultimately, as he said himself, he’s not going to be Prime Minister and three other leaders weren’t going to be either. Which raises the question of why he was there? To represent Quebec? Okay, but if he’s not going to be PM then why does he need a national stage? If anything, I think his presence took away from the debate. A lot of things that were said were repeated by him. He was answering questions on what their plan was but admitted he wasn’t going to be PM. It doesn’t really make sense.

NDP – Pulled on the heartstrings. If things were as bad as Layton made it sound, Canada wouldn’t be as awesome a place to live as it is. That said, he did have a lot of good things to say and I do like a lot of his ideas. The failing is if you continue to think it through. He was tossing money around like there was no end to it. Money for manufacturing, arts, education, health, doctors, and so on. Where is this money going to come from? The tax payer most likely. He mentioned not giving tax breaks to large corporations and banks, and maybe there is something to that assuming they don’t pack up their shops and move to India or China where labor is cheaper.

You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t seem too keen on that because I work for an American company here in Canada, as does my wife. If you tax them to the point where it is cheaper to go elsewhere, you’re impacting a whole other type of worker.

May had some interesting comments about protecting Canadian companies from buyouts, but you have to be careful here and not save a company that can’t stand on its own two feet.

That’s something I didn’t hear much talk about. What plan is in place for encouraging Canadians to buy Canadian product? What measures are in place to ensure we’re getting quality as well? There have been numerous recalls on products created elsewhere and several of them were health related.

Even the thought of “Buy Canada”, the idea of the Canadian government contracting Canadian companies instead of going with less expensive companies from other countries is a nice idea (I believe it was Duceppe’s originally but the NDP, Liberals and Green parties all jumped on board), but that means everything would be more expensive for the government.

Again, where is that money coming from? Tax payers?

Part of me is thinking, “Maybe I should go NDP and see if they really can make Canada super awesome place to live in where you don’t have to pay for healthcare, they’ll feed you UI, protect your jobs, help single mothers, help aboriginals, decrease crime, get guns off the streets, increase the police forces, increase education, encourage more doctors (well, for 10 years at least), create more jobs, invest in manufacturing, and a bunch of other things without raising taxes…”

I’ve got a feeling if they got into power they’d realize that most of what they’re promising simply couldn’t happen as easily as they think.

My ideal government would be one where all the parties get their say and to work issues together rather than against each other. I realize that is sort of how things are supposed to work, but at the moment it seems each party just wants to get into power so they can push their own agenda (Jack Layton of the NDP claims he will work with all groups but with they work with him?).

Each group seems to have good ideas, but it’s hard to buy into their whole plan for any of the parties.

Argh… off to a meeting that runs from lunch until 4pm in the afternoon…

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