Companies would be forced to justify why their prices are higher in Canada than in the United States or face naming and shaming under federal legislation introduced Tuesday — a move some critics called misguided.
Industry Minister James Moore said the aim is to protect Canadian consumers, not regulate prices.
Naturally. Regulating is a bad thing. Browbeating is something else entirely.
Paul Martin’s government employed 452 people as “exempt” ministerial aides, advisors and other staff in 2005. This year, that number has swollen to 549 bodies on the public payroll.
The increase in exempt staffing is even sharper in the Prime Minister’s Office.
In 2005, it took 68 exempt staff to run Martin’s PMO. This year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s command-and-control centre employs 94 people — 38 per cent more than Martin’s, according to the figures provided by Treasury Board Secretariat.
Given the size of the federal government, which directly and indirectly employs hundreds of thousands of people, these are trivial numbers. One could fire the whole of the PMO tomorrow and the budget makers over at finance would hardly notice. The author of the piece is also Glen McGregor, who has spent years throwing brickbats at the Tories. This is a symbolic thing but symbolic things matter too.
There is a logic inherent to government: Either it shrinks or it grows, it cannot simply stand still. Like weeds if you're not actively uprooting and spraying they will always come back. There is always one more crisis, one more pressing need, that requires the careful attentions of the state. Once the principle is established that the state should be the mother, father and rich uncle to the nation there is no real practical limit to how big government can get, except how much it can extract from capital markets in the short-term and taxpayers in the long-run.
This is the basic problem with political centrism. It's never the same thing for more than a moment. There is a tendency to lean one way or another, no matter how carefully balanced your political ideas or strategy might be. Since it is always more popular to spend than to curtail, the slant is toward more government. I suspect that many Harper Tories thought they could enter power and manage Leviathan in a modestly conservative way. Thing is that a party doesn't manage governments in this day and age, the government manages the party. Unless there is a conscious will for deep reform the inertia of bigger government triumphs.
I spent years in the Conservative movement because I believed in what it claimed to support; economic competition to create good jobs, ending corporate welfare and I believed good fiscal management was an absolute necessity. I loathed communism and I have always hated undemocratic institutions like the Senate. I support a strong military and believe our veterans should be cared for when they come home broken from combat. Most of all, I was a Conservative because defending the rural communities and the way of life that I cherish meant everything to me.
It still does.
I joined the NDP because I still hold all of those beliefs but now realize they will never be achieved in today's Conservative or Liberal parties.
Both represent corporate socialism for the multinationals including $34 billion a year for fossil fuel subsidies according to the IMF. The NDP opposes it.
There's your term for the day: "Corporate Socialism." Ethan Rabidoux is quite right, the Liberals and Conservatives do support, regardless of rhetoric, good old fashioned corporate socialism. This is something the NDP opposes. That's because they want the qualifier removed. The Left and Right of Canadian politics want to continue with the partial socialization of Canadian life, are we really to believe that the NDP isn't still really, trully, in favour of going the whole nine yards?
As the article goes onto note Thomas Mulcair sat in the cabinet of Jean Charest, who once upon a time sat in the cabinet of Brian Mulroney. So yeah they're all part of the delicious gooey center of the chocolate chip cookie that is Canadian politics. But beyond the gooey center there are some burnt dark bits that it would be advisable to break off first.
I'm sure that Angry Tom is as placid as a mewing kitten when it comes to ideological questions. But Tommy's Deputy Leader is Libby Davies, a woman who makes Rosa Luxemburg seem like Nancy Reagan. There are certain things we should just say no to. An NDP government is certainly one of them. Beneath the smiling Laytons, the reasonable Mulcairs and the bright young things in orange scarves there is still the old syndicalist Tommy Douglas quoting party.
A New York man has pleaded guilty to selling fake artworks he claimed were created by such artists as Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning.
John Re, 54, of East Hampton admitted scamming art buyers out of $2.5 million (£1.6m) over nine years, some of which he used to buy a submarine.
How could you tell if this is a fake? Or this? Perhaps one of the squiggles was slightly off. There is a wonderfully meta aspect to the story. A high-end conman like Pollock being used by a mid-ranged conman like John Re. The latter, however, at least had the decency of merely trying to defraud rich fools. Pollock's crimes against art are of far greater consequence.
America and Canada gave the world two very different ways of achieving independence, for a world composed largely of colonies. Four of the six continents were colonized by European powers, 103 countries in all, and another 20-odd countries in Asia. Of them, 52 countries followed the Canadian model of a peaceful road to independence (forgetting the Irish and the unpleasantness in South Africa), as did another 20 former French colonies. Most of the remaining countries, especially in Latin America, followed the American example of a violent revolution to overthrow their colonial masters.
The world had thus two models to choose from, and the lucky ones picked that of Canada. For those unhappy countries which thought that independence must be won by generals on horseback, the military became a political player, one that regularly assumed the reins of power when democracy seemed messy. That wasn’t so much a worry in countries which followed the peaceful Canadian example. The only man on horseback in Canadian history was that idiotic popinjay, Sir Francis Bond Head, in 1837.
Finally. Someone who hates Sir Francis Bond Head as much as I do. F.H. Buckley's deeper point is that Canada's success is in no small part due to our institutional strengths. If America has succeeded in spite of its political set-up, Canada has succeeded at least in part because of ours. The Westminster style of Parliamentary government is more flexible at correcting mistakes. America's system of checks and balances produces not so much a limitation of governmental power, but a transfer of effective power from the legislature to a permanent corps of lobbyists and bureaucrats. Since decisions must be made they wind up being made by people who are not responsible, so to speak, to anyone but themselves.
The American Founding Fathers devised a constitutional mechanism perfectly balanced to prevent things from happening. That's fine when the status quo leans toward the protecting of individual rights. Not so fine when it comes to minimizing the economic aftershocks caused by the Welfare State. Inertia isn't your friend after you've fallen off the cliff.
The Prime Minister chastised the Ontario government on Thursday, saying it ought to focus less on "confrontation" and more on getting its fiscal house in order.
Stephen Harper made his comments at an event in Markham, Ont., where he was asked why it has been so long since he met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The two last met a year ago and Wynne has repeatedly voiced her frustrations over not being able to sit down with the prime minister.
And do what? Blame him for your mistakes. Wynne's anti-Harper campaign is political distraction as conceived by a petulant teenage girl.