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Archive for April 2011

Post-debate thoughts

April 13, 2011 @ 13:09 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

So, like many people, I watched the 2011 election debate yesterday evening. Predictably, it was us-versus-them — or from Harper’s point of view them-versus-me — for much, but not all, of the debate.I think this would have been true regardless of who was Prime Minister because the opposition’s goal is to unseat the incumbent party in an election so they can afford to risk more.

At some point over the course of the two hours, each of the leaders made at least one good point, even the separtist leader, though what Harper’s “good point” was escapes me. His continued denial of the legitimacy of being found in contempt of Parliament continues to baffle me. He once again claimed that it really wasn’t legitimate and that it was just the other three parties ganging up on him.

I’m sorry, Mr. Harper, but the majority of elected representatives in the House of Commons found you and your government in contempt of Parliament. You may not like it, but that’s the way democracy is sometimes, particularly when you obfuscate and lie in the House.

There was some mud slinging, but not an excessive amount. Harper didn’t really get involved in that, but as the incumbent Prime Minister and being in a precarious position as a result of the contempt and the Auditor General’s report that says they lied to Parliament about the G8/G20 funds, among other things, he couldn’t afford to because it would be a guarantee no-win situation.

Prior to the debate, the gap between the Liberals and Conservatives had been steadily closing. Post-debate polls seem to suggest the gap has increased. Hopefully that’s just a blip and the previous trend continues because with all that has gone on while Harper has been in power I am baffled as to why people would support him. Why would someone want to continue to have a governing party that has repeatedly obfuscated and lied to Parliament, second guessed, gagged and fired commissioners for doing their job (Linda Keen who was fired when she put safety first at Chalk River and the CRTC are two that spring to mind), ignored facts when they inconveniently did not support their actions (building new prisons when the crime statistics don’t indicate a need), and generally turning Canada into another United States (more prisons, and  excessively expensive military jets (NB: I do not have a problem with equiping our military to do their job properly, but the cost of the F35s seems excessively high and not well understood.), to name a couple).

The Squid has an excellent blog post as to why a vote for someone other than the Liberals is effectively a vote for the Conservatives that I encourage you to read, regardless of your politics. I can understand why someone might want to vote NDP, Green or Bloc, but those votes will just end up being votes for the Conservatives. If you don’t want to see the Conservatives back in power, then vote Liberal. If you do want to see the Conservatives back in power, ask yourself why you’re supporting a government that was found in contempt of Parliament and has lied to Canadians.

An update on Ottawa’s pirate radio station

April 02, 2011 @ 01:05 By: gordon Category: General, In the news

It appears that the mastermind behind our friendly neighbourhood pirate radio station from just over a year ago is not quite so friendly after all.

The Ottawa Citizen has had a number of stories in the last day or so about court appearances for various charges related to the illegal pirate radio station an unnamed youth was running from his parent’s hotel in December 2009 and January 2010. Though not named in the stories because he’s protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, there’s only been one underage individual in Ottawa who was running a pirate radio station that was taken down in a high-profile raid last year.

It seems that in addition to violating the Radiocommunication Act, he is alleged to have made threatening phone calls to a couple of local radio personalities and also to the Industry Canada employee who was responsible for the investigation into his illegal radio station and the eventual raid. It was during this raid that he allegedly pushed a police officer (never a good idea) and uttered death threats against some of the people involved in the raid.

All of these are serious charges that could cause him problems for years to come. Being convicted of violating the Radiocommunications Act can result in some non-trivial fines and/or imprisonment. The Act allows for the someone to be convicted for each day that the offence continues, which could result in fairly significant fines, not to mention jail time.

But this pales in comparison to how serious it would be to be convicted of uttering death threats against people and assaulting a peace officer.

It’s really too bad that it came to this, but hopefully he will finally come to accept that he is responsible for the consequences of his actions and that the rules that apply to the rest of us also apply to him.