Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Harper’

Conserv-Nation: Thoughts on the 2011 Canadian Federal Election.

May 3, 2011 4 comments

I don’t care to comment on politics too often, and am far from an expert on the topic, but I do have a few things to say about May 2nd’s Canadian Federal Election.

First thing, if you didn’t vote, shame on you.  A lot of people from our military’s history have died in battle to give you and I that right, and it’s pretty despicable that you would waste that right; especially when you look at the eastern world and see how many dictatorship regimes are dominating countries over there, depriving their citizens of human rights, and attacking them if they protest.  If you have a grandparent, relative, or any family member that has served in our military, go ahead and tell them that you didn’t vote last night, and see how they react.  Voting may not seem like a big deal to some, but realize that people that you never met, seen, or heard of, literally died so that you could keep that freedom.  Our freedom to choose is invaluable, and whether or not the guy (or girl) you want to get elected does or doesn’t, it’s imperative that you exercise your right (spoil your ballot if you have to).  If you don’t, you have absolutely zero credibility when you complain about who’s in office, and quite frankly, you should keep your mouth shut altogether.

I, along with 40% of Canada, am glad Stephen Harper is still our Prime Minister.  I am also happy that Jack Layton and the NDP will be the official opposition.  Thrilled and ecstatic are words I would use to describe my feelings about the brainwashing separatist Bloc being reduced to less than an official party, the dirty Liberals (who gave Quebec all that money in the sponsorship scandal and lost all my trust) are running on fumes,  and that both Ignatieff and Duceppe couldn’t even win their own home ridings, and have quit as leaders.  Absolutely beautiful.  Also, good on Elizabeth May and the Green Party for getting into the House of Commons. 

Reading through Facebook statuses, I really feel like people want to complain about the current leader just for the sake of being argumentative.  That is, I feel like no matter who’s in office, people will complain.  And again, as I said, if you voted, that’s totally your right, and you can complain all you want.  40% of the country wanted the Conservatives, but that also means 60% didn’t.  I think all I’d ask is that if you’re going to complain, have some backing to your argument, not just propaganda you can’t prove, or petty shots like you don’t like Harper’s hairstyle or something.  At least offer an alternative with your whining.  Better yet, tell it to your MP, and hopefully it’s something that can be discussed in Parliament.

What I like about the new majority is that we won’t have any of these BS yearly campaigns and elections for another 4 years, and (ideally) productive time in the House of Commons; instead of MP’s in a minority constantly droning on about how awesome they and their party is, how horrible the Prime Minister is, and voting against budgets and bills just to cause an election; all the while avoiding having to do actual work for Canadians they’re supposed to be representing.  It’s pretty clear that Canadians aren’t interested in that crap, especially when you consider the parties that wanted an election (Liberals) got absolutely swashbuckled in the polls (much to the chagrin of the biased CBC), while those who didn’t (Conservatives) were upgraded from minority to majority.   

What I don’t like is that a majority can easily defeat ideas from the opposition, no matter how good and productive they may be, simply based on party unity.  But again, in an ideal government, everything that was promised will be delivered, egos are put aside, and everyone should be happy (of course, we know how often that happens). 

I really didn’t mind the minority government we had, because of the potential it had for all parties to work together and come up with policies that were mutual across the board.  Nothing could pass without everyone’s consent, and that boded well for Canadians.  The majority vetoes that potential, but again, if everything works out, there won’t be anything to balk at it the first place (not likely, I know).  But of course, the opposition was far more concerned with themselves than Canadians, and it didn’t work.  So now, we have this.

Don't blow this, Steve.

At the end of it all, there’s no way all of us will agree on our country’s leadership; but instead of arguing with each other, if you don’t like something, argue with your local MP, instead of other Canadians who can’t change anything until next election.  And if after that, you still can’t get your thoughts across, do the right thing and vote next election!  Dialogue is great, and when you think about it, it may be as valuable as voting itself.  Voting, protest, and support, are all freedoms and rights that our democracy grants us; don’t take them for granted!

Remembrance Day Reflections.

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Remembrance Day.

Though a lot of us probably don’t support the actual combat that takes place in the wars that have seen our family members, friends, and fellow countrymen & women fight in, I think we can all agree that we have nothing but the utmost respect for those who fought and either survived or didn’t, so that we could maintain our freedom. Whether you agree or disagree with the rationale of which the governments have deployed their soldiers for, it is those soldiers who deserve all the praise they get for putting their lives on the line for us.

I went to a local Remembrance Day ceremony in Kelowna City Park this year. I can’t remember who the quote was from, but one of the speakers read a quote saying, “War is one of man’s least creative ways devised of resolving conflict”. And that’s completely true. Unfortunately, whether it’s a dispute on government, religion, land claim, or whatever else, ultimately if it can’t be resolved diplomatically, we humans just decide to shoot or blow the other guys up to either get our way, or simply defend ourselves from having the same thing happen to us.

And even that brings a whole other element into play: who’s right? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? The ceremony featured a lot of prayers, which obviously ties in a religious angle to war. Whether we thank God for helping our soldiers survive, for giving them courage, ask His blessing as they ship out and enter the battlefield, ask Him to thwart our enemies, ask Him for peace, or whatever else we choose to pray for in terms of war, you do have to consider that the “bad guys” are probably doing the exact same thing, and feel very justified in their stance on the situation; hence the decision to fight for their side as well. Democracy seems correct (to us in our culture at least), but to some it is a very foreign, perhaps evil, concept, worth fighting against as to not have it imposed upon them.

Along the way I have been privileged to meet some veterans and hear their stories. One of the most interesting stories I’ve heard was the one from a neighbour I had some years ago who was actually a soldier in the German army. You know, the “bad guys”. He’s now got a nice little condo, been married for 60 years, a family, and participates actively in Strata rule enforcement. He’s a regular guy, and a nice one at that. But once upon a time, anybody on this side of the planet would have recognized him as evil. And of course, this isn’t to condone any of the actions that Hitler and the German army instigated, but this was a guy that was considered every bit as honourable to his fellow countrymen as our soldiers are to us. To hear him describe returning home to the pile of rubble that used to be his dwelling, and hear that side of the story made him a lot more mortal and a lot less villainous. But I think that’s the beauty of today, the day of digital media and endless information sharing; it used to be that only the civilizations that won wars dictated how history was written. Now we really have the opportunity to hear ALL sides, and decide for ourselves what’s justified, what’s worth fighting for, and what maybe needs a little further examination before risking human life. I also have a friend who I played college hockey with that recently served with the US Army in Iraq. While many oppose(d) the Iraq war, when you know someone in it, it makes you want that mission to be completed, if only for your friend to come home safe.

Prime Minister Harper announced today that Canadian soldiers would be staying in Afghanistan until 2014, but that after 2011 their mission would be exclusively non-combat, and only to train domestic forces. As much as I (and most of us) would like all our troops home immediately and out of danger, at least there is a commitment to ending the combat. A quote from the PM said,

We do want to make sure that as we leave, what we leave behind is a situation where the sacrifices Canadians have made — and they have made a lot of sacrifices there — that those sacrifices are appropriately honoured and we leave something of lasting benefit,”

And I think in the end, that’s what it has to be all about: recognizing the efforts of those who have fought, and making sure those sacrifices were not in vain. I may not “Remember” it all year ‘round, but I am truly thankful to have had my freedom defended and fought for by so many brave people that never met me; it’s a very humbling notion to see old people marching in Remembrance Day parades, know what they did, and know that a sliver of it was in fact for me (divided equally amongst all of us of course), despite that when they were on the battlefield they’d never even heard of me, and that I’ll probably never even speak to them personally.

photo by Daniel Hayduk

And because of this, for at least one day in a year, I actually, really, think about the idea of freedom. The notion that we can truly choose to do pretty well whatever we want to do, pursue, or stand for in our lives. Of course, you naturally want to point to all the good and noble things you have or you’re going to do with your life; but really, people have every bit as much of a right to become a complete jackass, and do some appalling, atrocious, or possibly just non-eventful and anti-climatic things with their remaining existence. I think that’s the dangerous part of freedom, and of fighting for and earning it, so it can be given to others. While many will indeed do remarkable and noteworthy things with their freedom that was paid for by human sacrifice, many will either do a lot of not-so-great things, and many may just do nothing at all (which may be worse in the end). I think the latter two concepts seem to cheapen that ultimate sacrifice that was made, which is sad, but at the same time, and unavoidable bi-product of an open-ended gift. While I admittedly probably don’t make the best of my freedom, I hope there’s been at least a glimmer here and/or there that wouldn’t make a veteran upset if I told him or her what I had been doing with myself.

Anyone who tunes into Coach’s Corner during Hockey Night in Canada on CBC knows that Don Cherry is a huge  supporter of our country’s veterans, and he actually had a decent quote after showing a video montage and appearing from a military cemetary for British and Canadian soldiers with their crosses lined row on row.  He said while pointing to the memorials, “These people gave their lives, the least you can do is buy a poppy.” 

Olympic Quips: Quality Over Quantity, Happy With Harper, Big Kid Pictograms, and More Hockey Thoughts.

February 27, 2010 6 comments

Our country, and the world, has certainly been critical of our little “Own The Podium” program that we developed.  Now, the goal was to win more medals than any other country, and the likelihood of that happening is fading.  But do consider the following:  We’ve won more gold medals than anyone else, meaning we’re the best in the world at more sports than any other country, INCLUDING the first place US.  We tied the all-time Winter Olympic record for most gold medals at 13.  If a country had 32 bronze medals for coming in third every time, and another had a fraction of that amount in gold first place medals, wouldn’t you give the nod to the country with the gold’s?  Also, we’ve set another Canadian record for our medal count in Torino, which also was up from the previous record.  And thirdly, our female athletes are destroying our male athletes in medal winnings. 


I think it’s pretty cool that our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is attending so many Olympic events.  Apparently he’s been paying his own way for tickets (as he should be), so he must have some deep pockets; tickets for medal events like he’s attended are all in the multiple hundreds of dollars range.  That aside, you likely wouldn’t see US President Barack Obama, or certainly not our old friend George W Bush, amongst the common people at such a largely populated public event.  Harper’s high-fiving Wayne Gretzky, and hugging athletes as they win medals.  I like it.


Who did Pepsi think they were kidding when they tried to make us chant “Eh Oh Canada Go” because they had a contest and awarded a prize to someone

no sir, I don't like it.

 who came up with, what they believed to be, the best original chant?  I’m sure the entrant meant well, but come on.  Chants are as spontaneous as the wave, or events depicted in Bacardi commercials; like throwing a lot of rocks in the water, building an island, and having an insane party, all on a whim.  Our standard “Go Canada Go” chant is fine the way it is.  Also, I’ve enjoyed “WE WANT RUS-SIA CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP”; also sub-in SWE-DEN and U-S-A at the sight of inevitable Team Canada hockey wins as my favourites so far.    


can they get a vase to go?

What’s the deal with the presentation of flowers after the medals?  I know in Roman times, the flowers were quite coveted by the winners.  Surely, it’s a tip of the cap to that tradition, today.  But I mean, I’m sure the athletes are like, “WOW THIS IS AWESOME I’M THE BEST THIS MEDAL RULES… oh, and thanks for the flowers… hold on, I gotta put these in some water… for something that’s gonna die fairly soon, these seem like something that we could’ve saved spending money on for something for necessary.”  Here’s a little quip about where the bouquets are made.


I’m glad Vancouver 2010 decided to use pictograms to visually interpret the events that don’t look like kindergarten scrawls, as has been done consistently for like, ever.  These ones are well drawn, and actually look like what they are supposed to depict. 


Team Canada’s Women’s hockey team prrrrrobably shouldn’t have been drinking champagne and smoking cigars in the public eye after their gold medal victory, especially with an underaged player on the team participating.  But you’re kidding yourselves if you think these things weren’t happening anyways in the dressing room.  They just got caught.  Oops.  Add this to the IOC’s list of reasons that will be reviewed to support women’s hockey remaining as an Olympic event… hmm, probably should’ve kept it in the room.  Well, they are the best in the world, again.  And they beat the Americans.  On those fronts, nice going girls!

Finally, after squeaking by Slovakia, CANADA IS GOING TO DESTROY THE US IN HOCKEY AND WIN THE GOLD MEDAL AND AVENGE THEIR ROUND ROBIN LOSS AND SETTLE THE PSYCHE OF ALL CANADIANS.  Given, the US has a great team, a hot goalie, and it would be good for the business of hockey for them to win, but my allegiances are unquestioned.  I have a friend who is a die-hard Calgary Flames fan/Vancouver Canucks hater, so much so that the mere thought of Roberto Luongo being credited for Canada’s success  spurs on thoughts of “Lu” assassination, and instead wants Iginla  to be credited for all triumphs.   I’ve got another (American) friend who only gets interested in hockey when the US plays Canada.  After some back and forth text-taunting since the first game, I NEED Canada to win for my own pride.  Is it interesting to anyone else that North American teams only make it to the Olympic finals when the games are played on NHL sized ice instead of Olympic sized ice (an insane stat; what other reason is there to have Olympic sized ice if not to be used AT THE OLYMPICS?)  I think we can all agree, it’s going to be one heck of a game.  Lets go Salt Lake City on ’em!

we look better in gold.


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