Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Monday, January 23, 2006

go vote

I was thinking, as I cast my vote this morning, that I would really rather vote for a party that puts the right of the individual first. We really only have one “right”, the right to be left alone or not interfered with. The rest of what people call “rights” are claims we make against the state or each other.

I know that there will always be folks who need help, and the government should be there to help them. But one problem with traditional parties is that they have ceased to treat people as individuals and instead, lump us into groups of some description or other. Even if we need grouping to make administration easier, the laws that do the grouping must be drafted with the individual in mind. And the best government level to deal with the actual helping of the individual is municipal.

Let’s look at a statute that at first glance, would appear to be the antithesis of individuality - the Income Tax Act. If ever a statute put people into groups it would be that one, organizing people according to their income. However, each individual is examined as an individual and files a return individually and that’s what I mean about drafting a statute with an individual in mind. Of course, it isn’t a statute that is designed to help people.

I’ll obviously have to think about this some more.

Friday, January 20, 2006

another meme

I got tagged with a meme and so I will “answer” it here because I post the least at this blog. Zoom tagged me but I don’t know enough people who blog so I won’t tag anyone else. And then she went and used up two of the things that I do (counting and inanimate objects)! No fair.

The rules are simple: you must confess to 3 things that you do that others don’t know about.

1. I post comments on other peoples’ blogs and then check back obsessively to see if they respond with “you are so brilliant/insightful/amazing”. They rarely do because I rarely am. It’s pathetic.

2. I cry whenever I see horses on tv. They might just be standing there and I start to tear up. I went to see the Lipizzaner Stallions at the Corel Centre and used up several tissues. I was channel surfing and caught the end of a documentary about the Chincoteague pony swim and blubbed the rest of the way through it. (I know there are several people who DO know this one.)

3. I was once so addicted to on-line solitaire that I had to have it removed from my computer at work. Nowadays, if I find myself at a PC (I have a Mac at home) with some idle time, I see if Solitaire is there and play it a couple of times, even though I know it could be dangerous.

Monday, January 16, 2006

about control

I know there’s no common ground in the abortion debate. I do however, wonder about what would happen if the anti-abortionists got what they wanted. There is no discussion about what happens to the control of a woman’s body, should she find herself pregnant and unwilling to continue in that state. They talk about a nice world where a woman would be looked after for nine months, give birth and the baby adopted by a loving family. But they don’t address the fact that she would be their prisoner.

Similarly, there’s no discussion in the pro-abortion camp about trying to curb the number of abortions. What can be done about the (probably few) women who use abortion as a means of birth control? What can be done to teach the uneducated about birth control methods so that abortions aren’t required by them later? If control of our bodies is so important, there should be a lot more talk about controlling them ALL the time, and not just when one gets pregnant.

Self-control and self-discipline are two virtues sadly ignored in recent years. It’s time we started learning and teaching them again.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Election time

About the coming election. I want a different party. I don’t want Conservatives telling me how to live my life (no marriage for you if you’re gay!). I don’t want Liberals telling me they know how to spend my money better than I do (yet another social program!). I don’t want the NDP telling me that a huge swath of the population can’t stand up for themselves (more unions for everybody!). The rest of them, including the Green Party, tend to be single issue parties - no good for the country as a whole. And a federal election and a federal government should be about federal issues. Education and health care are provincial and if you don’t like that, change the constitution.

I recognize that people need “leaders”. And they need role models too. So I am willing to concede that a prime minister should be both of those things. I also know that most people go into politics for themselves. Oh they say they are serving the public but that is just a handy by-product. Being a politician is a goofy kind of job - you make it up as you go along. There aren’t even any real rules about what to do for your constituents - just rules about conflict of interest and spending and such. Which as we know, tend to be ignored also.

The job attracts a certain kind of person, just like other jobs do. That’s why stereotypes exist - lawyers are seen a certain way, doctors another, mechanics a different way. I’m not going to change any of this over night. So if I want a new party, it would have to be sufficiently like the other parties so as to attract enough people to make it a party. Look at the Libertarians - they never get enough people for a meeting, never mind to run for office in even a few ridings.

Can we invent a new party given the facts? I wonder. But if we were going to try, what would that party be like? It would only focus on true federal issues. It would only do the things that need doing - not invent stuff like multiculturalism and heritage. It would be much smaller than it is now. Does a town like Ottawa really need 6 MPs? Does PEI with a population of less than 140,000 need 4? Does Canada with a population of only 32 million need 306? I don’t think so.

Now that I think about it, just being small would eliminate a lot of the nasties that are currently plaguing us in government. It would also mean that the party would campaign on putting half of itself out of a job. Now who would run with that platform? I might.

A side note about conservativism:
To be a conservative means that you don’t want things to change. But if something is now different from what it once was in “the golden years” (a mythical place or time if I ever heard one), then they want to change it back. Hence their stand on same sex marriages. Can’t be good if it never existed before now. This sort of position is ridiculous of course because change is certain, constant and necessary. How did we ever get here if not through change? Conservatives of course, just don’t want change in their life times, or change in certain delicate issue areas, or to change things that frighten them. We can all be like that a little, I suppose