Friday, December 09, 2005

Announcement or Campaign Promise -- There is a Difference

Read these two quotes, keeping in mind that although Paul Martin is still Prime Minister, the government has been dissolved and we are in the midst of a hotly contested election campaign.

Audio Link: "That's why I'm here today on behalf of the people of Toronto, to thank the Prime Minister for his announcement and to thank the Attorney General for his announcement, because today's announcement will start getting those guns off the streets of Toronto (...) Mr. Prime Minister I could not think of a more important announcement for the people of Toronto than the banning of handguns, and I want to thank you for your leadership."
-- David Miller, Mayor of Toronto

Audio link: "Prime Minister, a handgun ban, you can count Ontario in! (...) Ontario supports a handgun ban and will work with the federal government to implement a handgun ban. . . and now with this information we will have the opportunity to have additional RCMP Officers to boost our law enforcement arsenal" --Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario

The Prime Minister's promise to ban handguns is nothing compared the audacity of our Mayor and the Ontario Attorney General. They flanked Martin yesterday during his 'announcement' and did not simply endorse any old election promise, but rather, they welcomed the information -- and in the case of Miller -- did so on my behalf!!

The statements of Miller and Bryant are irresponsible. Given the staging of yesterday's event, an observer might be forgiven for believing that Paul Martin had the power to enact a handgun ban effective immediately by proclamation.

David Miller and Michael Bryant have overstepped their positions, not simply by endorsing a party and a candidate for Prime Minister -- but by attending a campaign speech in their respective roles of Mayor and Attorney General, and pretending a campaign promise is a major announcement of actual legislation.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Where have you been, lo these many years?

The way Paul Martin talks, you'd think that gun violence was a new phenomenon and that he was moving quickly to quell it before it got out of hand.

Newsflash, Mr. Prime Minister -- gun violence in Toronto is entrenched in the culture -- why? Because for years, the Liberal governments who might have done something to prevent its escalation, ignored it.

There is more to gun violence than guns. It's that simple. People who don't value human life, or who believe their needs trump the rights of another person to live -- these people will continue to exist and kill regardless of whether they can get a hand gun to do it. Does Mr. Martin think the criminals are going to come in and hand over their guns any faster than they 'registered' them?

The breakdown of families and core family values are far more important detering violence than banning a gun will ever be. Lynda Hurst wrote about this in the Toronto Star on the weekend and it's worth the read.

Today Martin announced tougher sentencing, great, but where have they been the past twelve years? If they were really serious, this would have been a preventive measure, rather than an attempt to stem the flow of blood on Toronto's streets. Besides, the Tories have already promised tougher sentences and given the track record of the Liberals, it's the Conservatives I would trust to follow through.

The Liberal Party is the party of the 'Faint Hope Clause', and the ineffective Young Offenders Act (since replaced by the Youth Criminal Justice Act -- also ineffective.) Their stance on crime seems to have been 'if we ignore it, maybe it will go away' and now suddenly, after playing ignorant for all this time -- they come riding into town, platitudes ablazin' and they're going to get tough on crime --as though it's someone else's fault that things have become this bad.

Maybe it's because so few Liberals live in the real world. They are beyond street crime, because their lives never meet the street. Their experience with our daily reality, ends when they close the newspaper. They don't fear drive by shootings or stray bullets in school yards. They don't fear letting their kids walk places, or travel alone because of perverts. They don't fear walking home from a bus stop after dark -- they will never be in circumstances where these kinds of things are issues.

Take away all the handguns. Drop them in the ocean. Is Toronto going to be any safer?

Gun violence is only one of the many life-destroying crimes that plague this country. What makes a society safe is the knowledge that our governing members refuse to accept certain behaviours. As a society, we have to show our intolerance for child molesters, murderers and other villains by locking them up and throwing away the key. A Liberal government will never do that.

Successive Liberal governments have shown their empathy lies with criminals, rather than victims. Whatever solutions they propose to combat crime are irrelevant -- because they are part of the problem.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Daycare -- Univeral access and shifting expectations

In short, this program (universal child care) is here to stay – because it’s right for Canadian families, and it’s right for our children. (. . .) Government supported child care means that your children will go to regulated facilities that are safe, secure and inspected. It means that your children will be cared for by people who are properly trained. -- Paul Martin

At the inception of our universal health care system, the idea was that the government would be obligated to pay for the health services of citizens. It has evolved to the point where citizens are obligated to accept the health care services of the state.

We live in a country where most people believe it is 'unfair' for an individual to pay for his own medical treatment.

Under the Liberal plan, how long will it be before the obligation is no longer on the government to provide state run daycare -- but on a parent to accept it?

It means that your children will be cared for by people who are properly trained.

Read those words carefully and remember that just this summer, Ken Dryden said that parents and family members:

(could be trained) "so long as the end result is something that meets the standards of regulation and meets the standards of the QUAD [quality, universality, accessibility, developmental] principles."

Who's scary?


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The subtlety of media bias

There are columnists who blatently bare their political souls, but many people reject the idea that media in general is inherently biased in favour of the Liberals.

In their Decision Canada pages in the National Post, an article by Mark Kennedy displays the back-handed derision displayed by many in the media when writing on Martin and Harper. The article itself seems neutral -- it's simply pointing out that Harper is making his agenda clear, quickly --in order to avoid a repeat of the last election when he allowed Martin to define him. The following quote is a betrayer of the underlying sentiments of the author, and in my opinion, makes characterizations that are unsupported and unsupportable:
Plagued with how the sponsership scandal has tarnished the Liberal brand, it appears Mr. Martin hopes to run on his own leadership traits of honesty and good intentions. All the while, he's praying for Mr. Harper's hubris to be his undoing.

This is written as though the statements are facts that everyone takes for granted -- and maybe that's why so many people do.


Why doesn't Paul trust us?

Paul Martin has done nothing to earn my trust, and yet he wants me to trust him to create a childcare program that is so all encompassing that it will be on a par with medicare in terms of scope and breadth. Part of our 'social fabric' he calls it.

He says that like medicare -- childcare is a 'public right'.

Excuse me?

What about the right to raise your own children?

Not possible in many cases, you say? Families can't afford it?
Well, instead of making 'daycare' a universal 'right' -- why not create the circumstances where families can decide for themselves whether they want to be the primary caregivers to their own children?

We all know what a mess health care is in, right across the country -- costs are high, services are insufficient and delays are the norm . . . and yet Mr. Martin wants us to have faith that he and his government will serve our children adequately in early child care and early childhood education.

The GST lie, the free trade lie, the Sea King debacle, HRDC billion dollar foul up, the Gun Registry, the 1995 referendum (precursor of the sponsorship scandal), and the Radwanski, and the Dingwall affairs -- to name a few -- are all examples of the way Liberals do business -- and we're supposed to trust them with our kids?

Why doesn't Mr. Martin trust us to raise our own children? His urgency to commit more (but still insufficient) money to his universal daycare scheme in the wake of Harper's announcement -- says that Martin and the liberal elites in this country are trying to create an environment where there is no choice --- where daycare is not the norm -- but the ideal.

Why is it so hard for him to understand, that if money were no object (as is the case in his world) that many families who rely on daycare would prefer to have one parent stay at home?

Daycare is not a right. It should be choice. In Paul Martin's Canada -- it's a choice the government wants to make for us.