Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Advice for a Liberal Candidate

Responding to James C. Morton:

> As we come to the Convention later this week remember, there is a Liberal forest growing.

Well maybe, but if so, try to do some good, and don't just squander it. Simply putting into place a clone of the current government is insufficient.

Try to be a little bit visionary and maybe to recall some of those Liberal pronciples that have served the party well in the past.

- Canada used to have a rail system it could be proud of, until it was dismantled by Airbus Mulroney in the 1980s. It's time to convert part of the auto sector into the production of high-speed rail components, and to establish a nation-wide network. We only get one chance to do this, because ti will be prohibitively expensive after the recession and after the productive capacity has been dispersed.

- Canada used to be seen as a leader in environmental responsibility, even if our practices didn't always pass muster. But we can become leaders again by investing in energy-efficient technologies such as solar and wind power, hydrogen production, LED lighting, and electric vehicles.

- Canada used to be a model of social fairness and social justice, and these are essential ingredients in a multicultural society. Respond to the recession by ensuring that nobody loses their home (or rental), that nobody is put onto the street, that nobody goes hungry. This is not just aid to the indigent. Piut in place programs that will help such people retrain, retool, and reorient themselves - but make these voluntary, so that people have a sense of investing in themselves.

- Canada was once a leader in online access and services, but investment in infrastructure has been stagnating since the privatization of the telecom industry (which piled up debt in takeovers and acquisition, not actual production). We need a national broadband initiative, much like was proposed before Martin took power. And Canadian culture, content and learning should be freely available online.

- Support for the arts and culture used to be a hallmark of Canadian government policy, but more recently governments have taken to pandering to U.S. copyright lobbyists. Resist these lobbies, preserve Canada's tradition of sharing (through, eg., the media levy) and promote Canadian talent directly through a revitalized arts and culture program (the one our government has been cutting back on recently).

- Canada's education system has been the envy of the world, with the Globe and Mail a few years back suggesting that our children may be the best educated in the history of the world. But investments need to be made in the regions, access to electives and specialized education (such as provided in Edmonton) made the standard nationally, and community-based and focused learning made the norm.

- Canada's international reputation as a peaceful and safe place was created by employing less police power, not more. The use of force by police should be limited, with tasers treated more like guns than like batons. Legislation restruicting guns should be entrenched and extended, and effort taken to improve the efficiency of the gun registry. Internationally, Canada should return to the role of peacekeep rather than active combatant.

These are just a few things, but you get what I'm after. It's not enough to simply take power. Try to do some good, to do something worthwhile.

12 comments:

  1. >> improve the efficiency of the gun registry.

    How do you improve something that was bound to fail from the beginning? RCMP Commissioner Murray warned the government that the information used to 'justify' the registry were wrong and taken out of context.

    If we want to reduce criminality in Canada, we need to focus on programs that can have a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable individuals. School mentoring for troubled kids and youth outreach programs could have a much bigger impact on criminality then printing a few more registration certificates (that nobody really care for)

    We need more focus social work, not more futile paperwork.

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  2. Peacekeeper instead of active combatant eh?Right.I didn't join the army 14 years ago to become a peacekeeper.I'm a soldier.Let those who have the balls to want that job do what they are trained to do.And be thankfull that there are those that willingly stand in harms way for you.I'm sure any relatives you had that fought in either world war would be turning over in thier graves at comments like these.

    The only way Canada is going to be able to become a "peacefull and safe place" with LESS policing is if the government leaves its law abiding citizens alone with less intrusion and focuses on putting criminals away.Period.Unfortunately the Liberals governments of the past have been the worst offenders of this.
    Increase the efficiency of the registry?Well I guess anything is better than zero.You can't be that out of touch with regular people to think that they would want to keep pumping money into that black hole that has never once saved a life?Can you?

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  3. If you were a soldier you wouldn't be able to state your name. I know many soldiers and workj with them on a regular basis. None of them would post anonymously.

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  4. From my personal experience the most dangerous countries in the world were countries with strict gun control, strange, right? And I'm also yet to hear about robbery, assault or rape on gun range. Good luck to anyone trying that. Oh wait the ranges are full of those evil firearms.
    The fact is, there inanimate objects in hands of lawful citizens are making gun ranges the safest places in the country (right after Tim Hortons).
    I also personally had to repel an armed robbery attack (in another part of the world) once by just cocking my gun. With no single shot fired. And that makes me think I did hundredfolds more to prevent future crimes by giving these three individuals a reason to rethink their lives and occupational hazards of criminal career than any feel-good preacher like you are.

    And - sorry for destroying your Barby world - there is no "Canadian way" to deal with crime - that sort of individuals respect force and force only.

    What you should think about is pushing to change policing practices and DEAL with small time crime because that's where all big time criminals are graduating from. It might also involve scrapping or seriously re-working monumental joke all gangs in Canada must be thankful to legislature for - the Youth Justice Act.

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  5. What, have I hit some right wing or NRA list or something?

    The most dangerous country in the world is Somalia, where there are no gun control laws at all.

    Following that, the most dangerous countries are p;laces where people are armed to the teeth, no matter what the state of their law is.

    There is a direct correlation between gun ownership in a society and gun deaths in a society.

    The safest countries in the world are those where gun ownership is the least.

    (Probably false) anecdotes about how some 'cocking of the gun' prevented a crime don't change this one iota.

    Guns are dangerous, and like other dangerous things - everything from cars to tigers to explosives - guns ought to be regulated, restricted to those who have a legitimate use for them, who are licensed and who are tested.

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  6. Of course it doesn't - for you since you're obviously live on some different planet. For me it made a difference of being cut in pieces by three punks of get home safe to my family. If you will be in the same situation, try telling them about how many ways out there to turn their lives around instead. It will quickly turn you back to reality, for a minute or two.And it does look like you don't any have counterarguments other than doubting my experience.

    And clean up mess in your head - Somalia is at (civil) war. I'm talking about criminals in (more or less) normal society.

    Speaking of electric vehicles: have you ever heard of processes of producing cadmium, nickel and led? These thing are used in (massive) accumulators. Sulfur acid? Alkali? If you ever care to, you might get an opportunity to learn un-hyped value of so called green technologies.


    BTW. Guns are licensed and regulated, pretty much every gun but those used by gangstas. What an irony, right?

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  7. What, have I hit some right wing or NRA list or something? No it is a thing called the internet, you have been found on a web search. That said.
    It isn't a left wing or a right wing thing. It is a question of how much of a police state or totalitarian state you wish to live in thing? How is it the idea of "freedom" has become synonymous with the "right wing"? In context that is Ironic. The concept of freedom is that the individual is autonomous free to act in their own interest. Of course in order to live in civil society we deffer some autonomy in order to live together without trenching upon the rights of others.
    On one hand you decry the authority of police viz use of tasers on the other hand you wish to hand to them the ability and authority to remove firearms from their lawful owners. This is hardly congruent.
    You are of the opinion that every firearm in the country should be registered. You would like to have every firearm on a list with the address of where they are and who owns them? Why? How do you keep this information secure?
    Consider, gun control is counterintuitive and less than useless. It targets the wrong segment of society. It is also misogynistic because in Canada self defence is not a legitimate reason for owning a gun, a woman is prevented from being armed against physically superior force.
    There is a direct correlation between gun ownership in a society and gun deaths in a society. Really? In Canada there are 7 million firearms owners in control of 21 million firearms. In 2007 there were 594 homicides 188 of those were by firearm 406 were by other means. Are you suggesting that if not for a firearm the 188 would be alive? The 406 by other means figure indicates otherwise. So where is the correlation? Somalia is your exemplar? Somalia is a third world country without a stable government, without a government based in the rule of law. Prime example of an unarmed populace ruled by armed thugs. You are obviously a poor student of history and lack the foundation to make a cogent argument in favour of gun control.

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  8. > No it is a thing called the internet, you have been found on a web search.

    No, I've been pretty clearly targeted - unless there's some right wing or NRA group specifically searching for posts like this to pounce on

    > You are obviously a poor student of history and lack the foundation to make a cogent argument in favour of gun control.

    This is a pretty typical tactic as well - the personal attacks are not actually meant to convince anybody, what they are intended to do is to be so wearying and tiresome to the writer that they won't post any more anti-gun posts - the right wing and NRA wins the field by abuse.

    Since you're all new here, let me be clear about the rules: no more of that, or the posts will be deleted without notice. I do not tolerate personal attacks on my own website. Stick to the issues.

    Similarly,

    > I'm talking about criminals in (more or less) normal society.

    I'm not. I'm talking about gun ownership and gun deaths.

    Also, try to be rational. For example:

    > In 2007 there were 594 homicides 188 of those were by firearm 406 were by other means. Are you suggesting that if not for a firearm the 188 would be alive?

    I said there was a direct correlation between firearm ownership and gun deaths. You have changed 'gun deaths' to 'homicides' and are comparing these with other types of crimes instead of other societies. In other words, you have misrepresented my argument, and then brought in a totally irrelevant point. This is not a rational response; it's not even close.

    > So where is the correlation? Somalia is your exemplar?

    Here's my correlation:

    imagehttp://www.guncontrol.ca/Content/TheCaseForGunControl.html

    Somalia is just an extreme case. I have looked at the numbers in a wide number of societies. There is a very clear linkage between gun ownership and gun death.

    Here's another diagram showing the same trend:

    imagehttp://www.gun-control-network.org/GF01.htm

    The more guns in a society, the more people die from guns. It is a direct almost purely linear correlation.

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  9. I'm not a part of the NRA, not that this matters. Assumption is an insult in itself, so don't be surprised if people are being rude in response to that. This issue has nothing to do with being "right-wing". In fact, as someone pointed out, it is ironic that you make this association.

    Somalia is in a constant state of war. People are dying because of war and not gun laws, this is common sense. You can't compare countries at war(not to mention those that have no government or statistics available) with those that have a functioning, stable, democratic system. It is not a viable example. It's like me telling you that there were more firearm deaths in Europe during World War 2 than in Canada at the same time and that this is somehow relevant to the issue.

    If you want to draw correlations between gun control and rates of violence(much more relevant than "Gun Deaths" or ownership, and a clear indication of the uselessness of gun control) through international comparison you will see that more gun control =/= a more peaceful society. Many stable, normal societies function without strict gun laws: Finland, Switzerland, Czech Rep. Norway, USA(USA has its problems but is not obscenely violent, contrary to some public opinion) and even Canada once upon a time. And inversely, many of the most violent countries have strict gun control: Venezuela, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Jamaica etc.... While crime may not always go down per se(w/out strict gun laws), it will certainly not skyrocket. Gun control on the other hand has shown indications of increasing crime where it was implemented in the United States(Washington, Chicago, New Jersey, Hawaii, and among the 15 states with the highest murder rates, 10 have restrictive gun laws). At the very least, gun control does nothing to lower violence or crime. And aside from trampling over the rights of the citizen, may even increase criminal trends. I'm not even out to argue against gun-control using correlation or statistics but it still supports my position. For me, it's a matter of rationale and principle. If you understand what liberalism truly means, you realise that collectivism in a social(gun control) or economic sense is not a principle of freedom, and generally becomes a method of control.

    If you delved into the issue more without getting personally offended(because I don't mean to offend you), you might realize that your conclusions(or assumptions) are mostly false. I used to think like you, but the fact is that a pro gun-control website is not a reliable source of information, those are extremely simplistic and misleading graphs. Firearm deaths... that means the majority are suicides not homicides. This splays the trend towards suicide. And yes *suicide by firearm* may be higher when guns are available, however, it has been demonstrated that net suicide does not change with the application of stricter gun laws < http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/147/3/342 >. Whether a society has more or less guns(gun control aside) also does not affect the prevalence of general suicide. Japan being a good example, but also much of Eastern Europe. These graphs don't show much(I would pretty much discredit them) and at best, imply that in countries with higher rates of gun ownership, more people commit suicide using firearms(omitting other means). *They do not indicate that suicide or murder is more prevalent because of higher rates of firearms ownership or less legal restrictions on ownership*. Thus, your presented statistics are misleading and in my opinion, void. Not that it matters, whether someone kills themselves(with a gun... or whatever) or not is a choice that shouldn't affect my own freedoms.

    I agree that licensing and testing is required but beyond this nothing more is necessary, and every average citizen must be allowed a means to defend themselves(without proving "need", this is a ridiculous concept, that ignores the equality of every citizen). There is no victim in self-defense. If someone misuses a firearm, you punish that individual, not an entire society. Furthermore, a government should never have the ability to dis-arm it's own population(Canada has this power and confiscations *have* occurred in the past), that is primarily why I disagree with registration. One ruling party may allow me to buy and use a rifle whereas the next will confiscate it on a whim(without reimbursement no less) thanks to the registry, which functions like a shopping list. Punish those who break the law, not everyone collectively.

    Overall, I think Canada is one of the free-est places in the world, but it has several problems. One being the lack of a solid constitutional base, the second being the over-reaching powers of government and third being the encouragement of passivity and stigmatisation of those who seek to protect themselves. You are your own first line of defense, the police cannot and are not required to help you preemptively.

    I don't understand how it became fashionable to view gun control as progressive and morally superior because historically it has been just the opposite.

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  10. You may have worked with soldiers, but you do not know them.

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  11. I have to admit, firearms safety course is the only useful part of licensing process...

    Just common sense observations: pirates target merchant ships, not warships. It's easier. Its safer. Liberals and criminal select soft targets: low abiding citizens instead of true criminals and disarmed (by liebierals) victims, not policemen or politicians guarded by armed security detail. Funny, eh?

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  12. Guns cannot be done away with anymore. There are to many available. A person can buy a milling machine and lathe and make them all day. The only answer is that crimes with guns be classified into maybe three fields. One. If you use a gun to commit a crime with no injuries, you would recieve ten years. If someone were hurt you would get twenty years. No good time or parole. If someone were killed, the death penalty by hanging in public, within 6 months. People have killed and are still killing with axes and knives. Child molesters rarely use guns but they kill helpless children in kidnappings all the time. It is up to the judges, and people to get stricter setencing to stop the scum that kill. The head of the snake is the person holding the gun. Cut off the head. Kill a lawman and the city in which it happens should hold a firing squad of police officers to execute the person. It sounds cold and heartless but that is who you are dealing with.

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I welcome your comments - I'm really sorry about the moderation, but Google's filters are basically ineffective.