May 30, 2008

Shame on You, Tony Clement

Tony Clement's editorial today in the National Post shows not only his total lack of compassion, but also his complete lack of understanding and comprehension regarding the Insite safe injection site in Vancouver.

He mentions that "Overall, Insite saves about one life per year," as though this is not a worthwhile enough reason to maintain it. The Conservatives ought to place more respect on the lives of drug users, rather than just dismissing them as useless, irrelevant, and not worth the cost to save their lives.

No matter what the cost, isn't it important that we at least try to save lives. Experts have testified that Insite is necessary and ought to continue its exemption from Canada's drug laws. We should trust their authority and knowledge rather than rely on prejudice and bias against drug users.

May 29, 2008

Our Methods Must Match our Principles

My post from Monday saw a great deal of attention and discussion, and I would like to thank everyone for their participation. I believe strongly that the Liberal Party of Canada is better than what we may have become, with the use of questionable tactics like targeting potential voters solely based on their ethnicity.

We as a Party ought not to engage in such practices, but instead to reach out to ALL eligible voters to convey our message to them equally, no matter what their religion, culture, or nationality. We are the party of inclusion and equality, and it's important that we maintain this standard without fail.

Yes, it may be politically expedient to target voters based upon certain innate characteristics, but to do so requires us to sacrifice our dignity, principles, and ideals. If winning elections requires us to turn our backs and ignore that which defines us as Liberals, it may not be worth the cost.

I hope we can continue the discussion we began here in order to regain our principles and ethics. We are Liberals because we believe in equality, tolerance, and opportunity for all. We just need to make sure that the methods we use to win are also in accordance with these principles.

May 27, 2008

Liberal Targeting of Ethnic Groups Inconsistant with our Principles

I recently had the privilege to attend a training session for the Liberal Party. While I learned many useful and helpful campaign techniques, some of the training content did concern me. For example, when we were studying Voter Contact, one of the sub categories we examined was "targeting by ethnicity," as you can see below.

Read this doc on Scribd: Campaign Manager Training

I am uncomfortable with our party targeting individuals and deciding on their usefulness or lack thereof simply based on their ethnicity. We are supposed to be a party of openness and inclusion, where all Canadians, regardless of race, religion, and background can feel comfortable and welcome.
I strongly encourage our Party to cease targeting voters based on ethnicity and instead focus on recruit the Canadian population as a whole.

May 16, 2008

Reward Compassion Rather than Fighting it

I read this story this morning which both pleased and enraged me. In Abbotsford, British COlumbia, a local pastor has begun feeding the homeless and the hungry in a local park, which is an act of compassion and altruism.

Rather than commend this man for his helping actions, local business owners and city councilors are trying to shut him down. What a cruel and unnessecary action! How heartless do you have to be to prefer people to starve rather than be healthy and fed?

These business owners need to look beyond their own self-interested lives to see the suffering around them in their community and participate in its solution, rather than trying to exacerbate the problem.

May 15, 2008

More Proof that Failing to Invest in Health Care has Dengerous Conserquences

The Ottawa Sun has an article today on their website which states that one in five Canadian nurses admits making mistakes with patients' medications as a result of being stressed from overwork.

According to a StatsCan survey of 18,000 nurses, 70% of nurses agreed with the statement "I have too much work for one person to do." A further 62% believed that their work load negatively impacted the quality of their work.

Investing in health care is one of the most important things the government can do. Investing more money on nurses and doctors will ensure not only that we have a strong health care system, but it will also lessen mistakes and keep us alive and healthy.

Nurses our our front line workers against disease and injury; we need to properly compensate them for the noble and altruistic work they do on behalf of each and every one of us.

May 14, 2008

Proud of Liberals for standing Up for Truth and the Freedom of Speech

Like many Canadians, I saw in today's Toronto Star that the Liberals have filed a statement of defence against Stephen Harper over the Chuck Cadman vote-buying scheme.

Rather than be frightened and cowed into submission as the Conservatives had hoped, we are standing strong and defying their scare tactics and attempts to muzzle free speech. The Liberal Party placed a legitimate and, in my opinion, accurate, criticism of the Prime Minister on the party website. As leader of the Conservative Party he is responsible for the actions of his deputies and must be held accountable for their improprieties.

By suing the Liberal Party, Stephen Harper was not interested in protecting his reputation, but instead interested in interfering with Liberal questioning of his activities. If he had been interested in the former, he would have protected his reputation by coming clean with the people of Canada about the actions of his officials and his full and total knowledge of the incident.

It is up to the Liberal Party to remain strong and unwavering in our decision to legitimately criticize the government. That is the role of the Official Opposition and I am very proud to be member of a party which holds Stephen Harper accountable for his actions.

May 12, 2008

Rising Food Prices Not a Horrible Thing

Recently, I have read many articles describing the rise in food prices globally as a very bad thing. I would like to disagree with this view point, and argue that rising prices are actually a blessing in disguise.

Many developed nations will spend billions of dollars every year to subsidize farmers so that they can earn a viable living on their own. Some people complain about rising prices around the world, but this is actually a good thing for farmers. The production of food requires a great deal of maintenance, effort, and financial input. Many farmers in Canada and countries around the world are forced to go into debt in order to acquire the capital to plant their fields in the spring.

Wouldn't it be better if higher food prices meant that these farmers could sustain their operations on their own?

May 9, 2008

Humanitarian Crisis in Burma Shows the Need for Compassion

The last few days have allowed the world to see and understand the devastation posed by the recent cyclone in Burma. People's lives, families, and livelihoods have been wiped out

It is imperative that the international world (of both governments and private citizens) continue to give generously in order to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. The government of Burma must also look past its reservations and allow disaster relief teams entry to the country in order to save lives of their citizens.

May 8, 2008

Dion a Visionary for Canada

Today's Globe and Mail story on Stephan Dion's expected announcement of a Carbon-Tax policy platform is a refreshing and invigorating addition to the Canadian political landscape. By advocating such a bold and innovative policy, Dion is showing that he has the vision and drive to be Canada's next Prime Minister.

Dion is a very intelligent and far-thinking leader. Rather than being swayed by political expediency and opinion polls, Dion has looked at the facts of our economy and environment and opted for a policy that will both protect our environment and stimulate our economy.

A Carbon-Tax is not a tax grab whatsoever, because it will be used to offset and lower income tax rates for Canadians. Under his plan, those people whose activities and lifestyles inflict the most damage will pay the most. I strongly support such an initiative which will lower the tax burden on individuals and families who work hard to lower their carbon emissions and preserve our environment.

We Liberals are so very fortunate to have a leader who will propose such a needed and beneficial overhaul to our tax system. On days like today, I am very proud to be a Liberal!

May 6, 2008

Lack of Oversight Unacceptable

Stephen Harper is a devious, deceptive, secretive, and dangerous Prime Minister. Ever since becoming Prime Minister, he has made the government less open, transparent, and accessible to Canadians.

When civil servants try to do their jobs as they need to be done, if the PMO is unhappy about the content of their work they are disciplined or fired.

When journalists try to cover the government by asking it questions, they are often told 'sorry we don't choose to comment on this issue to you now. Go away.'

And now, it has just gotten even worse with the decision of the government to kill the centralized Access to Information registry. When a citizen asks and pays for the government to publicize certain information, it should be then presented in an open and accessible manner so that other Canadians can see this information without having to also submit and pay for an identical request.

Shame on you, Stephen Harper, for making Canada into a tyrannical and autocratic state!