Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Election Fraud: This is Where the Ben Johnson Principle Should Kick in.

You Cheat You Lose the Gold Medal

The citizens group the Council of Canadians is filing to overturn election results in seven ridings over election fraud.

The seven ridings across the country all experienced shady live or "robo" phone calls which appeared to have the objective of interfering with people's attempts to vote. All seven ridings were won by the Conservatives and all but one of them by less than 1,000 votes.

While the article discusses ways of "measuring" the impact of the fraudulent calls, that should not be necessary. The fact that illegal and fraudulent means were employed with the intention of affecting the election should be enough to render the result null and void.

This is where the "Ben Johnson" principle should be in effect. No one had to prove how much speed Ben Johnson gained by taking steroids. It was proven that he took them and he lost his gold medal.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sir, your room in the ice hotel is currently flowing down the St. Lawrence River

A couple of years ago, the biathlon (normally includes cross country skiing) at the B.C. Winter Games had to be replaced by haha the "summer biathlon".
This year, if you had a room booked at the Montreal Ice Hotel during the last two weeks of March, you room is now flowing down the St. Lawrence River!
Just followed a bus that had an ad on the back for the "Village des Neiges" (Snow Village) in Montreal. It said, "...until March 31". Obviously they weren't counting on five straight days of 22+ C (75 F) temperatures in the middle of March. Great for bike riding - but if you had a reservation at the Ice Hotel, your room is now one huge wet bar!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Should Quebec Students' Strike for Lower Tuition be Spread to Rest of Canada?

Students in Quebec have been protesting a 75% tuition increase over five years announced by the provincial government.

there are two sides to this story

In favour of keeping lower tuition

1. many countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Brazil, the Bahamas and Scotland, have free university education, and it is a worthwhile ideal to strive towards
2. Quebeckers pay higher taxes than anyone in Canada
3. Something like $890 Mil of corp. tax breaks have been given away over the past number of years, so the students might presume the gov't has spare cash to fund education
4. tuition is only a small part of the cost of supporting oneself while attending school
5. Increasing the cost of education could cause some to lose their chance for an education
6. The commitment of spending years studying is substantial enough, without forcing students to work in bars or corner stores or ??
7. Poor management, gratuitous buy-outs for admins and execs, and wastage in general, have been "noted" in the academic field as others

In favour of higher tuition

1. Quebec has the lowest tuition fees in Canada by a long shot and exponentially lower than in the U.S.
2. The government is hard-pressed to find areas to save
3. the cost of quality education is increasing and Quebec schools may lose competitive advantage
4. The tuition fees have been raised very little in years
5. Everyone has to pull their own weight at least to some extent
6. Because Quebec has CEGEPs (jr college, approx. equiv to grade 12 + 13), students only have to attend three years of university to obtain a basic undergrad degree

I hate to sit on the fence, but haven't made up my mind on this issue.

In principal, I would favour free education. But having tuition fees drastically lower than the rest of Canada doesn't seem sustainable to me. Perhaps the drive for lower tuition needs to be taken to the rest of the country...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

People die for their opinions and here in Canada "we let the bastards get away with everything" -Merlin, 96

A moment of zen at a Toronto Danforth byelection Green Party town hall yesterday with Elizabeth May, Georges Laraque and Green Party candidate Adriana Mugnatto Hamu in the frame.

A woman, identifying herself as "Merlin", 96 years old, steps to the microphone and says,

"I've seen a lot of elections, in England, and during the War..
The main thing about Politiking and elections, is that there's a lot of ground swell.. that people have to hear about you and your policies..
Get the word out, because without people knowing what is going on..
Canadians are well known for their apathy and their indifference..
People in Libya, Somalia, all over the world, are dying for their opinions, they're dying to make their words heard, and we here in Canada just sit here and we let the bastards get away with everything."