Friday, 30 March 2012

Your Tax Dollars and The New Budget

The Conservative government presented is new budget March 29, 2012. The budget contains some noteworthy items. Most widely talked about is the elimination of the penny, which should save $11million years. However, there are more serious issues brought up in this budget. Unfortunately, there are some major cuts to come to public services over the next three years.   $115 million hit to the CBC; a $319 million cut to the Canadian International Development Agency; and $165 million to aboriginal affairs. However, it will not just be regular Canadian citizens experiencing the cuts. Government workers are taking significant hit. they will be paying more into their pensions, and our diplomats over seas will moving into smaller residence to save money. This budget even put forth the requirement of the Governor General to pay taxes on his $130,000 plus Salary. Controversially, the Member of Parliament pension package has remained untouched. Please read this 
The Star article on the budget for more information on what your government is deciding to spend your tax dollars on.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Legalization of Marijuana

Recently during a Q&A at the University of Alberta, interim Liberal leader Bob Rae was asked his position on legalizing marijuana. He said he believed in decriminalizing marijuana because criminal prohibition has not helped the issue of drug abuse or drug related crime. Prohibition of alcohol  actually led to the rise of crime syndicates in the united states, such as that of Al Capone. Supporters of legalization state that it will take profits out of the hands of criminals and place it in the national budgets. Whats your opinion?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Alberta Election Called

How are the people of Alberta going to vote on April 23? How will the Conservatives fair against the Wild Rose? Can the Liberals or NDP make any gains with the Right split?  What is your opinion? What the issues that are going to matter to you this election? answer these questions and add any important issues about the election to the comments. People out side Alberta wage in your concerns and hopes as well. Alberta is a driving force in our economy. However, it oil sands cause many issues with in our foreign policy. Tell us who you are going to vote for and why. Advertise and advocate for your candidate on this site.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

NDP has a new leader.

Thomas Mulcair is the new leader of the NDP. He is a well educated individual, having taught law at the university level. He also has notable experience working in the bureaucracy. As a public servant he has worked at Legislative Affairs branch of the Justice Ministry, and later in the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Conseil de la langue fran├žaise. As a politician, Mulcair has been elected provincially, and has served as Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks under the Charest government. Further more, He was Jack Layton's deputy Leader. However, Mulcair is also noted for making what some would call blunder. He made a controversial comment about the pictures of Osama Bin Laden's corpse that has been Criticized. Please share opinions of Thomas Mulcair and his future as the new leader of the NDP.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Thoughts about Kony 2012?

What is every ones thoughts on the Kony 2012 campaign. Invisible Children, the group responsible for video and campaign, has come under a lot of criticism. However, does issues with the group destroy the importance of raising awareness? Even if Joseph Kony is not an imminent threat, does that eclipse the fact that  he is now famous and people are aware of human rights issues such as child soldiers? Discuss the validity of the campaign and the importance of its message?

Friday, 23 March 2012

Future of the NDP, without Jack Layton

After a historic victory in the 2011 federal election, the the New Democratic Party of Canada seemed unstoppable. Tragically, Jack Layton the who led the party to victory died. The loss of Jack Layton did not just hurt the NDP, but all of Canadian politics as well. He was one of the well though of and loved politicians in recent Canadian history. He will be sorely missed.

 Today the party will pick the person who will take Jack Layton's place as leader of the party. Do you think who ever wins can fill the large hole left? For those who support the NDP who are you voting for? Comment on your choice if you have one?
follow the race at
http://www.cbc.ca/news/live/2012/03/ndp-leadership-convention.html

Thursday, 22 March 2012

What does it mean to you to be a Canadian Citizen

People often discuss their rights as citizens. Very few people discuss their responsibility as a Canadian Citizen. Is our relationship among each just the exchange of taxes for services facilitated by the government or is the something more. Do we have a responsibility to ensure the quality of our country? Is there something wrong with Canadian citizenship? Could declining voter turnout be the cause, no the result, of questionable politicians and disappointing policy?  This is an issue not just in Canada but all the western world. There people around the globe who wish they could have the democratic rights that we have. Do you think we have lived up to our responsibility as citizens.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Post-Seconday Education: public failure, possible private solution

The University of Alberta has suffered from inconsistent funding from the government; and the faculty of arts has suffered the most as a result(10 faculty positions). One student from the political science department running for the position of art councilor advocated for corporate/private sponsorship to help the arts; similar to how the faculty of engineering which has not experienced felt the cuts, due to their private sponsors.

Faculty of Arts councillors are running on various platforms many require money, of which arts does not have. The reason other faculties have money is they provide a service to the community that people want to buy and do not have to be forced into. Government only has so much funds that they force people to pay. I am trying to show that Arts Students are leaders and can provide a valuable service to the community outside of the government realm. 
 -- Ken Shanks Undergraduate at the University of Alberta.Candidate for Arts councilor


Is it wrong for the Arts faculties of universities to take corporate sponsorship or is this the only way they can survive rough economic times. Can government step up to plate. Would this take universities away from the public good and realign them to private interests? Please discuss this issue.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Accountability and Robocalls

In 2006, one of Steven Harper's major initiatives was to increase government accountability. One of his first moves was to put in place the Accountability Act. Is this past of accountability completely being undermined by Conservative electoral politics. I want to hear from both sides.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

New Crime Bill

The Conservative government has passed Bill-C10. Bill-C10 makes several amendments to the criminal code. These amendments enacts minimum sentences and doubles the duration of maximum sentences. For example, for growing marijuana a person can now be incarcerated for up to 14 years instead of the old maximum of 7 years. For more information please read this CBC article and discuss this issue.