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    Thread: Civics 205

    1. #1
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      Civics 205

      A week ago I had this largely drafted, simply needed to upload and post it.
      =====================
      This might seem to be about politics. It's really not though, it's about my continuing evolution and assimilation. I have seen and done a lot of really great stuff - seen the RCMP Musical Ride, the Snowbirds, the Canadian train trip across Canada, snowshoeing, the ROM. Now, at long last I get to vote.

      Board members living in Ontario (Canada not California ) are undoubtedly aware of the provincial election on June 12. Members elsewhere in Canada may know of it. Members outside Canada, probably not.

      I look forward to participating, it is the first election I can vote in since becoming a Canadian citizen. Voting is a very important and solemn right, and responsibility, and duty to me.

      A little backstory for new members and to refresh longer term ones.
      ------------------------
      Faye (Kleb) and I married in January 2006 and in June 2007 I immigrated from the US to Canada. I became a Permanent Resident later that year. On November 30 2011 I became a Canadian citizen. (Sometime I'll have to post THIS backstory. ).

      Now a primer on provincial elections. In Ontario, provincial elctions are held every four years; the next one was scheduled for October(?) 2015. In the 2011 electionthe Liberal Party won a plurality of seats, not a majority. the Liberals needed the support of the opposing Progressive Conservative (PC) and New Democratic (NDP) parties, and those parties' leaders, to govern. Two weeks ago the Liberals released their annual budget, which the PC leader already opposed. All eyes were on the NDP leader, who refused to support the budget so provicial government was dissolved and an election called. By law the official campaign can last only (around) 30 days and Election Day is June 12.
      --------------
      I was raised in a very politically aware household. At the dinner table, we had dinner, then dessert, then politics. All of us were encouraged to read, watch the news (when it was news), read some more. To read between the lines. To be skeptical. To not swallow without chewing and tasting, so to speak.

      So I've been chewing, tasting, provincial politics for almost seven years. This is a fascinating campaign, interesting dynamics. Very much look forward to delivering my opinion after all this time.

      I was also raised to believe two things about voting. It's my right of course, that almost goes without saying. It's up to me to exercise that right. More importantly, it's my duty. My civic responsibility, one I take seriously. A responsibility I care enough about to intelligently exercise, which is why I spend a lot of time reading political stuff.

      It seems many people are unexcited, even turned off, by this election. That's understandable yet it's unfortunate. I'm inclined to suggest to such people that they go live for a year in Homs, or Donetsk, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. They might be more appreciative of the fact that one of the biggest topics of discussion here is wind turbines. Not where the next meal comes from, or will their neighbour beat the crap out of them, or will they disappear into a camp. Or perhaps they won't be more appreciative. People are who they are.

      In this election there are no Great Ideas, Great or Charismatic Leaders. That's also unfortunate yet it is kind of a reflection of life. Much of the time life is plugging through, doing the best you can, making the best of it you can. Even then - perhaps especially then - it's important to still pay attention. To vote and vote intelligently, justly, responsibly.

      Will my vote make a difference in which party wins the election? Most likely not. It will make a difference to me though. I care. I voted.

      I applied to act as an election official. It would be swell to serve, to live another piece of Canadiana. Who knows if I will be contacted to serve, if not that's fine. I do hope to though, and in my application specifically mentioned being a new citizen.

      And that's why I titled this thread Civics 205. I will vote (Civics 101 to me). I look forward to serving on a jury (Civics 201). I very much hope to serve as an elections official (205).
      Andrew, Faye, Achilles, and Fitzi

      Not gone, only gone on ahead - Bruno, Rex, BoJo, Kendal, Kingsley, Moonpie, Avis, Corndog, and now Stella

      I invite you to visit my blog, Hidden Content .

      The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life -- the sick, the needy and the handicapped. -Hubert Horatio Humphrey, US Vice President (1911-1978)

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      If you dont vote you have no right to complain about elected officials.

      Even better, get involved in your city / town to help make it better!

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      Quote Originally Posted by KenZ71 View Post
      If you dont vote you have no right to complain about elected officials.

      Even better, get involved in your city / town to help make it better!
      That's right.

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      I vote regularly, not always happy with the outcome, but I usually vote. I'm not real happy with republicans or democrats, either one, but I still try to at least pick what I think is the lesser of the two evils. Sometimes it's the democrat, sometimes it's the republican.

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      I agree with you Mr. Kleb. Our provincial election was not too long ago and it was the most unfortunate and disgusting election campaign I've ever seen here. I certainly wasn't too keen on any of the contenders but I believe citizens should vote and really it was more about defeating a certain candidate than choosing one (lesser of two, or 3, or 4 evils).

      Good luck for your application for election official
      SnapV and the One and Only Koopa! (approximate dob: 25/01/2013, gotcha: 30/03/2013)

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      It is certainly interesting to compare the Canadian system to the one we have in the United States. I would actually prefer a parliamentary system to the presidential system we have now. It's much easier for those elected to govern without obstruction from the minority party. Parliamentary systems also tend to have multiple parties in office, which gives voters more than the two choices you tend to get in a geographically based presidential system. There is also evidence which suggests there is less distortion between the ideological preferences of voters and elected officials in parliamentary systems than presidential systems. There's also much less private money in the Canadian political system than in the United States.






      Found this polling tracker on Wikipedia. Looks like the Liberals are doing well in the national polling, but a lot can change in a year. How do the parties in Canada compare to the Democrats and Republicans here?

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      When I was in college I was hugely involved in politics and learning all I could about all viewpoints/sides/parties. Now 25 years later in the USA, I really havent seen anything that interests me enough to go vote. All the frontrunners are the same and the results equally so. money will be spent with the thought of benefiting someone. some years the right benefits, some years the left...and hopefully during this process our country doesnt die! As long as none of these politicians try to take away my freedom, I will figure out how to survive. shoot if they do something that really pisses me off I will just move! gotta love freedom!
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      Quote Originally Posted by SnapV View Post
      I agree with you Mr. Kleb. Our provincial election was not too long ago and it was the most unfortunate and disgusting election campaign I've ever seen here. I certainly wasn't too keen on any of the contenders but I believe citizens should vote and really it was more about defeating a certain candidate than choosing one (lesser of two, or 3, or 4 evils).

      Good luck for your application for election official [IMG]file:///C:\Users\Andrew\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01 \clip_image002.gif[/IMG]
      Though being unfamiliar with the issues other than 'The Big One' I watched your election with great interest. It seemed to be a rough-and-tumble campaign, which made it never boring. Thanks for your good wishes.

      Quote Originally Posted by Sir Winston View Post
      It is certainly interesting to compare the Canadian system to the one we have in the United States. I would actually prefer a parliamentary system to the presidential system we have now. It's much easier for those elected to govern without obstruction from the minority party. Parliamentary systems also tend to have multiple parties in office, which gives voters more than the two choices you tend to get in a geographically based presidential system. There is also evidence which suggests there is less distortion between the ideological preferences of voters and elected officials in parliamentary systems than presidential systems. There's also much less private money in the Canadian political system than in the United States.


      Found this polling tracker on Wikipedia. Looks like the Liberals are doing well in the national polling, but a lot can change in a year. How do the parties in Canada compare to the Democrats and Republicans here?
      I have come to greatly prefer the parliamentary system for several reasons. For one thing, although a charismatic (or at least persuasive, or powerful) party leader can wield influence, I think there is a little less of the cult of personality resulting in a little more focus on party principles. For another, the Prime Minister (PM) who has a minority or small majority government has to compromise with the opposition to a certain extent. On the other hand, a PM with a clear majority has a pretty free hand, as is currently the case. That can be a good or less than good thing depending on your perspective.

      Unfortunately the corrosive effect of private campaign contributions has become more of a factor in federal politics. This is influenced by the fact that the Conservative government was able in 2011 to eliminate the per-vote public subsidy of campaigning. Basically this meant that if Parties A, B, and C received respectively 5, 3, and 2 votes of every ten votes cast, each party received a corresponding fraction of public money. The public subsidy/match of private contributions continues. The Conservative Party is very, very good at fund-raising.

      As for where on the American spectrum our major parties align. Forgive me but I'll generalize, and provide one (possibly inaccurate) personality to help you grasp my meaning. The PCs/Conservatives analog with your small-g government Republicans (except for Keystone XL - a lot of small-government time, money, and resources have been utilized to lobby the US on its behalf) though not necessarily on social issues. Paul Ryan comes to mind.

      Liberals are like your moderate to liberal Democrats, prepared to use policy, taxation, and funding to advance their sociopolitical goals. Say, Rep. John Conyers.

      The NDP are (compared t the States) quite liberal in utilizing fiscal, monetary, and legislative policy. I'm unsure there is an analog.

      Quote Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
      When I was in college I was hugely involved in politics and learning all I could about all viewpoints/sides/parties. Now 25 years later in the USA, I really havent seen anything that interests me enough to go vote. All the frontrunners are the same and the results equally so. money will be spent with the thought of benefiting someone. some years the right benefits, some years the left...and hopefully during this process our country doesnt die! As long as none of these politicians try to take away my freedom, I will figure out how to survive. shoot if they do something that really pisses me off I will just move! gotta love freedom!
      I appreciate your perspective. More than a few people I talk with up here feel like you.

      Take heart. It may seem like not the best of times. Y'all survived the War of 1812, your Civil War, McCarthy, Vietnam/Nixon, numerous financial panics.

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