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What people are getting wrong about this entire silly affair [SNC-Lavalin]

Friday, April 5th, 2019

… the option to Canadian prosecutors to impose a fine rather than lay a criminal charge is legitimate and sensible and the media and opposition should stop referring to it as a sleazy, partisan escape hatch for the naughty corporate friends of the Liberal Party… The argument that Trudeau had no right to review the case is spurious: he has an absolute obligation to discharge the duties of his office.

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Posted in Governance Debates | No Comments »

SNC-Lavalin is a sideshow to the real Wilson-Raybould issue

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

We should all stop simpering, shut down the Indigenous grievance racket, devise a serious reform policy and stop acting like pathetic apologists for the brave and good people who built this country, the Aboriginal people first among them… The natives have entirely legitimate grievances and we have to address them, but not by throwing money at undemocratic leaders and accepting the blood libel that we are the descendants of barbarians.

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How the NDP can take power

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Aug 6, 2011
…the NDP should drop the jaded New from its name (and not restrict itself with another adjective such as “Social”); get a serious leader in the event that Jack Layton is not in a position to resume his duties… ; adopt a program that casts a net to the centre; and be prepared to spend at least one more election convincing the Liberals…, to join them in merger, as Stephen Harper enticed the Progressive Conservatives into the Canadian Alliance. At that point, Liberal Democrats would do as a name, and they could win.

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Posted in Governance History | No Comments »

Drug prohibition is dumb on crime

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

May 14, 2011
… a recent World Health Organization study demonstrated that tough drug laws do not translate into stemming drug use… despite the strict mandatory minimum-sentencing regimes that exist in many states, the United States has among the highest lifetime rates of drug use… cutting drug supply by taking a drug dealer off the street will have the perverse effect of making it that much more profitable for new players to get into the market… gun violence… often occurs when remaining gangs fight over the new economic opportunity that police have unwittingly created.

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Posted in Child & Family Policy Context | 1 Comment »

Prisons should be repair shops, not garbage dumps

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Mar 12, 2011
Prison should not be a place of languishing; its purpose should be punishment, reparable stigmatization other than for extreme offenders, and largely regimented time to be spent in activity sensibly designed to make the returning prisoner less likely to reoffend. This would include therapy, skills training and reorientation. It should be authoritarian enough to incite non-return, but not so heavy-handed that it over-penalizes and breaks the will of inmates to resume life with a promising likelihood of success.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

Individual responsibility and the welfare state

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

January 22, 2011
In Canada in the 1960s and 1970s, when social programs became a defining feature of national identity, as well as a weapon against Quebec separatism, there was much discussion, even in the Progressive Conservative Party, of guaranteed annual incomes, effectively paying salaries to citizens whether they are employed or productive or not. In the United States, more arithmetically sober heads prevailed… , but Europe now faces the problem, with aging and problems attracting assimilable immigration, of only 30-some percent of the population working while everyone else draws benefits of some kind.

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Posted in Social Security History | 1 Comment »

Four ideas for a better Canada and a better world

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

December 11, 2010
… imprisonment is an insane, archaic and self-defeating treatment of non-violent offenders… Apart from those with a propensity to violence, and those who have committed other crimes on a Madoff-scale, felons should receive a government insurance bond for their employers, and contribute work to society pro bono… and treatment for substance abuse. Recidivists would have to be confined, but in prison or workshop facilities. Disused prison facilities could then be spruced up and reconfigured as housing for the indigent.

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »

The Liberals shall rise again

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

December 4, 2010
… I have plumped for a modest and self-liquidating wealth tax that would go to poverty-reduction projects that could be devised and administered by the taxpayer, and regulated in the same manner as charities. This would put the most agile financial minds behind poverty reduction and give the wealthiest an interest in addressing the issue. It would also make at least a modest start on income disparities, which should be attacked mainly by lifting the lowest, rather than tearing down the high earners.

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My prison education

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

July 31, 2010
It had been an interesting experience, from which I developed a much greater practical knowledge than I had ever had before of those who had drawn a short straw from the system; of the realities of street level American race relations; of the pathology of incorrigible criminals; and of the wasted opportunities for the reintegration of many of these people into society… And I had the opportunity to see why the United States has six to twelve times as many incarcerated people as other prosperous democracies, (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom), how the prison industry grew, and successfully sought more prisoners, longer sentences, and maximal possibilities of probation violations and a swift return to custody.

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Posted in Child & Family Debates | No Comments »

Canada’s inhumane prison plan

Monday, May 31st, 2010

May 29, 2010
The Roadmap is the self-serving work of reactionary, authoritarian palookas… It is counter-intuitive and contra-historical: The crime rate has been declining for years, and there is no evidence cited to support any of the repression that is requested. It appears to defy a number of Supreme Court decisions, and is an affront, at least to the spirit of the Charter of Rights… The whole concept of prison should be terminated, except for violent criminals and chronic non-violent recidivists.

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Posted in Inclusion Debates | No Comments »

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