Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some of My Top-Rated Reddit Comments, Without Context

The headline's explained it. There's not much I can add... Without context, some are still perfectly comprehensible. Others, well, aren't.
  1. Yes thank you Québec. You are the future of our country.
  2. She is ^NOT Parliament's most ethical MP.
  3. The article makes no mention of the obvious fact that the Greens suffered at the NDP's expense - that a Green vote is in many ways 'a vote against the status quo', and this time out, the 'orange tide' seemed to encapsulate that a lot. In fact, now that we've got a Green Party comprised mostly of environmentalists, a BQ comprised mostly of separatists, and a Liberal Party comprised mostly of centrists, these parties can get back to their 'core principles' and figure out where to build from here. That's no bad thing. ¶ Anyway, I've seen interviews with several other GPC members that indicate that they were aware that this time out they were entirely sacrificial lambs for the May personal campaign, and that they felt that in the long-term best interests of the party, it was the right thing to do. ¶ I'm not a Green supporter but I tend to agree with that analysis, though it increases the problem that every Canadian party except the Liberals now has, and that's how indistinguishable their brand identities have become from their leaders'.
  4. I don't tend to scream "YES!" at the best of times, but you're right. Positive electoral reform is worth celebrating, whoever it comes from. ¶ Obviously I'm not happy about just how Conservative the areas that stand to benefit currently are, but democracy is a virtue, even when it favours your opponents.
  5. Ya know when you talk with Canadians you have to use Celsius, eh?
  6. True. With Conservatives, instead of unknowns who might be incompetent, you get people who have proven their incompetence - and yet people continue to vote for them anyway.
  7. We've got the best political theatre since Bush/Gore due to happen tomorrow night. Who else is going to be tired as hell Tuesday morning?
  8. There's a balance required here that I'm not sure how to strike. Rep by pop is a good thing and all, but we're a federation for a reason, and it's not entirely fair to let smaller provinces be completely swamped by larger ones. ¶ I mean when it comes to northern ridings, their populations are smaller. But you could argue that that allows them to represent their divergent interests better. The city of Toronto might warrant 23 MPs (or more, I suppose), but you'd have a hard time arguing that the interests of, say, Don Valley West are very different from, say, Don Valley East - but Labrador or Nunavut clearly have distinct voices and as such need to be represented distinctly.
  9. A taste of what the next four years will be like: the MSM makes a Really Big Deal about the NDP's stance on the Clarity Act, while the Conservatives are to debate about whether or not to be completely batshit or only partly batshit, and nobody bats an eyelid. ¶ If Harper can actually stand up and say 'vote for me - don't worry; I won't reopen the gay marriage debate' then it means either (a) he's lying or (b) his party de facto accepts gay marriage. If the latter is the case, then the language of the party needs to acknowledge that. Otherwise, we must conclude that it's the former.
  10. Well, there's still the 'court of public opinion'. Private member bills will presumably still be open votes. But yes, if a bill is whipped, the outcome will be predetermined.
  11. I've never really understood why the idea of keeping the LCBO but letting it compete with private interests is never discussed. I mean it worked for years with Petro Canada (until politics determined that it shouldn't). The LCBO should remain a licensing and controlling board for all alcohol sales in the province wherever they occur, and in addition to that should also operate retail outlets that sell liquor, and also wine and beer if they want.
  12. Chantal Hébert has, obviously, a rather vested interest in one side of the sovereignty debate over the other. But the lacklustre performance of both Liberal parties in the province (that the PLQ is winning doesn't really mean anything; that 40% are willing to abandon both parties for a party that doesn't even exist yet says more) indicates that federalism is on life support too. I think what's really happening, and why Layton and Legault are sneaking down the middle, is that people in Quebec are just sick of identity politics - or rather identity politics obscuring the actual politics beneath them. They must be sick - they have every right to be - of every federal and provincial campaign being waged on the topic of 'the national question' and then leading to governments behaving in unpredictable ways on the 99.9% of matters of state that have nothing whatsoever to do with identity politics. ¶ The implication prevalent in RoC media that 40% of Quebeckers voted for the NDP because of Layton's infectious smile and charming Joual is highly insulting - the NDP led, and continue to lead, amongst all demographics in Québec - Francos, Anglos, Allos, Montréal, Québec City and the rest of the province. If such a poll were carried out, you'd probably find the NDP leading among federalists, seperatists and sovereignty-associationists too. Québec is speaking with one voice at the moment, united in a way its traditional politics would never allow it to be, and while it's satisfying to see traditional seperatist parties humbled, federalists shouldn't declare victory just yet, because they're in no better condition.
  13. I'm happy to defend her - not because she's the best person for the job but because she's currently a sacrificial lamb for a media eager to make the NDP, and the people of Québec, look like fools. ¶ Your comment brings it back to what this is really about - class. The issue is that she's an 'assistant bar manager'. How dare she try to take a seat in parliament alongside her betters, right?
  14. Yes but there are two things to note: (1) an increase of 2% (two percent!) takes the Conservatives from can't-get-anything-passed to can-do-whatever-they-want. It is certainly a strange system that walks on such razor-sharp tightropes, isn't it? and (2) a vote for the Liberals, the NDP, the Bloc or (arguably) the Greens was to a much larger degree an 'anti-Harper' vote this time out. You can't really argue with that: Harper himself was drawing the 'us and them' lines just as deeply into the sand as anyone else. Harper lost by the terms of the election defined by him, that a vote for anyone but the Conservatives was a vote for instability. Since he's walking around right now talking about how Canadians have rewarded him with a majority for his stable helmsmanship, it is certainly worth noting that 60% of Canadians disagreed with the dichotomy as he presented it. ¶ Harper's majority is predicated upon quirks in our democratic system, not the democratic will of Canadians. I don't begrudge him success at exploiting the system to its fullest extent, but to call it 'insipid' to point that out is, well, insipid itself.
  15. For those who are critical of the G&M or the Star for making any kind of endorsement at all... here's a growing list of 2011 newspaper endorsements. ¶ Notice that the vast majority of newspapers, who have over the past month been gated behind steel bars, fed false information, drowned out, ignored and humiliated by Stephen Harper and his Conservatives, still are throwing their weight behind Harper and his party - something which hardly bodes well for journalistic access in the future. The Hamilton Spectator, a TorStar paper in an overwhelmingly NDP city, is stumping for the Tories. The Montreal Gazette, in a city where the Tories are perhaps polling at 10%, wants a Tory majority. The Economist, which is not even Canadian, endorses the Tories.
  16. I'm 36 and have a one-year-old daughter, and I think I'm actually moving further to the left as a result. Having a child makes me realise more clearly the importance of having a viable safety net to protect all of us, and the importance of fighting manmade environmental destruction. Perhaps having a child just accentuates a belief system you already have.
  17. If he ever gets a chance to rise up in the HoC and scream at Harper, 'you will pay... for your BARBARISM!', I'll pay him $5.
  18. In the past you have voted for a party with a proud tradition of honourable public servants. Hopefully you have shown the current leaders of the party that they can't take people's votes for granted. Have faith that after Harper and his yes-men have been cleared from the ranks, you will get your party back, and Canada will be the better for it.
  19. Ironically one reason people tend to get more conservative as they get older, at least socially, is because of the success of progressives - as the years go by the entire paradigm shifts. Somebody who in the 1960s was progressive on, say, race relations is now merely 'in the mainstream' on race relations but has since found that, for example, his position on homosexuality that in the 1960s was 'mainstream' is now 'conservative'. To a degree, his opinions haven't shifted, merely the bar has. ¶ But it's really weird to consider it a success for progressivism that the more we succeed, the more conservatives we produce.

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