Due to my horrible accuracy at making predictions in 2009, and my complete lack of a sense of knowing better, I have decided to repeat the trick and try making another round of predictions for 2010.
1. There will be NOT be a federal election. Looking at the opposition, I don't believe the the NDP, the bloc or the Iffy's Libs are in any position to have an election. Their time was in the middle of the recession. NOT NOW.
With a recovery taking hold, the Liberals loosing the one fundraising expert that seemed to get them off the ground, a Liberal leader loosing credibility by the day, the NDP still attempting to deal with the "Green" question, and the Bloc quickly being forgotten the fundamental equation seems to result in the answer: avoid an election at all costs. If anything if I were the opposition I would be pushing for more information about the Afghan abuse scandal before even thinking of an election.
As for Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister has an a fragile economic recovery to tender to, along with an Afghan abuse scandal that will not seem to go away. The implementation of the HST this year is no doubt NOT going to make him friends in certain regions of the country as Canadians start to pay MORE for things they aren't used to.
2. The economy will rebound. The worst is indeed over. The re-evaluation of the market after the downturn lead to 5 years of growth going doing the tubes. Basically the market seemed to think that over the last 5 years absolutely zero growth had occurred. My personal opinion is that the market on the whole is undervalued.
3. Inflation will be a problem. The United States alone pumped into its economy $787 billion USD in stimulus spending, Britain expanded its money supply by $330 billion USD in "quantitative easing", and Canada injected somewhere over $35 billion CDN. With recovering oil demand, I personally think that world wide inflation should be given.
4. Obama will send more troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. I never believed he would ever pull out of either country. He's a statist at heart and will fall on the argument of "realpolitic" to justify his actions.
5. Absolutely nothing will come out of Copenhagen. The summit was a failure by those intent on expanding the role of government in our daily lives. I think those that believe that a treaty signed by a government somehow negates the politics of that government's homeland after the treaty has been signed are living in la-la land. A good example of this is the Lisbon treaty's difficulties in Europe. The US will implement some half hearted attempt at carbon restrictions. In the end it doesn't change the politics or the reality of the climate debate.
An attempted terrorist attack on an airplane filled with - lo and behold - innocent bystanders. Except that this attack was foiled by passengers taking the initiative and wrestling the terrorist to the ground. I can't help but think about the heroism displayed by the passengers of Flight 93 on the Sep 11 attacks.
Apparently the most effective means to stop terrorists doesn't seem to be increased airline security, or increased immigration restrictions.
What does work to stop terrorism seems to be committed decent individuals defending their lives and not allowing fear to get the best of them.
The irony here is of course that governments will no doubt react to this latest attack by further restricting the freedoms of their citizens in the name of improving security.
Airlines should be able to place whatever restrictions they wish as passengers are not forced to buy tickets from them. The problem I have is the ridiculous restrictions the state has placed on immigration, border controls, and free trade that I do not believe improve security against terrorists attacks ever since 9/11.
“Mr. Harper wanted me to say nothing at Copenhagen? Why? Why would I be silent at Copenhagen — I’d say one thing in Quebec and the opposite thing there? Defending Quebec’s position is not working against Canada.."(link)
Why? Because, Mr Premier, quite frankly you're wrong.
The position you took at Copehagen was anti-Albertan, and quite frankly anti-Canadian.
You suggested there was "two Canada's." A Canada consisting of the central provinces pursuing tough objectives for carbon emissions, and Alberta with the west unwilling to meet tough carbon restrictions. This view of Canada pits region against region, with little regard for your neighbors in Confederation.
You are correct there are two Canada's. But the rest of your world is upside down.
There is one Canada of provinces with Conservative leaning governments working diligently to stay out of people's way to be self sufficient, and a Canada with provinces dependent on equalization payments from the other Canada to fund their spending heavy socialist leaning pet projects.
Whining about the Little Red Hen refusing to bake bread quite the way you want to is not productive, it's not the mark of leader, and in the end it's childish.
It's easy for you to critize how the provinces that are keeping this country afloat are running their affairs, but in the end you depend on them to fund your government. So the question I have for you Mr Charest, is with your economy contracting due to your stronger emission targets, just how do you expect to stay afloat by forcing the Little Red Hen's of Canada to follow your economically disastrous policies?
Just what will it take for you to appreciate and work with your fellow Canadians on this file?
Apparently the CSA is considering using prizes, structured like the X-prize to drive innovation in the Canadian space industry:
"I believe that prize competitions, if carefully structured, can have significant potential in accelerating the pace of innovation, in stirring the imagination, especially of students and young professionals, in providing a communications and outreach platform to highlight the benefits of space, and in promoting an entrepreneurial spirit."
To be frank, my only hope is don't spend this money on prizes pushing "Space Science." The CSA does enough of that already. Although it may be scientifically interesting to see how crystals and plants grow in a laboratory, it just doesn't do it for me.
I would love to see money going into good solid engineering prizes - but I won't hold my breath for that one.
McGuilty is off on another Climate rampage against the amazingly stalling Harperites in Ottawa.
What didn't make the headline is that earlier this month the Province of Ontario's Environment Minister indicated that Ontario will likely miss its own emissions targets.
It's clear that despite Liberal meanderings the emissions targets discussed and only quazy-committed at Copenhagen will never be met.
Now, I refuse to believe that Dalton McGuilty is just some idiot. His government is staffed with some very smart people. And quite frankly many Liberals out there are very successful people.
The reason I bring this up is because, years after the Chretien Liberals signed into Kyoto, Eddie Goldenberg admitted that the Liberals didn't think they would actually meet the targets at the time.
Seeing that the Liberals are not idiots, is it possible that McGuilty's barrage of Canada on the international stage might be motivated by a denial of the basic reality that his province's emission targets are a fantasy? Is this his way of coming up with an excuse?
I refuse to believe that the smart people in McGuilty's government don't know full well that this is all "well wishing." As such I'm forced to conclude that McGuilty and many on the left in this country are lashing out as last desperate attempt to justify themselves in a quickly dying global climate change movement.
They're all in climate denial.
Canadians continue to trail far far behind Americans when it comes to charitable donations. Quebec ranks the bottom of the list. The underlying reasons will continue to be debatable but I`ve always believed it has to do with the general level of public spending in Canada.
With government being more involved in our daily lives in Canada, providing Healthcare, education, and even television, I believe many Canadians don`t feel the need to support charities.
In the US, Americans feel more compelled to donate because Joe next door doesn`t have a big old government to depend on.
It`ll be interesting to see if the general generosity of Americans reduces with the implementation of socialized healthcare by Obama.
Welcome to Hugo Chavez's Venezuela:
"This is a very complex issue, but there is no doubt that there are people in prison simply because they are accused of some crime simply because they do not agree with the political agenda of the national government..."(link)There's only part of Cardinal Urosa's remarks that I disagree with. This isn't a "very complex issue." He's being to generous. It's very simple. Hugo Chavez is a power maniac that is recklessly bringing his country to ruins.
Global Climate proponents have long had an excellent line of argument to convince us all of their cause. It's the Auto Mechanic close method to sales.
Whenever I go in to an auto shop I've come to expect that it doesn't matter what I originally go into that shop for I will no doubt be told something else needs to be replaced. A mechanic will describe to me how if I didn't replace part X what "could" happen, what "potential" safety problems might occur, and how part X is "ready to go".
Your immediate reaction is "Holy Moly!" Better get that part switched or else simultaneously my wheels, front bumper, the windshield and steering wheel will come popping off the car magically without any prior warning.
The only problem is I don't what "could" happen. I don't care what "potential" safety problems could occur. And I don't care if something is "ready to go."
What I care about is how much more life does the part have? How likely are those safety problems are to occur? And, how likely is this problem going to happen without any prior warning? Once I start asking those questions, including the question "If this was your car, would you replace that part" all of sudden the picture becomes a lot more clearer of the shenanigans really going on.
In the climate change debate the same sales trick is being employed. Reports speak of how global water levels "could" raise by X amount by the end of the century. They speak of the "potential" costs to humanity. They elaborate about how endangered species of animals are "close" to extinction.
And the public reacts no differently. The "Holy Moly" instinct kicks in and we all stop thinking rationally. All of sudden any draconian measure of no matter the cost becomes justifiable.
In the aftermath of Copenhagen I think those of us who see some value behind individual freedom would be best to ask the following questions of Climate Change proponents like Al Gore and the like:
1) Are you so confident of the "potential" downfalls you are willing to be poor and have the government take 90% of your income to cure the problem?2) Just how likely is it that the outcomes we've heard of global warming will actually become true?3) How much time do we have left as the best case scenario? I've heard the doomsday scenario's all over the place, but given the best case, given all variables are the most advantageous towards humanity - what is the result?
We keep on asking those questions, and the climate change debate will easily fall apart. As Al Gore flies around the world leaving a carbon footprint the size of the Alberta I think we can see how much Al Gore would be willing to part with his money.
I must be either dreaming, having a stroke, or experiencing some weird mind altering side effects of a recent caffeine fast because it looks as if the MgGuinty government is "trial balloning" the idea of privatizing Crown assets.
This brings to mind a some quick points:
This brings to mind a some quick points:
1) Why the hell didn't we just privatize Hydro One when the Harris Tories first wanted to?Bottom line, privatize, privatize, and more privatize McGuinty. Do something right for a change.
2) McGuinty must be desperate if he's willing to part with that most golden calf of Lefties everywhere - Crown Corporations.
3) Is hell freezing over? Seriously, I can't believe that the health tax Warren Kinsella Ontario Libs would honestly be considering this.
4) Just how does one justify having the state involved in Liquor, Electricity, and gambling?... Sounds less like a benevolent state and more like a Mafia operation.
Update: McGuilty does a mea culpa. Well, sort of. He denies considering the dirty deed, but admits to studying how the Provincial government can get the "best bang" for its buck... Whatever that means. My guess is some sort of sell off is bound to occur eventually. Even it's just a public offering of stake in a crown corp. It's good news for those of us interested in reducing the size of government.