Monday, October 01, 2007

Daily Digest October 1, 2007



CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Action time for little-discussed illness print this article
Screening for colorectal cancers could save lives, a program should be set up.

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Paying down the debt is the right thing to do

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Medical uncertainties

        Child brides

OTTAWA SUN - Maybe we mean what we say

TORONTO STAR - Genuine progress in past four years

NATIONAL POST - It's not about civil liberties

TORONTO SUN - Maybe we mean what we say

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - Harper rigid against Kyoto

LONDON FREE PRESS - Maybe we mean what we say

K-W RECORD - Harper lacks a green plan

Keep reform on the table

         Homework for Mr. Tory

SUDBURY STAR - Students must agree to be agreeable

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Vote stops here

WINNIPEG SUN - Maybe we mean what we say

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Ignoramuses cannot grasp value of trade

REGINA LEADER-POST - Why you need to know

CALGARY HERALD - China's navy making waves
Naval expansion clearly aimed at influencing events elsewhere

CALGARY SUN - Maybe we mean what we say

EDMONTON SUN - Maybe we mean what we say

PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN - Tories fail to address green issues

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Do tankers belong in our future?
Government must lay out its plans for future of offshore oil moratorium


State of high alert called off at Kandahar Airfield

Kandahar base on security alert; lockdown lifted after 12 hours

Not just Taliban have blood on hands

US issues Afghan most wanted list

Al-Qaeda wants a part of Afghan talks

Bernier to urge tomorrow that high-level UN post be created to co-ordinate Afghanistan aid, security

Military set to replace aurora Aircraft Surveillance Fleet

High Praise As NAFTA Turns 20
66% of Canadians favour stronger ties to U.S.: poll

U.S. fears make trade a tough sell

Canada won't copy U.S. toxin regulations

Subsidy needs second look

Economic growth seems to benefit only a rich few
Despite decades of record performance the average Canadian is not better off

NORAD seeks Russian transparency on patrol flights

Cracks emerge in Myanmar military unity

Canada pushes for high-profile UN envoy to raise awareness of Afghan struggle

Private soldiers were unprovoked: Iraqi investigators

Pentagon gives Blackwater a new contract

China's trillion-dollar kitty is launched

Health advice free and contradictory

Four doctors, pharma company acquitted of all charges in tainted blood trial

RCMP hits airwaves, web to fill imminent staffing 'gaps'

Safe injection site at risk as feds ramp up war on drugs

Marijuana sales shifting from north-south to east-west

Northwest Territories residents to elect new members of legislature

No plans to woo anglophones: Dumont

B.C. Health group has leaked documents it claims means more privatization

Up for grabs
Saskatoon seen as key battleground by political parties as election looms

Conservatives seek to revive Ontario vote campaign

GOOGLE - all 204 news articles »

The genesis of Tory's school policy

Tory offers free vote on funding religious schools, but too late, critics say ls: Tory

Free vote on faith

New Attack Ads Target McGuinty

Speculation rife over Tory's call to candidates
Faith-Based Funding; PC leader facing defeat in his own riding: poll

Too little, too late

Report decries for-profit clinics plan

Not as advertised; Politicians have a habit of underwhelming voters when they gain power

Outspoken blogger received Tory contract

Treasury board chair says Tory war chest ready for possible fall vote

Get-tough plan on drugs doomed, experts say
Liberal MP calls Tories' policy triumph of 'ideology over science,' urges medical, not moral, approach to issue

Professor nabs nomination over high-profile Tory

Coderre says Tories tried to block his trip

Stéphane Dion and the Liberals just had a week from hell
Since the Quebec by-elections, it's been one disaster after another for the party

How to avoid the election that no one really wants

PM broke word with N.S. Dion

RCMP lacks money, personnel for terror financing probes, Air India inquiry told

Study finds chlorine kills bird flu in water

CEOs call for action on climate change, but cool to carbon tax

Quebec fuming over carbon tax

Ottawa let down antiterror work, Major says

We lack resources to probe terrorist finances: CSIS, RCMP

Taking a lesson from Belgium's woes

Overspending created our debt

Accentuate the negative

The ice wars cometh

Bring back the Mounties

McGuinty has cash for immigration: MP
Watson says part of $8B in federal funding is meant for refugee claims

PMs and prima donnas

When bullies prove useful
The Capo del Capo of International Big Oil confesses that he doesn't have a clue why oil is worth 70 bucks a barrel and our politicians and business media don't raise an eyebrow.

What's the value in Al Gore preaching to the converted?


Quatre acteurs centraux du scandale du sang contaminé sont acquittés

La GRC et le SCRS disent manquer de ressources pour contrer le terrorisme

Le vérificateur blâme le gouvernement

La base de Kandahar mise en état d'alerte

Afghanistan: le Canada prône la nomination d'un envoyé spécial

Canadiens et Américains estiment que le libre-échange a été profitable

Harper devra s'engager à respecter Kyoto


Kandahar base on security alert; lockdown lifted after 12 hours

        Correct me if I'm wrong.  The insurgents (the term increasingly used) were defeated, broken, unable to stand and fight but forced to use explosive devices
        on roads.
        Scott Taylor 's article argues otherwise and a 12 hour lockdown on Kandahar base would seem to confirm his view:
        What was most alarming about the Hornburg incident was that in this instance the Taliban insurgents were bold enough to engage our forces
        with conventional tactics. This wasn't just a remotely detonated roadside explosive device or suicide bomb ambush: Cpl. Hornburg was killed
        by a mortar blast as he and his comrades attempted to repair a disabled Leopard tank. Another soldier was wounded by the mortar and when        additional Canadian troops began a Medevac, they were engaged by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The result was that three
        more soldiers were wounded. SCOTT TAYLOR
        Rosie DiManno's article introduces to those who may not be aware the shifting nature of Afghan politics. "Old Afghanistan" goes back in time to Alexander
        the Great, by the way.

        In Afghanistan, though, internecine politics always devolves to war. And if new Afghanistan is destined to become once more old Afghanistan,    Canadian troops have been wasting their time, their sweat, their blood Rosie DiManno

        One Minister is saying no discussions until they agree to stop attacking (their condition being foreigners withdraw so the Honourable P.MacKay and the insurgents       agree, in a way), another wants a high profile ambassador from the U.N. appointed.  To do what, I wonder, otherwise than get discussions going?

        Study finds chlorine kills bird flu in water 

         There are municipalities that have chlorine, others that do not.  Will chlorine be mandated as a prevention against the pandemic that will come and kill
        Lord only knows how many people?
        In that $300 000 000.00 of Federal money has funded HPV Vaccine Safety a question, how seeon and
        how much will be allocated to prevention of bird flu being transmitted in our water supplies?

From: Claudia Hudson
Subject: Oklahoma joins Texas fight against Super Corridor!

Enjoy the article --I have sent a correction of the Prime Minister's name--you might wish to do that too --just to make sure they get it

Texas Super Corridor Rebellion spreads to Oklahoma
By Patrick Wood

There is a growing rebellion in Texas against the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) that promises to dislodge (e.g., eminent domain seizures) between 500,000 and 1,000,00 acres of prime Texas ranch and farm land so that a 1,200 foot NAFTA transportation Super Corridor can be built by a foreign corporation to transport containers full of foreign goods from Mexico to Kansas City.

One group of concerned Oklahomans have realized that Oklahoma is next on the globalist menu.

You see, the planned I-35 Super Corridor is scheduled to run straight through Oklahoma and consume some 32,000 acres of privately-held property.

From: Robert Ede
Subject: Cdn. Ann. Fin. Rpt.- Testing Cdn's Benign Neglect

An Open Letter to the Governor General of Canada

Your Excellency,
cc. Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty,
I have read through the just-released Annual Financial Report for 2006-07 and accompanying Fiscal Reference Tables and wonder if a few questions can be answered.
Statement of Assets and Liabilities
Without a fuller technical explanation vis-a-vis the sound-biten Press Release, I am forced to believe that your 'new' Stewards of the Crown's Assets & Treasury are trying to misrepresent their Fiscal activities, or, at a minimum, not disclose the reasons for their actions.
Why did the public announcement accentuate the Balance Sheet's NetNet Debt (aka Accumulated Deficit,aka Federal Debt -see Ann Fin Rpt Highlights Pg.7) reduction of ~$14.231Billion, when the Gross Debt (aka Total interest-bearing debt) decreased by ONLY ~$1.821Billion? -see- Ann Fin Rpt - Table 9, Pg.25

The Annual Report's Table 9 shows "Total financial ASSETS" increasing `$16.299, "Total non-financial ASSETS" increasing by ~$1.19Billion thus allowing a lower (net) amount for "Net debt" (down ~$13.041B) and permitting the (netnet) accounting manoeuver known as the (deliciously dis-informative) "Federal Debt" to be entered as down ~$14.231Billion - and to be announced with great fanfare.

If we are not actually lowering interest-bearing debt by an amount anywhere near what your Stewards say, but are in fact applying most of the "surplus" to increased government Assets , why do you allow them to make such readily-disprovable claims?

Do your temporary-Stewards believe we won't check? or do these Custodians-of-the-day think we are just too stupidly (ie beyond benign) neglectful to care?

Note #4 Contingent Liabilities -Condensed Financial Sttmnts

With all due respect, Governor General please ask for a fuller explanation to be made public on the ~$897.49 BIllion in "insurance in force relating to self-sustaining insurance programs operated by three agent enterprise Crown corporations .... . (that)The government expects ... will cover the cost of both current claims and possible future claims " see Ann Fin Rpt - Notes to the Condensed ... Note#4, Pg.28
Robert Ede,
Thornhill ON

From: Eugene Parks
Subject: a hit
Tories no leaders on green front
Times Colonist
Published: Monday, October 01, 2007

Re: "Minister defends climate plan," letter, Sept. 28.

Environment Minister John Baird's letter should be vigorously challenged. Under the current government, environmental programs of the previous government were cancelled. Cuts within Environment Canada have been extensive. Stephen Harper has been championing carbon-capture technologies that have no widespread application.

The Harper government is promoting intensity targets with no overall cap or legally binding hard limits to carbon emissions. They are promoting Albertan oil interests.

In contrast, real solutions exist through sustainable and renewable energy sources such as hydro, ground-heating, wind and solar power -- proven technologies with the potential of very widespread application.

The Harper-Baird message amounts to eco-fraud when real alternative solutions are available. Harper and Baird are not environmental leaders.

Eugene Parks,

Eugene Parks

From: Robert Ede
Subject: Mixed-up Voting system vs All-season tires

Dear Ed,
The best line in Mr Mintz's Disproportionate trouble for democracy is " The Citizens' Assembly ... look(ed) for a combination ... since each (system has) their flaws"
Unfortunately, like All-Season auto tires, the proposed electoral compromise has the worst characteristics of both and none of the best features of either. For serious drivers they're too soft for summer heat (diminishing tire life) and too hard for cold winter (lacking good traction).
Where's the none of the above option?
For informed voters (count them on your fingers as a % of voters) the mixed-up, hybrid system offered on Oct 10th is worse than the 30-day (un)reality show  where nice-looking contestants throw new-found money at wedge-issue policies on TV - all designed to divide and conquer  viewers both individually and in groups.

Robert Ede,
From: Henry Atkinson
Subject: Referendum

<>Hi Folks.......................passing this on.   Something to think about.  Don't know who wrote it though.

Did you know a referendum was taking place on October 10, 2007?

<>On October 10, 2007, as part of the next Provincial election, the peopleof Ontario will be asked if they want to replace the current electoral <>system. In essence, they will be asked if they want to shift the power from  the people of Ontario (local voters and ridings) to the  politicians at  <> Queens Park. There has been no education on this referendum and its timing,coinciding with the October 10 Ontario election, may allow for an easy pass by sheer overshadowing.

  <>What is being proposed and how does it impact all of us?
1. Decrease the current number of ELECTED MPPs from 103 to 90.
2. Incorporate a new NON-ELECTED number of MPPS
3. Enlarge the number of MPPS to 129.
4. 90 MPPs will be Elected by us the people
5. 39 MPPs to be Selected or Appointed by the politicians.
6. Not democratically elected and Party elites
7. Decreased accessibility to government
8. 17 fewer local ridings and decreased accessibility
9. Elected members will have local riding issues to manage
10. Directly accountable to constituents
11. Appointed MPPs have no such responsibilities
12. Brokerage Politics may make positive change more difficult
Did you ask for this referendum and the associated costs?
<>This proposed two-tier government system called "Mixed Member Proportional"MMP) is the government's solution to reduced voter turnout in the current <>electoral system. There is a risk that this referendum question will beovershadowed by the debate of who will form the next provincial government  <>and could result in the people giving up their historic power in the way we govern ourselves.
<>The government spent millions of our dollars on a Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform.  Purportedly, the members of the Citizens Assembly were <>chosen randomly but no one can establish which database or what information was used to determine such random participation, or  <>history making participants.

The people of Ontario did not ask for this referendum.
<>The people of Ontario want more accountability. They do not want paid MPPs that have no accountability: not to ridings or constituents or  <>any other defined entity or channel. 
The people of Ontario want more transparency of their various tax dollars, at all levels of government. They want to eliminate misuse, <>abuse and squandering of their money and will not tolerate monies provided for apparent immoral means. Shifting the people's power will not help  <>suppress scandals such as the most recent Cricket club affair.($100,000 requested and $1,000,000 one million paid for no apparent  <>benefit to the people of Ontario ).
  1. A more elite legislature
  2. Reward for faithful service
  3. Delivery of votes
  4. Financial help
  5. Decreased accessibility to politicians
  6. Less Democracy
<>  If people of Ontario are to make an informed decision, they must have the opportunity to hear more than one side of the debate on electoral change.
<>  Using our tax dollars to pay for 22 more politicians and their staff at  Queens Park, and without any sense of what the additional 22 will be doing <>  or to whom they will be accountable, suggests that the people of Ontario are<> weak, indecisive and need decisions made for them or are basically ignorant and willing to give up what little power they have.<>

From: Rene
Subject: Fw: [Cap_contacts] MORE on Ontario vote referendum A CAP issue -because it affects sovereignty and likely  will be coming up in all provinces


Having gone carefully through the info on this Mixed-Member-Proportional Referendum, a number of things immediately come to mind, and I don't like ANY of them:
1.  There is not enough information given on actual EFFECTS of the MMP change for people to make an informed decision... and this is deliberate, make no mistake.
2. Any time enough information is NOT given for an informed decision, BEWARE MAKING THAT CHOICE... because somebody is hiding something.
3.  In this case it is hidden in plain sight:  there is REDUCED accountability, ENLARGED riding boundaries so that fewer MPP's serve more people and a greater area.  There are 39 MPP's which are appointed, not voted for, and by the parties they represent,  not the people, so they are accountable to nobody but their own party leader.  These MPP's will cost the taxpayer many millions in salaries, office and other expenses, and to what end?
4. Clearly there is NO BENEFIT to the people of Ontario.  There likewise is NO BENEFIT to alternative parties since there is a threshhold of 3% of the votes in order for any party to get a list member seat... so those who think they can get seats in the Legislature through this system are misled.
5.  Our votes are DEVALUED by this proposal because out of 129 seats, we only have a say in 90 of them as to which politician is selected, and those politicians do NOT represent the people or any constituency.  That is THIRTY PER CENT of the legislature that would be APPOINTED.... a 30% reduction of our voting sovereignty...  permanently GONE!
6.  NOTE that in the EU efforts are currently being undertaken to ensure the APPOINTMENT of representatives to the EU Parliament as opposed to their election.
7. Overall it is apparent that this is a move to ensure less of a voice for the people and more of a voice for political leaders and mainstream parties, and a guarantee that fringe parties will have no chance of election and the furtherance of positive changes.



Here is the website set up to answer the people's questions... but really doesn't.
From < >, the government's own explanation:
From: Rubie Britton
Subject: FPTP or MMP

Changing the way Ontario picks its MPPs
Referendum part of the election ballot you'll be given Oct. 10

 The LondonerLiterature on Ontario's forthcoming referendum on electoral reform is showing up in London mail boxes. Voters are asked to choose between the existing first-past-the-post system or the mixed member proportional (MMP) system proposed by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform.

Last fall the Citizens' Assembly Secretariat was established to look at how Ontarians are represented in the Ontario Legislature. Depending how a referendum on the Oct. 10 provincial election ballot goes, this province may join a small group of countries using a mixed member proportional system leaving behind our current first-past-the-post system.

Laura Stephenson, an assistant professor in the political science department at Western, was a member of an academic reference group established by the citizens' assembly.

The citizens' assembly, which included four Londoners, used the academic reference group to gather information.

"There was a lot of learning to come to any sort of conclusion," Dr. Stephenson says.
In the end, the citizens' assembly recommended a system which would see some MPPs elected by voters in constituencies, as is now the case, and some appointed by their parties based on how many votes the party garnered across the province.

The change would be huge for Ontario, which has used the first-past-the-post system since before Confederation. But with scant weeks until decision day, concern is being expressed Elections Ontario, the provincial agency which runs elections, hasn't done very much to educate voters.

"I can't speak for everyone but I'm interested," Dr. Stephenson says. "One thing we're talking about is that there isn't a lot of talk or awareness out there yet. The referendum has the potential to have a larger impact than the actual election but I'm not sure what people actually know about the system.
 As ever,

From: "keith coghlan" <>
Subject: RE: Daily Digest October 1, 2007

HI Joe:

             In regards to Ontario's referendum vote on Oct 10th.

Its pretty interesting to me that most of the comments I hear regarding the cons of the Mixed Member Proportional system are related to the Lists of MPP's and the cost of more MPP's in the provinical Parliament.

I find it very interesting that people are unwilling to trust that political parties in Ontario will produce the MPP list in some democratic and responsible manner. Yet these same individuals are willing to elect the very same Parties into the Provincial parliament with complete power. Do you really believe in the system we have right now that a majority Conservative or Liberal government is responsive to the public in between elections. How many individuals and groups have callied and petitioned the present government over the last few years in regards to "Market Value Assessment" of properties in Ontario. This law has resulted in some very large and difficult tax increases for many in the province.
These same people should be looking at the current system  that parties use to nominate candidates in each riding. How many people understand how some candidates win party nominations. We have seen examples of large signups of new party members and people just walking into riding associations and taking over. These same people may have had none or little experience in the parties they are candidates for. So its really unfair to claim the current system is without its drawbacks and problems.
Secondly  why would anyone vote for a party that would appoint or allow the leader to choice the people on the party list. I key part of the list system is that the parties must explain to Elections Ontario how the list was made and that information is released to the public.
So why would anyone vote for a party that would make up a list of appointed or choosen by the leader individuals. We are living in a democracy or so they continue to tell us.

Now the cost of more MPP's to the Ontario voter. Right now we have 107 MPP's for this election and there is a system in place to adjust the number of MPP's every 10 years or so after the census.
So no matter if you like it or not Ontario will have more MPP's in the future. In fact the present federal government has a policy to increase the number of seats in Ontario by 7 or 8 seats I think.
Since the province is most likely to follow the Federal seat number, we could very well have 115 or 116 seats for Ontario in the next few years.
Do you really think that the money spend on more MPP's is not going to be spend by the government if this proposal is rejected. Of course not 
governments spend money and if not on this subject they will spend it on something else. In fact alot of time they spend money I issues that are of no importance to me. It is important to me to have a few more voices in our Parliaments and maybe a few more choices in a election.
The other issue is that this referendum should be the start of change in elections in Ontario not a end. I do not expect a new system to remain in place for over 200 years without changes like with the system we have now. First past the post have been used in Ontario since 1792, can you please tell me anything else we still do in this province the same as in 1792.
Its time to vote out of knowledge and not out of fear. Its pretty clear that the Provincial Liberals fear this proposal based on the requirement for the double 60% tor achieve this idea.
thats 60% of the vote in all the Province and 60% of all the ridings pasting the MMP option.
I will vote for the new system and I will be encouraging everyone I know to vote for change and a new system of Ontario

Keith Coghlan
Belleville Ontario

From: Brian D. Marlatt
Subject: PR

Electoral Reform Proposals

April 21, 2004
by : Brian Marlatt

White Rock B. C. : (Editor's comment: Democracy is not nearly as robust a concept as one might think and in this story we are warned of the dangers of turning over the selection of representatives to political parties. Though aiming at fairness narrowly focused interest groups or even regional interest groups could serious upset the political system and produce even greater unfairness.)
It seems that every year or so we need to defend parliamentary democracy against those who do not understand that we, living in a parliamentary democracy, elect members of parliament, not political parties, even though some choose to vote tribally along party lines.  It is the vote in each and every constituency which elects members of parliament, not the proportion of vote nationally or provincially in favour of or against particular parties.  An election occurs in every riding; the national or political result is established by the outcome of these constituency elections.
Of course, parties run national or provincial campaigns, but such tribalism is beside the point - except in the minds of those who have forgotten the basic principles of parliamentary democracy or whose parties' describe themselves as political movements, rather like the terrible 20th century "-isms",  which try to impose their philosophies and agendas upon the demos without understanding that in a democracy each elected representative is responsible for service to the whole of the nation or province not merely to the followers of their movement.  Thus, the Greens and NDP have always been an illegitimate presence in Canada's parliamentary democracy, to that degree, and so has the right-wing NDP, the Reform Party, which now prefers to call itself Conservative to hide its true identity (just as it did when it described itself as a "Canadian Alliance").
Those against whom we must defend parliamentary democracy claim regularly that if those who choose to vote tribally along party lines are not given representation according to their party vote across the whole of the nation or province, their vote didn't count and they are not fairly represented.  Not so.  Our electoral system of mult-member constituency-based pluralities is simple and representative; if the horse-race methaphor "first-past-the-post" is overly simplistic, it also suggests a simplicity capable of easy understanding that encourages citizens to participate because they can elect the best person from their constituency to represent them as members of parliament without suffering subsequent dismissal of their vote by the party machine.  As to the suggestion of an anachronism abandoned by all but a few which reminds us of the old Maoist "a billion Chinese can't be wrong" argument, that is merely asking us to put aside our critical faculties and not even to consider the appropriateness or inappropriatness of particular forms of representation.  As to the suggestion that PR would be a solution for falling participation: the assertion is not supported by persuasive argument or evidence that cannot be attributed to other causes: indeed, if you ask anyone on the street about politics and politicians, they will likely say something like "their all the same," "I'm not into politics," "who cares," "their all a bunch of crooks out for themselves," or "what's it got to do with me."  Democracy must be about the people, if it is about parties, well, a curse upon all their houses.
It's all rather like the system of fixed date elections which was thoughtlessly adopted in Bill C-16:  now we have the prospect of federal elections which, like the current one in Ontario and the last one in BC, began nine to twelve months before the writ was dropped and raises the prospect of keeping the frightful Mr. Harper in power long after even the most partisan come to realize he has no mandate for any of his agenda - rather like the discredited temporary occupant of the White House at whose twisted foot he is so regularly a supplicant.
But I am off the topic, at least a bit (it really is all connected, if you think about it).  The point is MMP or STV or some other form of proportional representation will serve us much more poorly than "first-past-the-post," whatever the criticisms of the latter we may raise.
The Ensign posting above may be a helpful reference to provoke thought.  It was cited (it appeared elsewhere) by the BC Electoral Commission when STV was proposed in BC and the merits of the argument were acknowledged by the senior researcher on the subject of "electoral reform" assigned by the Law Commission of Canada in private correspondence (he cited the usual pro pr arguments in counter, in defence of his position as well; they are addressed above).  I should add, as an aside, that one of the many discrediting acts of "Canada's New Government" has been to dissolve the Law Commission of Canada.
Finally, I will note that Progressive Conservatives explicitly rejected proportional representation as a form of electoral reform at our last National Policy Convention, in Quebec City in 2000; as I stated at the outset, pr's advocates need to be beaten back every couple of years.
(ps fixed date elections were explicitly rejected in the Edmonton session in 2002.)

From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

Two quick comments regarding the Saturday Digest.  First, I wrote down the pros and cons of supporting the Conservative government.  On the pro side, I wrote down "Stephane Dion does not belong to this party" and "Voting for this party might keep Stephane Dion or Jack Layton from ever becoming Prime Minister."  After viewing the pros, I saw no need to seek out any cons.
Hear, hear. The "I,m not the other guy" stance is a perfectly valid one, this time around. Gotta garnish it with some flovourful items, though ...
In regards to the childcare questions, I was reminded that parents are the primary care givers, as I have been for the past decade.  There was no more to add there, either.  I mean, my kids, my responsibility. 
Indeed. But the (unspoken) point is that governments want to counter an anticipated labour shortage, which to them often means finding some way to get women to work instead of staying home and raising b b . In Quebec, we've done that by providing universal access to $7-per-day child care (with predictable over-demand, which means that available spaces are effectively rationed .. Now, where have I seen THAT before?).
Frankly, I'm surprised that no one's ever seem to have brought this up in public. Political parties not wanting to do so, I understand (after all, why risk alienating potential supporters ... plus, if they're bent on mobilizing women workers back into the workforce, making a fuss about day-care services undermining home-based care makes little sense).
This being said, however, I think that the feds are doing the right thing by staying out of programs that fall under provincial jurisdiction. Now, if they're REALLY into creating day-care spaces, all they need do is to mandate a country-wide program and pay the provinces to run the thing. Just don't expect gratitude from the provinces ...
From: Phyllis Kaffko

Hi Joe,
Some excellent arguments were made why we should not have the MMP system.
One of which was all the fringe parties that could elect some fool and then our serious government would have to consider making deals with these people to get their own agendas passed. How scary is that?
Another point is that these MMP are answerable to their own parties and not the electors
Indeed. The fundamental issue behind the MMP is that it partly establishes the parties that are present in the legislature at any given time.
And the fundamental question behind all this is: "In real life, do voters vote for parties, or do they vote for individuals to represent them?". If they do so for parties (or their lineup of potential "executive" members, that is their Cabinet potential), then partial-MMP makes sense. Otherwise, it doesn't. Given that individual MPPs, other than the core team, are easily interchangeable for the most part, and given that (I feel) voters tend to vote for parties / potential cabinets / overall policy thrusts rather than MPPS as riding representatives, partial-MMP stands up to reason.
So, the basic conclusion is: if you beleive that your MPP should have room for individual action (i.e. discussion and vote as he sees to be best), then vote NO to partial-MMP. If you believe that parties / Cabinets should set policy thrusts, organize legislature votes, and accommodate province-wide and local interests, votre FOR partial-MMP.
Personally, if I were an Ontarian, I'd vote for, provided that MPPs elected by partial-MMP not be so great in number that they'd dominate the riding-based MPPs.
P.S. There are other plusses and minuses for partial-MMP but the fundamental question concerns the role of individual MPPs.
 From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: poll

writing down the good, bad and the ugly would take some time when a
simple answer is available, under the pressure of the Red Tories,
Harper and his silent soldiers over extended the attention to Quebec
(like all Central Canadian desperate politicians have done in the past)
and with that ignoring the rest of Canada. (56% of the budget for Quebec)
Amazing, how we Quebecers manage to do that, even when almost all of a party's support comes from elsewhere (for example, all of AB's seats compared to 10 in Quebec for the Tories, and during the Chretien years, almost all of Ontario's seats compared to 20-or-so in Quebec). Must be some Trudeau hypno-magic still at work ....