Archive for September, 2008

Silicon Valley and Election ’08

Rick Merritt from EETimes has some numbers on how the Silicon Valley technology companies are funding the candidates.  Looks like Obama has the edge in most categories but not all.

Article here:

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/210603035

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Financial Mess

You know things are bad when sports columnists are writing about it.  I really love Gregg Easterbrook’s analysis of the debt situation.

You can read the ESPN page 2 article here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/080923

CUTTING TAXES! NO NEW TAXES!

You know, that in every election almost every party talks about cutting taxes someway or another.  If this were really true, we would be down to a zero tax rate 30 years ago!

Why can’t candidates ever just say “we’re going to try and make things a bit more efficient, and change the direction of some programs, but we might need to collect some taxes to support these useful programs, while we might save a little in some not as useful programs.” 

I guess that doesn’t get the electorate that excited.  Too bad–a little truth would be appreciated now and then.

Democracy needs to be preserved…

An excellent article from Thomas Axworthy, the chair of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen’s University in the Toronto Star.  It really talks about democracy, and how we need to really be open to more view points and accepting of new politcal parties.  There’s a really good quote which talks about how winning the election has become the major (and sometimes only) goal.

In a democracy, the first responsibility of a party is not to win at all costs, but to respond honestly to the issues of the day and the needs and wants of self-governing citizens. The first responsibility of parties is to make the system itself work.

Parties are conveyor belts that transmit the varying values of millions of citizens and peacefully organize this process to achieve an outcome and create a government. But today’s political players are so consumed with the game that they have forgotten what the game is all about.

The entire article can be found here

Green Party??

A follow-on from my last post about the incumbant Baird, I face a quandary about who to pick.  I normally would choose the Liberals as they would normally have the first chance to unseat Baird.  But there was some back and forth about their selection for the riding, with former Mayor Bob Chiarelli finally deciding to not go in the election–presumably he did not want to lose.  I’m not a fan of that kind of thinking.  After every other party had signs out for a week, finally the Liberals selected David Pratt, a former MP and a former cabinet minister (defence) in the Chretien governments.  Now I should not let my displeasure with Chiarelli and the Liberals sway my thinking on Pratt (who I do not know well), but I have started to think about other parties, specifically NDP and Green.  I have since been quite intrigued with the Green party and am doing some research.  My biggest question is their economic views–I’m trying to determine how viable the party would be if they ever were in power.  While the environment is a good and worthy cause, it cannot be the only reason to pick a government.  So while doing my own research, I hope to know what other people think about the party. 

What do people think about the Green party on issues other than the environment? 

Let me know what people think via comments.

Anybody but Baird

In my local riding area, I currently have a poor excuse for a Minister of the Environment as MP.  John Baird is basically Harper’s bulldog, but what I really dislike about him is when he with held already promised federal money for Ottawa’s light rail system.  The proposed system may have had some flaws, but using his position with the Treasury Board to try and sway local politics (municipal elections were on at the time) for his friends, is an unforgiveable offence.  A colleague of mine has stated that he will vote for ABC (anybody but the conservatives)  but my personal motto may be ABB (anybody but Baird).

Science Debate ’08

Ah-hah, this is what I’ve been looking for.  A real indication of what the prospective candidates think of the Science and Innovation.  A group of organisations got together and formed a list of 14 fundamental questions to ask the candidates.  And fortunately, both Obama and McCain have obliged with their (very long) comments. I’ll analyze to see if anything groundbreaking is said, but in the meantime I thought I would post the link

This nugget was originally found by my colleague Rick Merrit at EETimes in this article here.