For all I love about Canada there are some things I would change. For a start I would expect corporations to pay fair taxes. Business success should not absolve one of responsibility toward the country in which you are making your profit. Fair tax share by corporations instead of politically sanctioned corporate welfare would ensure that our social safety nets could be reconstructed and kept strong. That there would be money for infrastructure and that having had a hand in building the country corporations might feel a pride and sense of responsibility toward it. If a mother on welfare had misused the minuscule funds she receives the way GM in Ontario misused their handout she would be paraded as a Welfare Queen and her picture splashed across the Sun and National Post. I look forward to a day of CEO perp walks and a welfare system which recognizes human dignity.
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I would also crack down on the influence of religion on politics. If churches want to be a part of the political process it is high time they started paying taxes. And quasi religious lobby groups like Focus on the Family have no place lobbying government for restrictions on women’s rights, gay rights and other human rights their hate filled, vile beliefs speak against. They have their freedom of religion and have the right to pursue such hatred in their gathering places. I, for one, do not expect and cannot condone my government spewing the same narrow minded bigotry.
I find it hard to believe you could find a majority of Canadians who feel that your ability to access medical treatment should be based on your wallet size and yet that is exactly what our governments have been inching towards. When Harris, Harper and their Frasier Institute buddies argue against social funded health care they are in effect looking at people who are suffering and dying and shrugging their shoulders. That is not the picture of Canadian caring that I believe most of us embody.
Image by Derek Farr ( DetroitDerek ) via FlickrWe have the ability to effect change, to bring back our vision of ourselves as a caring inclusive country and that power lies in voting. While other countries around the world struggle with outright vote fraud or presumed fraud we are still lucky enough to be able to have faith in our democratic process. Voting is not a chore or a hassle or imposition, it is a right, a privilege and a duty of each citizen to make their voice heard. It is also the right and privilege of opposition parties to speak for us and against the government in power should they forget they are our representatives not our masters.
I wish each of you a happy and safe Canada Day and leave you with these jokes from Harper.
~ If you want to be a government in a minority Parliament, you have to work with other people.
~ It’s the government’s obligation to look really to the third parties to get the support to govern.
~ This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of pubic opinion.