Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No to Mixed Member Proportional Representation

Ontario's October 10 referendum is quickly approaching and Ontarians will have to choose whether to keep the current system of representative democracy or move to a new system of mixed member proportional (MMP) representation. As I wrote last January proportional representation is a threat to democracy because it will make some members of parliament accountable to party brass rather than to voters. Please read that post because my views haven't changed: Any system that uses a party list rather than directly electing representatives is less democratic.

That said a good friend of mine who is deeply divided on the issue wrote me recently asking a question that I'll paraphrase somewhat: Given the choice between a proven liar (McGuinty on the Health tax), a spineless red tory, or the quasi-communist NDP wouldn't it be better to vote for the new system and hope that some fringe parties will get a few members of parliament and gain an opportunity to raise their issues? The question specifically mentioned the pro-family Family Coalition Party.

I'll start by saying I may very well vote FCP; I'm thoroughly unimpressed with John Tory and the PC party simply does not deserve my vote. The FCP offers the only coherent pro life and pro family platform so I certainly wish them well.

I also see the attraction of having more voices in parliament. However, I think it's important to recognize that representative democracy is about REPRESENTATIVES! Naturally many of those representatives will have a common approach to issues and they will form voting blocks to advance their goals, political parties are just a formalized extension of this trend. Giving power to political parties rather than directly elected representatives will turn the concept of representative democracy on its head.

The proposed MMP system of government will have other secondary impacts too, such as more minority governments, and quite possibly the development of many more (likely urban and left wing) fringe parties. I view these impacts as mostly negative as well, but, regardless of how you might view these secondary impacts the damage that will be done to our system of government outweighs any potential benefit.

Ontario - Vote to keep the current electoral system!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Exposing a Harsh Chemical

This sounds familiar, but it's worth repeating:

A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at this year's Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to the alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide." And for plenty of good reasons, since it can:
  1. cause excessive sweating and vomiting
  2. it is a major component in acid rain
  3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
  4. accidental inhalation can kill you
  5. it contributes to erosion
  6. it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
  7. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical dihydrogen monoxide. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical was...water.

The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?" The conclusion is obvious.

H/T Agrilaugh

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Globe is Right About Families

I was pleasantly surprised to read the headline editorial, "No Replacing Traditional Families," from the Globe and Mail today:

Not all families are equal for the raising of children. Not every form of diversity deserves celebration. Canada's 2006 census, released yesterday, shows that marriage is in decline, and common-law unions and single parenthood continue to grow. And that is not good for kids. Marriage is still the best framework in which to raise healthy, happy children.

To applaud diversity for diversity's sake is to evade responsibility for the effects of that diversity on children. Common-law unions are more likely to break down than marriages, and the children of single-parent families tend to face disadvantages. "Children growing up in single-parent families are more likely to repeat grades, and to be less healthe than children living in two-parent families," says a Canadian government report on the well-being of the country's children, citing the huge database known as the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth. "These children are also less likely to get along well with friends and parents than children living in two-parent families." Problems of hyperactivity, aggression or conduct disorders and other behaviour problems are also higher in single-parent families, the report says. These findings hold true regardless of the income of the single parents.

The editorial board is absolutely right! Could it be a sign of rational thought in the Main Stream Media? I hope so. It's about time that we stop making 'diversity' the primary definition of what it means to be Canadian. It's also time to stop the war against 'the traditional family.' Our society depends on healthy families to create healthly children and healthy citizens. It's time to start supporting them.