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What do you want out of your Government?

Reccesoldier

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Originally posted by a_majoor
Perhaps rather than argue about how we elect our governments, we focus more on what we want our governments to do, and how they achieve these goals. Bloated government payrolls and officials who refuse to be held accountable are two huge problems which won't go away under any system, but can be attacked by voter action rather than voter apathy.
 

Reccesoldier

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Although I call myself a conservative I'm definitely Libertarian when it comes to my government, or more correctly my governments interferance in my life.

Basically I want the Federal government to directly control those matters which are purely national in scope. For example Defence and Foreign Affairs.

For the other hot topics in government today I believe that the federal government should set standards so that all the people of Canada can be reasonably assured of recieving the same healthcare, education and social programs wherever they may be. These standards shoud be the responsibility of the provinces to impliment because they are the ones who know the situation in their regions. But if the fed's are going to set the standard then they have to contribute to them with federal revenue.

I believe the middle class in Canada is being taxed into a corner by the welfare state. The rich have the money and therefore their avenue of escape from the tax man, the poor are just that and therefore unavailable to share the burden, so the middle class pays and pays and pays. We need to get back to the point where the majority is once again in control of our democracy, to regain the courts and our governments from special interest groups and minority interests for the good of the majority and Canada as a whole.

We need to revamp the tax laws which allow the Rich to legaly hide their income to avoid paying their fare share of tax. Our current system of Progressive taxation is unfair and intollerable. We live in a country where we pay tax on tax does this seem right to anyone? Just what "Goods and Services" is represented by Provincial sales tax?
 

Fishbone Jones

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I want them to stop protecting me like an overzelous mother ( drinking, smoking, bicycle helmets, et al). I want them to downsize and work for their overbloated pay. I want them to get their hand out of my pocket and quit taking 60% of my wage for taxes, then wasting it. I want them to take care of the people of Canada before they hand billions to some failing dictatorship, or the lame dog UN. I want them to enact a recall clause for elected officials. And I want them all to take an ethics course, sign the course report and get fired when they lie (but then we'd likely have no politicians).

Couple of more Newkies and I'll think of some more.
 

Slim

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...And, of course, turn our military into a decent fighting force with decent kit and vehicles, instead of a army so small it has become an international joke.

I would also like to DISBAND the liberal party...Forever!

Slim
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Quote,
I would also like to DISBAND the liberal party...Forever!

....not that I can't appreciate the sentiment, but you do realize that would probably make the NDP the next federal govt? :crybaby:

....I mean Rae did such a good job here. ::)
 

Donaill

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  I am in a difficult position. I am a left leaning Canadian that supports a strong military. I am also a nationalist. I also want the Maritimes to form one single province and elect someone that doesnt continuously kiss up to the federal goverment.

  I am very proud to be Canadian. I believe that if you don't like it here then we have a boarder at the 49th, please see the gaurd as you pass by. Too many people have died to keep us Canadian and not some jack booted colony. We have so much to be proud of. So many Canadians have accomplished so much at home and abroad.
  I would also like to see one province on the east coast. More gas revenue coming in and less transfer payments. We do not have to be the poor cousins in Canada. Every year people leave here to go down the road looking for work. Well we need to stop that or at least slow it down alot. I worked for years in Ontario. Came back thinking that my experience would land me a job as easily as it did in Ontario.  We have a lot of talent leaving here. We need to keep some of it here.  To do that we need a cash flow from some where other than Ottawa.
  I believe that teh Federal goverment should handle certain things, such as foreign policy, health and education by, as someone said earlier, setting up standards that have to be adhered to.
  I would liek to see a strong military. As a nation we need a strong military for gaurding what is ours and helping in military and political crisis'.
To be fair to the Liberals, the Tories do not have a shining record on military spending. Def the Chief cut the Avro Arrow and other conservative goverments didnt help either.
 

canuck101

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I am with Reccesoldier on all subjects.  Defense and foreign policy and setting National standards is all they should do.
 

a_majoor

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I would like governments to get out of each other's pockets. The BNA and the Constitution act of 1981 explicitly outline the scope of each level of government. The Federal government has NO constitutional mandate to manage resources, education, health care, safety, child welfare, etc. etc.

By leaving these fields to the Provinces, as is their constitutional duty, the Federal level of government would shrink dramatically, as would their call on our wealth through taxation.

I would also like to have the government get out of our lives. Nanny state overregulation rarely does what is intended, but still shackles the economy with extra layers of regulation. People filling out government mandated reports are not generating wealth for themselves and others.

I would also like governments to get out of our pockets. Why should there be a government agency/company/entity doing ANYTHING you can find in the yellow pages? By this measure, the only legitimate areas of government is the protection of the citizens, thus governments are ONLY obligated to provide the "first responders" at their level (Police, fire, ambulance, Military), and dispense justice (Laws, court system, jails and pens).

Pretty straight forward eh?

From the last election:

http://www.nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200407090929.asp

Wealth vs. Work
The president should welcome the â Å“Two Americasâ ? argument.

The cliché is that in choosing John Edwards as his running mate, John Kerry didn't just acquire a potential vice president, but a message: the rhetoric of "two Americas" that Edwards relentlessly repeated during the primaries. Less appreciated is that the choice of Edwards might finally give President Bush a message too.

Kerry has long lacked a campaign theme. By saying the other day that the Edwards "two Americas" line is what the campaign is "all about," Kerry has signaled that he is ready to adopt the Edwards message. As for Bush, he has matched Kerry almost vacuity for vacuity. Yes, he wants to persevere in Iraq and preserve his tax cuts. What else? A forward-looking second-term agenda with thematic coherence and political punch has been AWOL. The Bush campaign should take a page from Kerry â ” let John Edwards show the way.

The Edwards theme of "two Americas" â ” one characterized by "work," the other by "wealth" â ” amounts to a frontal attack on capital and efforts to foster its accumulation. Edwards has complained about Bush's income-tax cuts "on the rich," and scored him for wanting "to eliminate the capital-gains tax, dividends tax, the estate tax, all the taxation of wealth or passive income on wealth, and shift that tax burden to people who work for a living." Edwards, in other words, takes direct aim at Bush policies rewarding savings and investment.

The opposition Edwards tries to make between work and wealth doesn't make sense. Why do people work? For wealth. Rewarding wealth means rewarding the fruits of work. For instance, two-thirds of the beneficiaries of Bush's cut in the top marginal tax rate own some form of small business. In America, you work, make a business succeed, then get wealthy (and become the target of demagogic politicians â ” the American dream!).

Edwards is bucking an important demographic trend. The percentage of Americans owning stock increased from 19 percent to 52 percent from 1983 to 2001. When Edwards criticizes those hoping their savings and investments will produce "passive income," he is lashing out at most of America. His vision of Wall Street as the province of barons in top hats belongs in the 1930s.

He doesn't seem to understand that wealth, when it is saved and invested, is working. Does he really want Bill Gates to stop investing in Microsoft, which has created countless jobs and made countless investors rich? Or the next Bill Gates not to be able to raise the capital to give his venture a go, because that capital is likely to come from â ” gasp â ” the rich?

Bush can adopt an agenda for an "ownership society" that confronts this Kerry/Edwards angle of attack. Its most important element would be private Social Security accounts, allowing people to save and invest for their own retirement. Liberalized IRAs could also increase the number of savers and the amount they save, while private health and education accounts would allow people to save for their own health and educational needs. And Bush could steal a worthy Edwards proposal â ” tax credits to help poor people save.

The themes of all policies are ownership (you own your own wealth, which no one can take away), choice (you decide what to do with your money) and opportunity (you get a chance to enjoy the wonder of compound interest and, through stocks, to own a piece of the American economy â ” a chance, in short, to get rich). These themes are as winning and all-American as a John Edwards grin.

The election competition, then, would become roughly between punishing the rich and making more people rich. It's the latter goal that accords with traditional American striving. The problem with Edwards is that he is youthful, but dated in his views. He evokes aspiration, but is unsympathetic to one of the main means of promoting it. Through embracing him and his message, Kerry gets stylistic optimism at the price of substantive gloom. Wealth vs. work? Bring it on.

â ” Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years
 

Bograt

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Integrity. Honesty. Accountability. Leadership.

Unfortunately we have

Corruption, Spin, Denial, Bureaucracy.

 

Brad Sallows

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>What do you want out of your Government?

To contract and shrivel to the point of being able only to safeguard my essential rights and for the most part to stay out of my life.
 

mo-litia

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The only thing I want out of our current federal gov't is the failure of their minority gov't . . . or would that mean the Liberals would just get a majority again next election?

I think I'm gonna be sick . . .  :-X
 
A

aesop081

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Bograt said:
Integrity. Honesty. Accountability. Leadership.

Unfortunately we have

Corruption, Spin, Denial, Bureaucracy.

Congrats Bograt...you have just earned a poli sci degree !!
 

1feral1

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How about a re-vamped justice sytem which makes the punnishment fit the crime. I am sick and tired of serious crims getting the easy way out while victims always get the shaft.

Seems the way to go is to call it a legal system, as there really is no justice these days.

Its a carbon copy here with the exception that a life sentance can be that. Many of our worst oxygen thiefs will never smell fresh flowers in an open field.

Regards,

Wes
 

Infanteer

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Well, since we're playing "Army.ca Federalist Papers", I am going to throw my viewpoint in.

To me, the government is not a service provider or a guarantor of special interests - it should be the dialogue for civil society, the sphere of our lives that extends beyond our personal lives - the point at which we turn from individuals driven by self-interest to a community with interests in the advancement of the general good.

How is this notion to be structured?   By splitting the notion of governance between a "Macro-political" one, which looks outwards, and a "Micro-political" one that looks inwards.

To me, the only thing worse then one monstrous, government bureaucracy (The Federal Government) is two (The Federal and Provincial Governments).   I still refuse to see how the diffusion of power between Federal and Provincial governments has done anything to promote better policies or protect the interests of the citizenry.   Rather, all I see out of it is the squandering of political capital between some neo-feudal arrangement dominated by a blundering government in Ottawa (The King) and his conniving, squabbling and selfish provincial Fiefs (The Dukes).

In my ideal of what government could deliver to Canadians, the split between powers would not be predicated on different geographical lines, but rather on two separate but equally important levels of democracy (the macro/micro level I referred to above).

The Macro-political level is the National sphere - it is the dialogue of communities across the land that composes the nation(s)-state of Canada.   This is the location for the National government of Canada, which represents all of us abroad and operates under the goal of serving the smaller communities with necessities beyond their local capabilities.   As such, the Macro-level should be driven by the following ideals:

-   There should be a separation of powers that ensures that regional representation is balanced against popular representation - this is to prevent the higher-level "Tyranny of the Majority" (in our case, the Tyranny of the 401) which only serves to alienate the outlying regions.   Thus, Parliament must be a fully-functional, popularly elected bicameral house.

-   The Macro-political level, as "higher order politics", should be the housing of Representative Democracy.   The issues and the policies are large and far-reaching, so we must appoint those to serve in our interest.   They are to be held fully-accountable in providing Good Government and should be given reasonable terms to follow through on their plans (4-5 years seems to be a good frame).   As well, I would like to see the Representative as an independent political actor, free of political party Groupthink or public-opinion demagoguery.   I envision Parliament to be something like Edmund Burke did:

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole.   You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but is a member of Parliament."

At the Micro-political level is the Communal sphere - it is the dialogue of individuals within their local areas within Canada.   The micro-political lines should be drawn in such a way that leaves a reasonable level of familiarity and commonality within its members.   The micro-political level should focus more on the interaction between the public and private spheres, the individual and the community.   Much of the day-to-day handling of government and bureaucratic functions can be handled at this level.   As well:

-   The micro-political level, as "lower-order politics", should be served by Direct Democracy.   At a small enough level of politics, there is strong feasibility for direct democracy due to the level of familiarity required (you can't fit 200,000 people in a building to vote).   Looking at the institutions of the Athenians and other Greek city-states which practiced demokratia, there is much to admire in striving to include everybody in not only holding accountable but in delivering good government.   Terms can be voluntary, through popular vote, or required through a system of lots which makes citzens responsible for their own government (or perhaps a combination of both).   Terms will be short (6 months to 1 year) to allow for citizens to take an active roll in politics without leaving their private lives behind.

Above all, what I want out of my government is secondary to what I want out of my fellow citizens.   Apathy is not a very healthy symptom for a democracy (despite the fact that apathy seems to be the norm).   The cure to apathy is active participation - taking the time to leave the sphere of self-interest and to contribute to the advancement of the communal good.   Perhaps, as discussed on other threads, the introduction of a system that requires some sort of public service to earn the right to the sovereign franchise is required.

Anyways, this is just a rough political outlook.   It in no way attempts to hammer out the nuts-and-bolts (executive/legislative/judiciary, method of voting, split of powers between micro/macro levels) - those details can fall into place if the overall doctrine is accepted as sound.

Cheers,

Infanteer
 

Fishbone Jones

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Owww. Now my head hurts. So listen Infanteer, don't sugar coat it, tell us what you really think ;D
 

a_majoor

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"Declinism" has no place in this Washington Times piece by  David Sands , which contends that U.S. power, both "hard" and "soft," is still increasing due in large part to our values and our ability to inspire the dreams and desires of the rest of the world. Sands correlates the strength of our cultural institutions with the absence of governmental interference. This is true of such diverse, and in some ways conflicting, institutions as our churches and our motion picture industry. Unlike Europe we have never had either state sanctioned religions or state subsidized films.

Once again, the lesson seems to be that freedom works. If so, then the freer we remain the less we need to worry about losing ground in the long run to nations and blocs of nations that aren't as free.
 

Reccesoldier

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Infanteer, I'm with you for the most part right up till your micro-political level and avocation of direct democracy. 

We live in a society where it seems a good number of parents hardly have enough time for their children, much less to vote for every expenditure of their local government.

It's interesting to note that the two greatest political thinkers of Athens (Aristotle and Plato) thought democracy (Direct Democracy) was the WORST form of government. They equated it to Mob Rule. Neither of those two could be said to be Democrats. :D

Anyway... getting back to your post.

I'm not sure where you are going with this system of election to government. Do you mean that the governors are selected by lot from those with the right to vote?

There is a lot more to government than just voting, we have to decide what it is we are to vote on, the need for â Å“Xâ ?, â Å“Yâ ? or â Å“Zâ ?, it's benefits and drawbacks it's implementation, funding, structure, purpose. This is the real work of government. It's not the occasional issue vote but all the committee work and investigation and hammering of details long before the proposed legislation ever come to the final vote.

It's not something I would trust to the hands of some randomly selected voter who may or may not have any skill, intelligence or common sense. Who may or may not be capable of management, leadership or vision.

I would argue that the cure for apathy is not direct participation but the perception of direct influence.

I'll bet most people's eyes would positively gloss over were they to be subjected to the intricacies of the work it takes to get a bill into law. However, they do want to feel that they had a hand in getting the person who does want to do the work where he is. They want to be reasonably assured that he will do what they want, that he will vote for their wants instead of some party line like the PM's obedient lap dog.

The introduction of a parliamentary recall would go a long way to creating an accountable parliament. Couple this with a system of Proportional Representation (preferably not a list based system) so that votes cast matter even if your candidate/party of preference doesn't get the most votes. (Is it really democratic when a party that wins only 36.7% of the popular vote gets 41.5% of the seats in parliament?)


Burke advocates exactly the opposite of your proposal for direct democracy. He didn't want the parliamentarian to act on the wishes of the majority but to act for the best of all, and if that meant acting in opposition to the majority, then so be it.

In my mind Burke painted the elected official as someone who upon winning an election was somehow divorced from the voter, given the god-like ability to KNOW what was best... (Gee, didn't Stalin uphold the idea that the Bolsheviks/Vanguard Party was â Å“Acting in the best interest of the Proletariatâ ? regardless of what the masses may have thought?) It doesn't take too long for anyone to realize that politicians really have no more of a clue what is best for everyone than any of the rest of us.

While I will allow that the â Å“Tyranny of the Majorityâ ? is something that aught to be guarded against I would not delegate that responsibility to our governing officials. That is why we have constitutions in civilized societies. It is the social contract as laid out in a constitution that ensures the scope and powers of our government and grants the people their rights. If we need to regain our liberty from the interference of the state then the constitution is where we should enshrine those wishes.
 
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