While we are saddened that Stephen Harper is still prime minister of Canada,
we are overjoyed that he only won a minority government. Just barely.
We came very close to seeing the Conservative Party win enough seats to
turn back the clock on gay rights, the environment, arts funding, women's issues and a host of other things Harper's conservatives don't consider important enough to spend tax dollars on.
and this is an important point, gay married couples now pay more taxes
than if they were simply single and living together. Thats more money
in government coffers. Why would you want to reverse that?
the thing however, and this is a mathematically oddity: Only 61% of
Canadian adults over the age of 18 actually voted in the election this
Of those who did vote the Conservatives got a mere
38%. For those of you who are good at math that means only 23.18% of
potential voters actually voted for Stephen Harper's party. Certainly
not a vote of confidence.
Part of the problem is young people
who don't vote. Indeed quite a few adults don't vote either and its
mindbogglingly difficult to comprehend why they don't bother. They
B. Don't think it will do any good because some politicians are corrupt.
C. Don't think their 1 measly little vote will make much difference. Some MPs win their riding on just a few votes.
The politicians are talking about issues (ie. education, university
spending & college loans) that don't speak to young people.
E. Think they're too busy, forget, figure the party they hate or like will win anyway, think its all rigged, etc.
F. Some or all of the above.
ago when I lived in Prince Edward Island I got into a huge argument
with my mother about why I wasn't voting in a local township election.
My reasons were: Its a township! I didn't know the candidates, I didn't
know what they stood for and I didn't know any of the issues facing the
municipality. Even now, living in Toronto, I have yet to vote during a
mayor's election or for a member of city council. Same reasons. I
simply didn't know enough to care about voting in it.
it be young people today think the same way about provincial and
national politics? They simply don't know enough to want to vote in it?
Ignorance creates apathy.
My answer is ignorance and apathy?
Start watching the news and reading newspapers. Politics is like karma.
If you don't learn about the issues and vote you get the leaders you
On November 4th the United States
will make a choice between John McCain and Barack Obama. One would hope
that people will actually vote in such a historic election in large
numbers. If they don't then Americans will get the leader they deserve,
not necessarily the one they like.
To paraphrase Mr. T: I pity the fool that doesn't vote.
Sincerely, Suzanne MacNevin Editor of the Lilith eZine
Carl Schaefer was born in Hanover, Ontario
in 1903. While Schaefer studied at the Ontario College of Art he was
taught by two of the Group of Seven artists: J.E.H. MacDonald and
Emanuel Hahn. He spent some time working as a church decorator and sign
painter while working on his own private collection. Schaefer
appreciated the landscape of his hometown and that led to him becoming
a landscape artist.
What is happening in Canada is strange. Job growth is up and unemployment is still very low, but people are so worried about the economy that they are cutting back on spendng... especially on luxury items.
So how do we track luxury items?
Well, for starters champagne sales in Ontario are down dramatically in 2008. 24%. Don't know what the percentage is for the rest of Canada, but seeing as Ontario has one third of Canada's population and is the biggest Canadian consumer of champagne it sends a signal that people are worried and being more thrifty.
Ontario cottages are also seeing a major drop in sales.
Sales of cottages in the Muskoka area (considered the most luxurious and convenient cottage market dominated by million-dollar mansions on the water) are
down by a daunting 43 per cent in the first nine months of the year
according to figures from the Muskoka
and Haliburton Association of Realtors. Agents reported 111
transactions by the end of September, compared to 197 by the same time
While sales of all types of cottages are down, Karen
Flood, incoming president of the association, said the high end cottages are the ones most affected.
So yes, Canadians are cutting back on luxury items. Are we in a recession like the United States?
No, we're just feeling the pinch and the worry over the economy is effecting us too.
In the Unites States however there isn't just worry. There's panic.
Panic induced government bailouts of the leading banks of
the U.S. and Europe, and a stock market that posted a record weekly
drop of 18 per cent last week, and a 40 per cent plunge since last
summer – the biggest failure in modern free-market economics is bound
to raise doubts about the future of capitalism as we know it.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a tycoon with a near-monopoly
on commercial broadcasting in Italy, scorns the "capitalism of
adventurers" in the USA – the anything-goes Wall Street investment
bankers who put annual bonuses ahead of integrity. Berlusconi is a brilliant businessman who started small and managed to build his business into a near monopoly and even become Italian Prime Minister, but he has a very important point.
Corruption and Greed in the Marketplace = Loss of Integrity, Honesty and Profits are soon to disappear...
Think about it. Would you invest money with a company you knew was fraudulent, syphoning funds to the private accounts or just plain greedy and untrustworthy?
No. Neither would I.
And thats what investors are saying. If American investment banks are so greedy and untrustworthy, why should we give them our money?
And furthermore, why should we bail them out either? That $700 billion Bush is giving investment banks to buy junk mortgages is a fundamental waste of money. Its like going to the shady used car salesman and saying "Hey buddy, I heard times are rough... how about I buy $[insert big number here] of your worst cars, your lemons/etc. and you can go on vacation to Hawaii with the money."
Last I checked investment bankers are pretty well off, rich to say the least. Profits are down due to the credit crisis, but they're still making profits. So why boost their profits with a bailout?
Because we're talking about America's elite, the backbone of the Republican party. They make a huge fuss if they're not making huge profits. Small profits just doesn't look good enough on paper. Because the outgoing Bush Administration is corrupt and just doesn't care if they bankrupt America and have a budget deficit.
So Canada, America... what will it be? Your pensions are riding on investment banks that use shady mortgages in an effort to boost profits. Do you really want your money being managed by someone you can't trust?
The above statistics are based on 2007 records. Estimates for 2008 suggest there will be a dramatic increase in Russian and Chinese spam. China for example has growing middle class and a definite thirst for the internet.
More Bailouts cause Dow Jones to recover 938 points
Tuesday October 14th - Wall Street stormed back yesterday from last week's devastating losses due to the American credit crisis,
sending the Dow Jones industrials soaring a nearly inconceivable 938
points after major governments' plans to support the global banking
system reassured distraught investors. The surge
in stocks comes after a dismal week on Wall Street that erased an
estimated $2.4 trillion in shareholder wealth.
The Dow by far
outstripped its previous record for a one-day point gain, 499, reached
during the waning days of the dot-com boom in 2000. All major indexes
rose about 11 per cent.
The Wall Street surge will be good news
for Canada, where the Toronto stock market was closed Monday for the Canadian
Thanksgiving holiday. Last week, the TSX lost more than 16 per cent of
its value, one of the worst weeks ever for the Canadian market, on
investor worries about falling commodity prices and a spreading
economic recession in the United States.
When trading resumes Tuesday, the Toronto market is expected to post major gains following the Wall Street jump.
The hope on Wall Street was that the market was finding a bottom after
eight sessions of losses that sent the Dow down nearly 2,400 points.
But while a rebound had been expected at some point, investors can
expect to see back-and-forth trading in the coming days and weeks as
investors work through their concerns about the banking sector, the
stagnant credit markets and the overall economy.
With the U.S. bond markets and banks closed
Monday for Columbus Day, it was difficult for investors to gauge the
reaction of the credit markets to actions by major governments. Even as they return to Wall Street, investors remain worried about the health of consumers and areas like the housing sector.
But the market did appear to take heart when the Bush administration
said it is moving quickly to implement its $700 billion (U.S.) bailout, including consulting with law firms about the mechanics of
buying ownership shares in a broad number of banks to help revive the
stagnant credit markets and in turn get the economy moving again. The bailout will increase this year's budget deficit significantly.
Wall Street was cheered by word that Canada will bailout Canadian banks to the tune of $25 billion and from the Bank of England which said it would
use up to $63 billion (U.S.) to help the three largest British banks
strengthen their balance sheets.
The Bank of England, the
European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank also jointly
announced plans to work together to provide as much short-term funding
as necessary to help revive lending.
After a series of weekend
meetings in Washington of heads of the Group of Seven nations, the
gains in global markets signalled that investors found comfort from the
actions and pledges coming from government officials.
October 6th 2008 - The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition
Letter from the Editor
This is a belated Sunday Edition, not only because its Monday, but because its been 2 months since our last Sunday Edition.
For me personally its a busy time of the year teaching. There's also stress, not just from work, but from society and politics.
have yet to decide whom I shall vote for the August 14th Canadian
election for example. Its bothering me because usually I know a month
or two in advance whom I intend to vote for. Its also bothering me
because Stephen Harper actually has a serious chance of winning a
And as a teacher working in Canada... that scares me.
Harper has worked hard to change his public image over the past several
years, trying not to appear like the penny-pinching, don't care about
the common person, privatize health care, sell out Canada to the USA,
censor movies and television, sell the CBC, cut funding to the arts,
cut funding to literacy, cut funding to women's shelters and women's
programs, puppet for the American Republicans, oil industry pawn,
bribery monger, fraud artist, lying, cheating and overall general
scumbag that he is.
Instead his minority government has pushed the idea of Stephen
Harper as the family man, the hockey lover, the guy who believes in
laissez-faire economics... To me laissez-faire doesn't mean hands off.
It means lazy. Harper doesn't like to mess around in economics and as a
result does nothing about the economy. If the economy goes bad he
blames problems in the USA.
Remember the glory days of Jean Chretien? An endless stream of
trade missions to Asia, Europe, Africa and South America? He promoted
Canadian products and exports overseas so that Canada didn't become so
dependent on the American economy. Harper has been too busy trying to
get rid of gay marriages and keep Kyoto and environmental change off
the table that he has totally ignored promoting Canada overseas.
So in deciding whom to vote for I will be weighing multiple issues:
Who will promote Canada overseas? Who will make environmental change
for the better? Who will protect the integrity of Canada's health care,
education and social programs?
I will tell you it won't be the Green Party. I'm sorry, but the
Greens are just contributing to vote splitting and could hand Harper a
majority. Canadians afraid of a Harper majority should seriously
consider voting strategically this election. I'd rather see a Liberal
and NDP coalition than see Harper get a majority.
One last scary thing: Harper still hasn't announced his party's
platform for this election. Its a huge secret what his party intends to
do... but I can guarantee it will include doing nothing about the
environment and further eroding Canada's social programs.
United States - New applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week to a seven-year high due to a weakening economy and the impact of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits increased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 497,000. That's significantly above analysts' estimate of 475,000. The total is the highest since just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks seven years ago.
Observations from the October 2nd English Debate on CBC:
#1. No Platform
There's a federal election in Canada and Canadians are going to the polls October 14th 2008, and its October 2nd already and Stephen Harper still hasn't released his political platform. He is making promises based on no actual platform for change.
#2. Plagiarizes Speeches
Stephen Harper can't even write his own speeches. His staff writes them and occasionally plagiarizes speeches from other politicians.
#3. Laissez-faire I Don't Care
Harper has fallen asleep on the Canadian economy. He hasn't done anything to prevent a recession, despite Canada's export driven economy and all the exports Canada sends to the United States. Harper's response to economics? Do nothing at all and hope nothing bad happens. Why do people think Harper will be "good" for the economy when his approach is to do nothing at all?
#4. No Investment in Canada
Harper has done nothing to invest in Canada's economy, education or health care. Instead he has cut funding to farmers, literacy programs, women's groups, arts funding and anything else Harper doesn't consider important. I ask you this? How is farming and literacy not important? We need food and food prices keep going up lately. And literacy helps people find jobs. Can you imagine being illiterate and trying to make a resume? How is this helping Canada?
#5. Ignores the Environment
By his own words, Harper believes that global warming and climate change is a scam and a hoax. He doesn't even believe his own scientists. When Harper's government commissioned a study into how they could cut carbon gases without hurting the economy a Conservative think-tank came up with the idea of taxing carbon gases (namely the coal industry and the oil industry)... however the oil industry in Alberta and the coal industry in Nova Scotia didn't like that idea and convinced Harper (through large political contributions) to scrap the idea. The Liberal plan to tax carbon gases is original a Conservative idea, but Harper is so corrupt he simply doesn't care.
#6. Harper doesn't promote Canada overseas
Remember how Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney went on trade missions to Europe, Asia and Russia? Since being in power Harper has gone on no trade missions to promote Canada's products or materials.
#7. Harper allowed bribery in his own party
The Conservative Party tried to bribe Chuck Cadman for his vote by offering him a million dollar insurance policy (Cadman was dying of cancer and the money would be paid to his wife). After Cadman died phone recordings came out proving that Harper not only knew his party wanted to bribe Cadman, but allowed the bribery attempt to continue.
#8. Prison & Punishment not a deterrent to crime
Harper's approach to crime is to increase the punishment: Longer prison sentences and more prison sentences for children. Criminals are NOT thinking about the prison sentences or how long the prison sentence is when they commit the crime. They're more worried about money. The real solution to preventing crime is to boost education levels and to boost the economy and crime will automatically go down when more people have jobs.
#9. Harper is a Bush Clone
Harper essentially does whatever the Bush Administration tells him to do. Harper has pushed towards sending more troops to Afghanistan, keeping troops in Afghanistan longer and is looking forward to sending Canadian troops to Iran.
#10. Harper Flip Flops on issues
Harper has flip flopped on carbon taxes, on gay marriages, on the economy, on privatized health care, on lowering the Canadian national debt, on Afghanistan, on Quebec Separatism and many other issues.