prolog, on Jul 29 2003, 01:15 PM, said:
I don't like Chretien - hell, I'm very not fond of him - but I'll at least credit him for taking a stand on national TV on the subject. But yeah, with regards to his damned "legacy", he should have stepped down ages ago.
To be perfectly honest, I know precisely why Chretien is so obsessed with his bloody 'legacy'.
He hasn't done anything else.
Comments like that make me question why Canada should remain intact. Seriously. I'm not from Alberta (born in BC, raised in SK), so it's not like it's your comment that rankled me, it's the attitude.
What can I say. I played it very Trudeau, didn't I?
The point of a federal government should be to ensure that the interests of all areas of the country are considered in decisions.
But a quick analysis of the system doesn't permit that insurance to be carried out. If anything, a "rep by pop" without an effective regional check (in the form of the tired old and completely useless Senate) is doomed. Which is why I'm a strong advocate of reform. I'm not pleased with a lot of the pearls I see before the swine of the federal government. The sad part is, unless Ontario starts making some noise about its fraternal provinces in the Confederation family being dressed in rags so it can receive a coat of many colours.... well, nothing's going to happen.
Canada was, let's be honest, cobbled together at confederation.Even today, it can be seen as a division of regions: the west, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes.
Who gets the lion's share of constitutional attention? Quebec. Who gets the lion's share of federal funding and federal stuff in general? Ontario. Who gets the shaft? Everyone else.
I want to see Kyoto ratified, but I can see why Alberta was so pissed off: Chretien agreed and promised ratification without considering the ramifications of doing so.
Not only that, but he did it unilaterally, without even so much as a word about consulting with the nation in general. Yet another kink in the Constitution: the little guy from Shawinigan can screw over folks from Vancouver to St. John's without them having so much as a word in edgewise. How to fix that? Better regional representation. One solution I've heard is a modification of the Cabinet, away from being based around the federal Ministries and instead towards having a Cabinet composed of regional representatives --two from each province, at least-- in order to, if not restrain, then to lend credence to the Government's position on controversial matters like Kyoto.
Alberta's got a strong vested interest in oil, and to just summarily say, "okay, change it, or we'll hit you with fines so hard you'll sh*t bricks," is callous and inconsiderate. Who do you think's going to absorb the cost? The corporations? BS.
The sad part is, the corporations are already riding sweetheart-deals from the fedgov. So whatever Alberta does to compensate remains Alberta's problem. Same with BC fish or the wheat farmers.
Understand that I'm not entirely certain that I agree with the liberal interpretation of the country's resources being available globally. I think we do ourselves a vast disservice by being so strongly rooted in the export economy. I don't know if it's all it's cracked up to be. Not to imply that Crown-owned industries are any better or worse-- it just seems like an alternative. Again, not a good one. But an alternative.
As always, these sorts of things would be passed on to consumers. We already pay a huge amount of money on heating bills in the winter - the result of fines and levies would be such that many families might be unable to pay heating costs due to the federal government. That's downright criminal.
The sad part is, there's nothing that can be done-- the same families that freeze because they can't cover the bills in Ontario exist in Alberta and Newfoundland and Manitoba and all over. Not to imply that "things are tough all over, so why bother?" or anything of the sort, but rather, if this kind of thing is "criminal" when it occurs in the regional sense, why hasn't anyone done anything to correct it across the board?
Part of the reason the west feels so much resentment is that in national elections, the west and the maritimes are irrelevant. To win, you need Ontario, a bit of Quebec, and a few seats here and there. The west (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, for those not familiar with the term) has 88 seats total, a mere 13 more than Quebec. The population of the west is about 9 million, compared to 7.4 in Quebec. But the numbers would suggest seats roughly in line with population, you say! What's wrong with that? Well, considering that the maritimes have roughly 2.2 million people, and 27 seats, it would seem that's not the case elsewhere. When one considers that the west and the Maritimes are largely irrelevant in electing a government, one can perhaps glimpse why the term "alienation" has been used.
Can't disagree with you here. Quebec's been against a rep-by-pop system since the country began --largely in order to safeguard its language and cultural interests. What no one seems to notice (and I intentionally overlooked) is that each province does, in fact, have its own cultural interests. You just have to look past the Plains of Abraham and realize that *everyone*, not just Quebec, has vested interests that the fedgov does a pisspoor job of helping with, that the fedgov treats on a national level, when there's so little in common that the notion of a "national" level exists mostly on paper, and barely at all in reality.
To be fair, the west has always been seen as the bastard child by "upper Canada". But given that almost a third of the population lives here, and that we sure don't have a third of the seats in parliament, or even much respect from the federal government, perhaps it's understandable that the bastard child is malcontent.
It's perfectly understandable-- but the sad part is, all the eggs are in Ontario's basket. Solution? No, don't nuke Ontario. Yet. (Let me get on a plane to Edmonton first.
) But it couldn't hurt to reform the system. And unless that federation-of-provinces reform argument I extend as a sort of solution is taken up as a cause by both Western, Eastern, and Quebecois interest groups, in a coalition.... nothing will change.
And yes, for the record, my earlier argument was *entirely* facetious. I apologize if any offense was construed from those remarks.