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February 2011
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April 2011

Day 6 - more choices, more solutions

Still not in great health today, still looking for solutions.

There are groups out there pushing their remedies, some with the fervour of a born again evangelist, promising that if you just select them, trust them, you'll get healthier. You maybe do some research, listen to friends and neighbour's opinions, you figure you can't make it any worse, you do know you want a change from where you are now. So you make your choices and try some of them and sure enough, you do get healthier. But there are many factors at play here of course: how healthy were you at the start, how serious was the the infection that hit you, what other things happened around you in your life at the same time. You would have improved anyways, as usual, trouble is you can't run this as an experiment, just to doublecheck the remedies. You can't go back in time  and repeat it all again, but with different choices to see whether you'd ended up the same, or better or worse. Maybe the choices you made, related to everything else, didn't really have much impact in the longer term, in the overall state of your health. Maybe it's more the lifestyle you choose.

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Election Day 35?? - NOT

Don't get your hopes up, it's only Day 5. And a sneezy sniffly one it's been for me, I'm coming down with something again. Hopefully Vitamin C and Cold-FX will at least make it pass faster and easier. It turned out to be a warm and sunny spring day here, so I shuffled off to sit in the sun on my local pub's patio, drank plenty of fluids, and talked politics. I'm in an NDP riding, many around the table were supporters. Some are retired like me, so had been sitting at home following all the drama on TV - and like me had decided to turn it off and get out. Comments from some were that it was nice to be in a riding where you could vote NDP and actually elect an NDP. And comments from some were that they were already bored with all the hype and mud-slinging, the personal attacks, and the media hype over everything. One of them is scheduled for a CAT scan tomorrow, for a possible tumour, after a long wait and many conflicting opinions. It seemed all had a related medical story so there was a lot of discussion about wait times and health care in general. Nothing about fighter jets or prisons. I did ask some about the leader's debates, and the exclusion of May by the broadcast coalition- some were concerned, some were unaware. I do find it amusing that some of the media complain about how unfair this is, yet they are part of the coalition. Ignatief did say he'd be willing to debate all, or just one, willing to debate with Harper one on one. Harper heard of it and accepted right away. I does help Harper polarize the vote into a two person choices- so even if you would vote Green or NDP you should pick either the red door or the blue door. But with only two on stage there is only one winner and one loser, it's harder to shift it around, harder to deflect and distract. Plus, Harper would prefer to be faced with Ignatief as part of the evil coalition, rather than just Ignatief on the same level as him. At any rate, this broadcast coalition will not likely want more than an English and a French debate - it's a couple of hours of prime time each night they have to give up.

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#elxn41 -more promises, more moments

We saw a few more tidbits today, on Day 4. More promises, more attacks, more smoke and mirrors, as Lawrence Martin of the Globe warns us. Or, as Andrew Cohen of the Ottawa Citizen calls it, "the politics of smash, slash, and smear".

As they promised yesterday, the Liberals announced a new education initiative, $1000 a year for four years to high school students, paid into an RESP, to be used for their post secondary education. $1500 a year for low income families. Some catches though, it replaces a text book deduction, and education tax rebate, worth $558 in total. So that $1000 is $442. Plus that $1000 a year doesn't actually show up in the students RESP, gaining interest. It's more like a credit, paid out every year of post-secondary education. How is it paid for? Cutting those two deductions, that $558 worth, saves about half a billion. And cancelling the recent corporate tax cut should be good for another 4-5 billion. 

 The Conservatives re-announced something from the budget, a small business tax credit to help offset their EI payments. Not that big a deal, but there still was that "c" word to flog. Yet more scary talk about the reckless coalition, in spite of Harper already having forced Ignatief to say he would never enter into one. Too bad, because it's a perfectly legitimate democratic choice in our parliamentary system. 

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Election 2011 - day 3 - bored yet?

I admit I'd lost some enthusiasm for this election earlier today. It wasn't my usual distraction with something else more sparkly, I was just depressed with the thought of yet another day of coalition finger pointing, of all the parties playing "he said, you said". Not that effective a strategy anyways, it didn't cause voters to panic over the evil coalition, and run into the Blue Tent, Harper was preaching to choir. Most Conservatives were riled yet reassured enough to stay true blue, and most Liberals saw through his line and were just more annoyed with him. Plus, there was a lot of talk in the news and from the opposition about the coalition-like arrangements Harper was involved in in previous years. He was facing increasing challenges on this contradiction at his various photo-ops, so I think he realized that it wasn't that strong a position after all, and looked to be degrading into just more arguments of who said what to whom.

I did find it annoying that when asked to comment on a different "c" word, on his government being found in contempt, his reply was the only contempt is that the Liberals want to form an un-democratic and illegitimate coalition. So that issue of contempt that really did spark a non-confidence vote and bring down the Harper Government? Don't worry about it.

Thankfully today saw a specific announcement to get our teeth into, from the Conservatives. They promised an income splitting plan for couples with children under 18. A nice carrot, but delayed until the deficit, about $45 billion, is eliminated. This zero balance is planned for 2015-16, and of course is dependant on a stable economy and the Conservatives staying in power until then. There was a lot of criticism of this promise of a future budget promise, with it sounding like Wimpy saying to gladly pay you Tuesday for a burger today. Several suggested Canadians should order a new flux capacitor for their DeLorean, or set up a coalition with the Timelords from Doctor Who.

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