Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Canadian Stuff

I do a progressive radio show at CJLO in Montreal, for those who aren't aware, and part of what I do is post the links to all the stories I cover on my show at my radio show blog. It's a constant battle to keep up and blog here at NMPCanada as well but I do enjoy the challenge and if I can provide a one-stop fits all for news links I'm happy to do it. Of late I've gotten away from that and I thought today would be a good day to include that once again as part of the overall format here.

What's being called the Quebec euthanasia hearings began on Tuesday. Needless to say, this is a controversial issue to many -- the Gazette publishes an editorial and comes out against it. For some international perspective, in Australia they are coping with the same issue and here's a link to a story about an aggressive campaign in favour of euthanasia that's being launched and will soon appear on television screens and billboards across Australia.

We've been looking forward to the return of Parliament and apparently the Liberals and Conservatives are planning on fireworks (Baird vs McGuinty). Good!

Two polls have the Tories and the Grits in a virtual tie -- what I found striking was the sexist manner in which Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg discussed the male female divide of his polls results.

Men also tend to support those they think will attack deficits and keep the economy moving, Mr. Gregg said. “You have to continue to keep that male advantage,” he said of the Tories. “You have to position your opponent as a wimp and as an effete snob and out of touch with manly concerns.”

Did you get that? Women don't care about deficits (bless their little hearts!) or even if the economy is moving -- that's a male purview. Egads, where do they find these people and why am I supposed to trust their analysis? It kind of sounds like he's characterizing Iggy as well -- is that his job?

Looking inside the numbers as best we can it seems that the Liberals have made gains not because of anything Michael Ignatieff has done but rather dissatisfaction with the Conservatives many missteps of late. That's both good and bad news for Ignatieff. It means that his cross-Canada tour has done no more than put him on equal footing with the PM but hasn't changed people's opinions of him. It also suggests that the opportunity to do that is in his grasp if he seizes the moment, defines who he is and what he stands for.

We know what Stephen Harper stands for: Stephen Harper. And to that end he looks to be ready to get down to some old-fashioned vote buying by assisting with public monies a proposal to build a $400-million hockey arena in Quebec City. Even over at the National Post they're calling it vote buying where Don Martin speculates that this could this be Stephen Harper's CF-18 moment (in 1986 when Brian Mulroney yanked a jet fighter maintenance contract out of Winnipeg and handed it to Canadair in Montreal to the howls of people across the country). As Martin also notes, what's most disagreeable is that ...the probable owner would be Quebec billionaire Pierre Karl Peladeau, owner of the proposed right-wing Sun Media television channel now fighting for distribution rights before the CRTC.

This story about civil servants across Canada being ordered by the Harper government to document every sign promoting the federal economic stimulus plan, illustrates once again how the Harper government is more interested in propaganda than in policies that assist Canadians. Countless hours have been spent tracking every one of more than 8,500 signs posted since last summer as ordered by the Privy Council Office (PCO), the bureaucratic arm of Prime Minister Harper's office.

And because I love you, here's George Carlin and Stuff:

2 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

If you want to explore physician-assisted suicide, Oregon is a good place to start. They employ a multi-stage process of examinations and counselling the terminally ill patient must go through before a prescription can be authorized. There is a residency requirement. The applicant must be assessed as within six months of death. Then and only then is the prescription issued.

There is nothing requiring the patient to fill the prescription. Many don't. There is, of course, nothing requiring the individual to take the lethal medicine if the prescription is filled.

The result?

While only a small minority of terminally ill elect to go through the evaluation process, few of those who receive prescriptions actually use them.

Having the prescription of medicine on hand in most cases simply gives the individual the peace of mind of knowing that, should the condition get truly unbearable, they'll have a humane way out. They won't have to dread deteriorating to that state and not having the opportunity to do anything about it. It simply gives them comfort and assurance while facing what, to many, is the greatest anxiety they'll ever know.

When you weigh this sort of humane legislation, think of all those who get the prescriptions and don't use them as much as you consider those who do.

karl knox said...

Thanks Mound of Sound for salient info -- it'd be nice to see the MSM raise the point of all who receive the prescription as compared to those who go ahead and actually use it. That info somewhat changes the nature of the discussion.