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The W - Current Events & Politics - Ontario provincial election
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Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 13 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
At the moment, it looks like this race could be Dalton McGinty (Liberal)'s race to lose. After putting up with eight years the PC party's "common sense revolution," I can only say THANK GOD.



"When this bogus term alternative rock was being thrown at every '70s retro rehash folk group, we were challenging people to new sonic ideas. If some little snotty anarchist with an Apple Mac and an attitude thinks he invented dance music and the big rock group is coming into his territory, [that's] ridiculous." - Bono, 1997
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Mr. Heat Miser
Blutwurst








Since: 27.1.02

Since last post: 2543 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.90
I'll be SO exceedingly happy if the Harris/Eaves crew are turfed, but geez-louise, don't the Liberals have anyone less vapid then McGuinty? He's better than a few years ago, but still...if anyone can lose to the Tories, I think it's him.

It frightens me when the NDP seem to have the best leader.



-MHM, winner of the 2000 Throwdown in Christmastown.
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3376 days
Last activity: 3285 days
ICQ:  
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.93
I'm voting PC as the best option of a bad lot. I don't like how Eves has strayed from Mike Harris' hardline 'get things done' attitude and taken to governing to the polls. His handling of the hydro situation still boggles my mind.

Until the Liberals explain how closing private MRI clinics helps health care, allowing teachers to strike and discouraging use of private schools helps the education system and how "tax cut rollbacks" (but not tax increases, of course) will help create jobs, I don't see how you can vote for McGuinty.
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 13 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54

    Until the Liberals explain how closing private MRI clinics helps health care, allowing teachers to strike and discouraging use of private schools helps the education system and how "tax cut rollbacks" (but not tax increases, of course) will help create jobs, I don't see how you can vote for McGuinty.


Closing MRI clinics is worse for health care than the Tories firing nurses by the truckload and closing hospitals?

The teachers should be allowed to strike, since that should be just about everyone's right. Of course, the logical solution would be for the province to stop dicking them around so they'd have no reason/need to strike, but then again my folks are both teachers and thus I'm biased.

Discouraging use of private schools....well, I agree with you there. If you have the money to send you kid there, more power to you.

I've given up trying to figure out how tax cuts or increases help the economy, since there is apparently no rhyme nor reason to it....some tax cuts give the economy a boost, others just drive it deeper into debt. Vice versa with the tax increases.

Overall, I'm definitely voting for McGuinty, despite his semi-Al Goreish persona. I'd rather have a guy in office that promises a lot of good things and does nothing (a Liberal) than someone that promises a lot of idiotic things and then does them (the PC).



"When this bogus term alternative rock was being thrown at every '70s retro rehash folk group, we were challenging people to new sonic ideas. If some little snotty anarchist with an Apple Mac and an attitude thinks he invented dance music and the big rock group is coming into his territory, [that's] ridiculous." - Bono, 1997
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3376 days
Last activity: 3285 days
ICQ:  
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.93
Closing private MRI clinics is worse for health care than what the Tories have done because private clinics not only get people the care they need faster, it's done at a much lower cost to the government, thus freeing up more money for the public system to run more efficiently.

The Tories closed some hospitals because they were deemed unnecessary where they were. For example, where I live we had two hospitals fully operational in 1995. Now we have one fully operational and one that deals primarily with out-patient cases. Sure, it caused outrage at first, but waiting times here are no longer than they were before. The money that has been saved is being allocated in part for the construction of new hospitals in parts of the province where significant population growth has occurred. The idea is that everyone across the province should have equal access to care, as opposed having people in major centres having relatively easy access to care where people in growing centres and the north get nothing. Reallocation of major resources like hospitals takes time, and it takes money. And if the federal Liberals are going to contribute 33 cents less to every health care dollar spent in Ontario, it's going to take a bit more provincial money and a bit longer to get done what you want to do.

Teachers make for a whole other rant...strangely enough I just had this argument over dinner about two hours ago. I'll try not to paint all teachers with the same brush, but I'm only a few years out of high school and I saw a lot of this first hand rather than just going by rhetoric. There are good teachers out there who are dedicated to their job and seem like they are genuinely interested in their students, in and out of the classroom. There are, at least where I went to school, also many more teachers who punch in at 8:30, punch out at 2:30, do very little in between, and collect a very generous paycheque and nice benefit package for their "effort". If we had more of the former and less of the latter, I don't think we would have nearly the conflicts we have with teachers. The province can't sit idly by, spending blindly at the union's request, while we're graduating more and more illiterates from high school while paying teachers more and more to turn a blind eye to their own failures.

The issue, though, is striking, and whether teachers should have that right. I think the societal harm caused by a teachers strike far outweighs the good that can come of it. I was in school during the illegal strike of 1997, and despite the fact that it only lasted two weeks it threw a big wrench into the normal operation of the school. People in OAC at the time were afraid that a prolonged strike would keep them from getting credits they needed for university, which could have held them back a year. Though they would have been the most directly effected, what's to stop a teachers strike, done at the right time, from holding an entire province's kids back a year? The province as a whole is suddenly a year behind. Now what?

It's not as if teachers are hard done by, it's not like they're fighting for a subsistence wage. In general I feel that the need for labour unions has passed us by, but in the case of teachers I think that is especially true. Teachers earn a good annual salary and are well looked after with benefits, especially considering that they work nine months a year to earn it. You can't tell me that a few extra dollars in a teacher's pocket or an extra day off here and there is more important than a child's education.

Finally, as far as tax cuts helping the economy is concerned....it's simple economics. If you cut business taxes - especially payroll taxes - you make it less expensive for a business to operate and for it to employ labour. This is especially important in the small business sector, as it is the marginal business that can be made or broken depending on the tax environment. It is the marginal worker that will either have a job or not based on whether their employer can afford to pay their wage versus whether the employer can afford to pay their wage plus high payroll taxes and premiums. More businesses in operation means more jobs (jobs in the private sector, by the way, and thus at zero cost to the government), and more jobs means not only a higher standard of living but also more money in the hands of consumers. This is where personal tax cuts come in. More money in the hands of consumers means a greater purchasing power in the community, which not only allows people to provide a better life for their family but also to spend more and invest more...both of which stimulate business and starts the cycle all over again. Let's not forget that when people are working they also pay income tax, which puts money into the government pool, rather than draining money from it by having those same people on welfare.

When taxes are higher, the marginal business doesn't open and the existing business moves to either a neighbouring province or state where it can operate more cheaply...this puts people out of work and lowers the standard of living for everyone because consumer confidence in spending isn't there...with a high unemployment rate, the vast majority of people are much closer to being in an undesirable state (out of work, low on money, can't provide for their kids, etc.)...spending any money suddenly becomes riskier so people don't do it. The cycle goes the other way.

The reason the Tories took so much heat for some of the things they did in the late 90s was because they had no choice. The NDP was so irresponsible in how they ran things we had to basically start over. But now, eight years later, we're much better off than we were before. Without going into shill mode, all I can say is that real progress doesn't come overnight. We've got two options now...either see the PC plan through and reap the rewards, or go on a massive spending spree with the Grits or the Dippers, collapse the system again, and have to start from 1995 all over again four years from now.

(edited by BigVitoMark on 17.9.03 2153)

(edited by BigVitoMark on 17.9.03 2200)
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 13 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
I'm sorry that your teachers weren't into it, but that shouldn't confuse the issue. Teachers have, bar none, one of the hardest jobs there is, and should be paid accordingly. Now, they do get the two months off, but it's well-deserved. To quote my old math teacher, they "spend the first month winding down, and the second month winding back up."

Like I said, my parents were teachers (my dad in high school, my mom in grade school) and we weren't exactly rich or anything, but I don't feel like I was deprived growing up. That being said, my dad hadn't gotten a raise in ten years before he took early retirement, a retirement taken in part because he was just so disgusted with what was happening to the system.

What the government was asking was that high school teachers add one more class to their daily schedule, making them teach 4 out of five periods. Now imagine if your boss came to you and said "Hey, we're going to increase your workload by 25% and not give you any more pay for it. Oh, and you're not allowed to strike about it if you're upset. Oh, and I'm also going to run TV and newspaper ads saying what a lazy and irresponsible bastard you are." I don't think that'd go over well with too many employees.

My big problem with the PC is that their 'common sense revolution' is that their idea of common sense was to cut a fortune from both education and health care while basically bending over for big business.



"When this bogus term alternative rock was being thrown at every '70s retro rehash folk group, we were challenging people to new sonic ideas. If some little snotty anarchist with an Apple Mac and an attitude thinks he invented dance music and the big rock group is coming into his territory, [that's] ridiculous." - Bono, 1997
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3376 days
Last activity: 3285 days
ICQ:  
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.93
I haven't got the figures on education in front of me, but how provincial health spending of roughly $18 million in 1995 compared to approximately $28 million in 2003 constitutes cutting a fortune from health care I have no idea. Your health care complaints regarding total spending would be better directed towards Ottawa.

From your perspective you obviously see the teachers case one way, and I can respect that. I see it more as "Hey, you're getting good full time pay and not doing a full time job. We'd like you to work full time hours for what you're receiving. You're going to go on strike over that? Well, we'll take our case to the people and see what they think of you...since, after all, they are the ones paying your salaries and they'll want to know why you won't teach their kids."

In my school board, teachers used to teach 3 of 4 periods a day (usually...some older teachers didn't do as much). That's three times seventy-two minutes, or three hours and thirty six minutes a day. Add a lunch hour and coffee breaks and that's a five hour day. Let's be generous and tack on an hour a day on average over the year for extra-ciriculars and that's a six hour day. Now, as I understand it, a day's work at most jobs consists of eight hours - there's still room to add another class in there with almost a full hour of flex time to spare. I don't see the problem.

I'm sure you're going to fire back with the "planning time" and "upgrade their skills" lines, which to me are a bunch of bull. Why teachers need so much planning time when for the mostpart they teach the same material year after year continues to escape me. The laws of physics, the theorems of calculus, English grammar, Shakespearean plays, and Canadian history really don't change that much from year to year, and after you've taught something once or twice shouldn't you be expected to have a good handle on it? As far as upgrading skills, I really have to wonder about a union that resists every attempt to have it's membership's skill set evaluated by it's employer. Something's not quite right there either.
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Bill & Melinda Gates, Bono Well, that's an interesting set of choices, to say the least. I'm no fan of Bill Gates.
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