Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Canada 5 : Germany 1

My brother got us some very decent seats for Monday night's game. I took this with my point and shoot camera. My SLR was confiscated by security (I got it back at the end of the night). Apparently cameras with removable lenses are not permitted. Neither are video recording devices. I recorded some video with my other camera out of protest. I suspect a large percentage of those in attendance had video recorders (aka modern cell phones) in their pockets...
Anyway, we won the game, by a substantial margin. Hopefully the trend continues.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I don't remember where I got this picture. I was cleaning up my computer and found it.

I'm not fully decided when it comes to government support for the auto industry. There are certainly tonnes of jobs connected to the industry in Ontario. If the 'Detroit 3' get support from the USA government, we are basically forced to up here as well. If we don't, we fear that they'll shut down the Canadian plants. Still, does the industry deserve a penny of government support? I say no. It is their fault that they are in the position that they are. The executives who run the companies have taken them in certain directions, which at the time may have looked good. As it turns out, they made some serious errors of judgement. As a result, they shouldn't be getting bonuses, or multi-million dollar salaries. They should be changing their tune, or shown the door. Then there is the unions. Sure, they're not responsible for the design of the product that is being sold, but they have some responsibility as well, having constantly sought more and more compensation and benefits. I'm all for fair wages, but there is no way that a line worker should be making more per hour than a skilled tradesman, a professional engineer, a nurse, a Youth Pastor, or whoever. They should make enough to support their family, which is certainly more than minimum wage, but $30 per hour, with awesome pensions?? Come on.

In our capitalist economy, should these companies not be left to fend for themselves, and find their own way? Trim some fat, eliminate a few lines of cars/trucks/SUV's, and focus on fewer and better product lines. The government, for the most part, cannot determine the size of the auto market. What I mean is that people will continue buying cars based on their economic position and their needs/wants. Whether GM survives or not doesn't change that. (Although there are some brand loyalists who will never buy anything other than a GM product). So, if GM or Ford close their doors, it just means that Chrysler, or Honda, or Toyota, or VW, or .... will gain a few new customers. Supply and demand. Am I stating the obvious, or oversimplifying? has a really great page up right now, "The year 2008 in photographs." You must click on that link.

Update: Part 2 is now available. Look for Part 3 shortly.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

More Politics

So, Parliament is shut down until Jan 26th.  I'm not 100% convinced this was the best course of action, but I don't think Harper had any other choice but to request it of the Governor General.

Is it even possible for some sort of compromise in this whole affair?  There is so much emotion, so much division, so much partisanship, so much stubbornness.  What will it take to break the ice?  I think one of the leaders, preferably the PM, needs to show a bit of humility and instigate some sort of discussion with the others to set a direction that will be good for Canada.

Is 7 weeks long enough to select a new Liberal leader?  If so, I suspect Dion and his national webcam broadcasts are done.  Things don't look good for Layton either.  Even Harper looks like he's on his way out.  Will there be a full changing of the guard?  Will that even change anything?  

Lots of questions.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Canadian Politics

I love Quebec. It's a beautiful province that I've visited many
times. My favourite hockey team's home is in this province. I'm
quite glad that they have not separated from the rest of Canada, and
hope that we remain united indefinitely.

I do, however, have a problem with the Canadian political system,
particularly how it relates to the Bloc Quebecois. Over the past
weekend, and announced yesterday afternoon, the NDP and the Liberals
will be forming a coalition, with the support of the Bloc, to attempt
to wrestle power away from the Conservatives. I will reserve comment
on that, for now. My primary comment is more of a question.

If this coalition somehow unseats the government, and takes over
power, the Bloc will hold the balance of power. The Liberals and the
NDP say they are doing this for the good of the country. How is
handing the balance of power to a separatist party for the good of
Canada? All that Gilles Duceppe talks about is 'the good of Quebec'.
He's more of a provincial premier than the leader of a federal party.
It makes no sense to me.