Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday musings

Well, week one in the Canadian Federal election is in the books. At this point no one topic has emerged as to the be called The Topic but there are a couple that may yet expand further. One is the curious reluctance of the Prime Minister to answer reporters questions at any photo op. In fact there have been occasions where the media is forced to stand behind a railing set far away from the Prime Minister. And when he does take a question, limits the number to one or two - really bad optics for the voters. Another item has been the curious flip flop from the Prime Minister in regards to a one on one leaders debate with the leader of the Official Opposition. One day he will, then the next day he will not. Not quite the decisive image his handlers are trying to portray. We will see if this continues to have a life this week. Other than that there seems to be a sense of apathy among the electorate which could mean another minority government that depends on Opposition support to pass legislation. Many observers are now of the opinion that this is not a good thing for the country anymore as it seems to lead to passage of "blanket' legislation to appeal to every interest group at the same time which is a detriment to the country as a whole.
The other Opposition parties are still looking for the "hot" topic that they can focus on and exploit to their advantage.
Have you been following the debate in the United States in cutting benefits to the Medicare and Medicaid system?
It seems that the people most affected by these proposed (2012) changes are seniors in nursing homes, single mothers and men without health insurance. Why is it that such a great country would attack the helpless and on the other hand pass legislation that reduces or eliminates taxes on the really wealthy or attacks unions while not bringing in a Value added tax that is fair and would reduce the national debt?
It really is confusing to an observer from out of the country.
There is a majour shift happening on the world stage in regards to the involvement of the United States in the so called "hot spots" of Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2014 the Americans will be gone from Afghanistan, they are presently withdrawing from Pakistan and are now turning over the lead role in Libya to NATO.
I am extremely interested to see what if any role the rest of the international community takes in those countries. The European Union has befitted for decades under the American safety umbrella. With the exception of England, there has been little or no involvement in peace keeping, whether through direct  participation or through that hobbled institution called the United Nations.
Where is Africa in these matters?
The least these countries could have done over the years would have been to pay for the cost of these military operations, instead they pay lip service to the concept of "freedom" and ignore what is in front of them.
One of the features of modern society is its mobility. Just look at the number of people that have fled Tunisia and now are in Italy. Look at the large number of Muslim workers that have followed the work trail in order to support their families. One unforeseen result is the creation of large communities in European countries that are slowly starting to agitate for Sharia law, a law whose basis is quite different from that of the democratic system.
It seems that winter is slowly, reluctantly giving way to Spring. Since the last posting we have had almost a full week of snow melting temperatures, mind you at a very gradual rate due to low temperature. And then last night another 10 cm fell but that too is slowly melting away already.
So, until next week, take care,
flatlander 52

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