All Over The All Candidates DebateOK, the all candidates debate has happened.
I thought I'd get in early. No such luck. The parking lot was full so I had a long hobble to the forum.
A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. I was waylayed by a young lass waving a $10 note. Apparently "I had dropped it". Well, I've dropped a lot of "--it" over the years. What's $10 on the scale of tributes paid to beloved governments? "Keep it", says I.
A long line of voting-age citizens shuffled towards the Festival Theatre like a trail of ants to a honey pot. Surely this ossified throng was in for a treat?
First up, before the meeting had been called to order, a bunch of raving ninny-nannys serenaded us with their particular brand of "wisdom":"No dirty oil"It was hard to hear what they were singing, perhaps it was "simple mindedness"...
"Simplicity must guide us now"
The meeting began with the customary Canadian demand for respectfulness. Well, what else could we be? We're Canadian! They slip deference drugs into our coffee.
The demand for respectfulness is the way that power-mongers and plutocrats keep us leashed and subservient. Anyone who doubts that either wasn't at the "debate" or has been totally programmed to happily swallow hooey.
Speaking of nonsense, Megan Brown-Hodges did a stand-up job for the Rhinoceros Party. Oh what joy to see a Rhino and two Independents sitting on stage with the other candidates! It was a damn fine thing that Megan was the only female candidate, otherwise it would have been all but impossible to keep track of which candidate was speaking deliberate nonsense and which was merely inane.
If you're a sucker for wit and charm --- or if you just like women --- vote Rhino!
I had to feel a little sorry for Hugh Curry, the NDP candidate. Poor old Hugh is a last-minute ring-in, following the forced-resignation of Morgan Wheeldon. Apparently Morgan wrote some off-the-cuff commentary about stuff spewed by Ben-Gurion. Darth Tom Mulcair did not approve.
Ah, our politicians are all so nice, so sanitized.
Anyway, back to Hugh. The poor bugger looked like a fish on a hook. Hunched over, eyes glued to the NDP Guide to Party Talking Points, he frantically thumbed the pages for something to say.
Darth Tommy boy, you should have stuck with someone who has a thought of their own. You should stuck with Morgan Wheeldon. I don't give a damn if someone lays the odd egg. Just don't let them be intellectually hobbled by political correctness, trivial slaves to the system.
Like the good apparatchik that he is, David Morse had well-rehearsed his Conservative Party talking points. On at least two occassions --- I may have nodded off for a while --- David reminded us that the Dear Leader was such a good economissed that he had (single handedly?) created 1.3 Million jobs since the depths of the 2008 meltdown.
Now numbers like that need some context. First, we should ask the question as to how many jobs had been previously lost. Second we should ask the quality of the new jobs: How well paid? How secure?
More than anything else those 1.3 Million jobs need to be put in the context of an almost 2 Million population increase over the same period.
And so politicians talk about the jobs that "they" have created (an obvious lie) and wonder why our adult children have huge education debt and are either under employed or unemployed and still being supported by their aging parents. (And Greens, Liberals, Conservative, NDP all say "we need more immigrants to support our aging people" --- I say we need jobs for the children of aging people! I have no problem with a sane level of immigration. I am an immigrant. But it's total baloney to think that immigration is a solution to the economic problems faced by Nova Scotia. Rany Ivany and all of the political parties are peddling tripe dressed up as rib eye. Scott buys it, I don't!)
Needless to say, putting the matter into a population context is something that NONE of the political parties will do? So the candidates did not debate the real substance of this hogwash about Stephen Harper being the great economissed. And the rules of the "debate" muzzled those of us who would have otherwise had something sensible to say.
In the midst of this dilemma, we have words of wisdom from Scott Brison who points out that to get jobs in our "new economy" people will "need to return to school to re-skill"? I guess he was talking about all the "green jobs" that the Liberals want to fund by going deeper into debt? Or perhaps he was just parroting the usual line about the inevitable increase in the rate at which we must all change?
It's hard to know what a politican thinks, or even if they think? Has Scott ever considered that people might actually value stability as well as variety? How many people jump with joy when they are forced to reskill for a new job? How frequently can you require people to reskill before the whole "newness thingy" becomes uneconomic? The answer to that last question is the amount of time it takes to pay off your student debt.
Change has already made our economy uneconomic! Scott's penchant for change --- or even his acceptance of its inevitability --- will only make matters worse. But this criticism is owned by all the political parties. They all accept and promote this inhumane paradigm!
Many of the candidates (Liberal, NDP, Green, Rhino? and one independent) were gung-ho about changing to the new, green economy. Fundamentally this is a Green Party policy that has slowly, over many decades, been sort of adopted and adapted by the other parties. So we should now focus upon what Will Cooper (Green Party) has to say.
First up, Will would close the coal plants that are used to generate most of the electricity for Nova Scotia. He's keen on tidal power but wants to "make sure that the fish are safe" (also from fishermen?). Will thinks that when it comes to tidal power, "the technology is almost there"!
Well, I'm pleased that Will injected the qualifier. A few years ago I heard Lizzy the Green-mommy May talking on CBC. Lady Lizzy was saying that we already had the green technology to replace fossil fuels and that it was only the evil carbon-empire, and Lord Darth Harper, that stood in the way. They L-O-V-E that sort of stuff at CBC.
Speaking as a scientist who has actually contributed (in a small way) to the tidal power issue, I think that there is still a good deal of work to be done before we can say "almost there".
On the more general matter of green replacements for fossil fuels, I think that the Green Party (and others) are either deluding themselves or are playing us for a bunch of ignorant fools. There are NO green replacements for some of the fossil fuel technologies that we presently enjoy. I'd like it if Will Cooper could be elected, if only to see him jetting forth to Ottawa in his solar powered airplane on a cold, stormy, winters night.
In some other instances there are "green" replacement technologies but they come at a cost --- which means we will have to adapt to less lavish lifestyles. (Indeed, by my scientific estimation, the reduced productivity would force a reduction in human population, both for Canada and globally. That would be a good thing, ecologically speaking. Probably it would also be good for us human animals, we're evolved to be a small group animal and we simply lack whatever biological tools would be really required to relate to huge numbers of people without also becoming pathological from time to time.)
This brings me to my most basic beef with all of the parties. They are filled with people who think that if there is a need then it only requires political will and taxpayer dollars to make a technological/scientific fix. No, that's not the way things are. Politician's don't get to make up the laws of nature for their own convenience.
During "debate", all of the candidates (with the possible exception of Edd Twohig) clearly demonstrated a total disconnect with the most elementary science and mathematics.
They do not understand the exponential function. They are totally ignorant of nonlinear dynamics. They do not understand ecology. They do not understand that a finite planet cannot sustain continued growth. They promote continued growth of both GDP and human population.
The party that I most despise for this is the Green Party. I despise them because they claim the moral high ground regarding the environment. (Not to laud the Conservatives for being true to their low-life ways.) In my experience, the Greens are hostile towards anyone who suggests that population growth is a problem or that overpopulation is already a problem. They have the moronic notion that environmental impact can be made small as human population grows indefinitely larger!
Will Cooper claimed that the Green Party was the only party with a platform that David Suzuki would endorse. Well that just demonstrates that David Suzuki is a very nice guy, trying to make the best of a bad business. Suzuki has made very clear statements about overpopulation. It is telling that Dr Suzuki got NO support from any of the political parties when the Conservatives unleashed their attack hound on him. (Media pundits also proved themselves to be imprudent population pushers.)
Meanwhile, Scott Brison talks about how Canadians are blessed with mineral and oil resources. The Liberal policy, he says, is to "develop natural resources in a responsible way". One minor quibble, we mine these resources, we don't develop them. "Dissipate" would be the word to use, not "develop". My point is that you dig them out of the ground and flog them off to China in exchange for some disposable plastic crap or an electronic toy. That's called dissipation. One day the resource will all be gone -- has Scott done the responsible thing, has he calculated that day? Not on your Nelly (Cockney rhyming slang).
On crunch day, you might feel as though you should vote for one of these outfits. It's not an easy thing for a thinking person to select one from such a motley crew. (Cliff Williams perhaps? He has the virtue of saying that he doesn't know, when he doesn't know.) Edd Twohig had a suggestion that might be helpful, or at least worth exploring.
Edd made the cardinal error for a politician. He complained that voters need to be made to think. His solution was to require that a voter would have to rank each candidate. I suspect that many voters would be quite happy to more thoroughly express themselves in this way. If some are not up to the intellectual burden, who cares? Not me.
However, a real thinking man knows that all election systems are flawed. I'd be better able to express my views with a "slight" modification to Edd's idea. I'd suggest a binary system. You can give each candidate either:1 if you approveThus, if I thought they were all good, I could give them all a 1. Or if they were all bad, I'd give them all a -1.
0 if you are ambivalent
-1 if you disapprove
The beauty of my scheme is that it caters to diverse political models. When all the votes are tallied, it may be that no candidate comes up with a number greater than 0. If that be the case, then we would have voted out government. This election method does not exclude those of us who subscribe to rule-by-none politics. Us anarchists are comfortable with the notion that individuals and society can do very well without having a government forced upon them.