Democracy, euthanasia and a basic income supplement

Liberal Party members adopt 32 policy resolutions

Liberal party members adopted 32 policy resolutions yesterday morning before the convention closed.

A few points of potential interest.

First, via the Liberal caucus, an agenda for democratic and parliamentary reform.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party pursue political reforms which promote:

-Open, democratic nominations of candidates;
-Fewer “whipped” votes in Parliament and more “free” votes requiring individual MPs to assume full responsibility for their decisions;
-Stronger Parliamentary control over public finances, including an annual deadline for the budget; accounting consistency among the Estimates and the Public Accounts; more clarity in voting on Estimates; a costing analysis for each government Bill; and a requirement that government borrowing plans must get Parliament’s pre-approval;
-A truly independent, properly resourced Parliamentary Budget Officer;
-A more effective Access-to-Information regime with stronger safeguards against political interference;
-An impartial system to identify and eliminate the waste of tax-dollars on partisan advertising;
-Careful limitations on secret Committee proceedings, Omnibus Bills and Prorogation to avoid their misuse for the short-term partisan convenience of the government;
-Adequate funding, investigative powers and enforcement authority to ensure Elections Canada can root out electoral fraud;
-Pro-active disclosure of parliamentarians’ expenses, a more transparent Board of Internal Economy and better audit rules;
-A truly independent Senate not based upon partisanship or patronage;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT immediately after the next election, an all-Party process be instituted, involving expert assistance and citizen participation, to report to Parliament within 12 months with recommendations for electoral reforms including, without limitation, a preferential ballot and/or a form of proportional representation, to represent Canadians more fairly and serve Canada better.

That’s a fairly robust to-do list, though it doesn’t embrace Question Period reform or Michael Chong’s Reform Act and doesn’t suggest committee reform. A study was conducted during the 38th Parliament as to how Parliament might go about studying parliamentary reform (it came to nothing after that parliament was dissolved).

On social and fiscal policy, the Liberals adopted two resolutions on a basic income supplement: one calling for design and implementation of such a policy, the other calling for a pilot to test the program. Here is a short guide to the basic idea and the pilot proposal.

Meanwhile, after Justin Trudeau acknowledged the resolution in his speech, Liberals endorsed a proposal to decriminalize “medically-assisted death.” When the late Francine Lalonde put a private member’s bill on euthanasia before the House of Commons in 2010, the vast majority of Liberals MPs voted against it, but the Liberal justice critic argued that “a private member’s bill is not the right vehicle to engage the public debate that this issue deserves.”




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Democracy, euthanasia and a basic income supplement

  1. A few years ago Trudeau said he would consider helping Quebec to leave Canada if he thought the Canadian government was putting restrictions on gay marriage or abortion—important stuff maybe, but hardly the basis for breaking up your country.
    Then this past summer he traveled the country stoking up support and waking up the potheads and ill-informed by proposing that he would legalize marijuana when he became PM—-once again, maybe an important topic in certain circles but hardly the basis of your policy agenda.
    But now I`m seeing something much more substantive from this incredibly deep and knowledgeable whirlwind.
    That assisted suicide proposal was a brilliant piece of policy to appear in the dark days of February of this never ending winter.
    And only a man confident in his own skin could use the pinpoint accuracy of such words as detailed by Wherry above like ……………………….” independent, impartial, properly resourced, costing analysis, stronger safeguards, careful limitations, more effective, pro-active disclosure.” and on, and on , and on………..
    These boys are ready to govern.
    They know all the words and phrases
    I think he even said those magic words ” Just Society ”
    Oh Glory Be—–Orgasmic delight for the red jacket ladies.

    • If you want to play the “A few years ago xxxx said” game, it could get very uncomfortable in here…

      • You mean like ” no wage and price controls “, “eliminate the GST, ” Kyoto Targets ” etc.
        I understand that due to changing circumstances governments may alter positions that were taken a few years ago.
        I would say that what you have to worry about with Justin is what he said ……….” few hours ago “.

        • 1)
          Invoke historical grievances, and link the sins
          of the father, etc… – Check

          2)
          Use the same language( “few years ago”)to excuse
          your guy and small the other guy – Check

          3)
          Change the terms of your argument ( “few hours
          ago”) when you know uou’ve lost – Check

          Honestly, your best bet at distraction at this point is to
          run into the room, throw a handful of toonies into the air and then throw a
          smoke bomb. That’s pretty much the job interview for a Cabinet minister.

          • Maybe that little blurb made sense to you as it passed through you, but to me it`s just sounds like gibberish and when you see who just gave you the big thumb-up, well, you know it must have been gibberish.

          • Well if YOU can’t understand it…maybe the problem lies with you?

          • I can believe that. And just to be clear for you, I mean I think you couldn’t understand it.

          • Cawm, I really hope you’re cute, because nobody deserves to be Dumb AND ugly.

    • Actually Trudeau mused he might consider supporting Quebec separatism if the Cons became Canada’s natural governing party. I think people should be able to criticize Trudeau based on the facts. There are enough of them out there to not have to resort to making sh*t up.

      • Cawm knew that; (s)he likes to select which facts and context to provide. I guess (s)he thinks commenters here are easily tricked and swayed by this kind of omission BS.

      • Well, that`s just great that you will make excuses for what Justin said:
        He said he would only consider breaking up the country if the Conservatives replaced the Liberals as the predominant governing Party.

        But would you not be more impressed with someone who is attempting to be a nation leader if he had said that he would do whatever it would take to replace the Conservatives rather than foolishly say he would support the division of a first rate country into one second rate country and a 10th rate one.

        • If you disagree with Justin on policy and direction just say so.

          Don’t jump the shark over every passing remark….it’s a long time to an election.

          • It wasn’t just a passing remark…he had a press conference to clarify earlier remarks by restating them in the third person. The entirety of his comments, or perhaps his delivery of them, make me wonder what the hell he’s talking about. What specific rights has the conservative government taken away that would justify the break-up of this country? He doesn’t actually say.

            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-justin-trudeau-backtracks-from-separatist-comments/article546172/#dashboard/follows/

          • You’re overdoing it AT….you’ll be exhausted long before the election.

          • Huh? Do you ever pause to give a thoughtful response?

          • Do you ever pause to see what’s already been posted?

          • You really need to google what “jump the shark” actually means.
            I love when old people use hip slang wrong.

          • I think that expression is itself ‘old’.

        • Put the shovel down, you’re embarrassing yourself.

        • Just because you’re comfortable with fascism doesn’t mean everyone else is. Misery might like company but intellectual bankruptcy is a sorry excuse to promote it.

          • I think it is wrong to accuse Trudeau of being comfortable with the type of fascism we have seen in the Ukraine.
            His unfortunate remarks do no reflect his comfort, but rather his stupidity.

    • Nice work – finishing with a bit of sexist crap!

      • But not incorrect. He knows his main audience.

        • Now doubledown on it lol

          • Worked for Obama, it’ll work here.
            SO glad it does not matter.

  2. The Liberal plan, tax and spend, NEP II, carbon tax, print more money to pay for program spending, where would it end?

    The dollar at fifty or sixty cents US, high unemployment(everybody must get stoned), double digit inflation and interest rates.

    Turdeau 2 meet Iffy and Stephi.

    • Actually what’s more likely is a repeat of 1993. The Liberals will make a lot of promises then break them all once in power. Trudeau has ruled out restructuring any of Harper’s $44.4B/yr in worthless boutique tax cuts. So any spending promises are all hot air because the money’s not there to fund them.

      Fact is the Liberals are enablers of the Con “starve the beast” agenda. Their only principle is want of power so they can pretend they are doing something. But what they are really doing is tearing down a “just society” brick by brick.

      • The Chretien Liberals results of 1993 will never be repeated.

        Then you say Liberals break all promises made followed by Trudeau ruling out changes to already implemented tax cuts?

        What’s to stop Turdeau 2, from hiking taxes or imposing new taxes “if” the Liberals formed government?

        Of course “da turd pardi” will never form government any time soon if ever.

        • Trudeau seems a lot more committed to not reversing failed tax cut schemes than doing anything useful like tackling the $125B infrastructure deficit. You could be right. But my guess is that it will be easier to renege on spending than reversing tax cuts, especially considering he will probably have a minority government and the threat of an election when the Cons get new leadership.

          My bet is that the Cons will be back in power in 2017. If someone as unlikable has Harper can win 9 years of power due to center-left vote splitting, the next Con leader will be able to do much better. If the Cons get Jim Prentice, it will probably be back-to-back majorities like Mulroney when he led a united conservative party (after the demise of Social Credit.)

          • Failed tax cuts?

            I don’t mind having more of my money in my own pocket Ron.

            The infrastructure deficit as you call it is money better spent compared to arts grants, CBC subsidy, etc. Renewing infrastructure is good for employment, both present/future,and helps Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy.

            Harper and Mulcair will eviscerate Turdeau 2 in the debates, Shiny Pony without a teleprompter will be comical to say the least.

          • Actually, the income tax burden on the middle class has gone up under Harper. Harper’s frivolous tax expenditures don’t put money to good use. Income tax cuts are the smartest way to cut taxes.

            Harper’s corporate tax cuts were also a waste. Canada already had one of the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the developed world before Harper’s cuts. The TFSA also only benefits the rich. People get better savings from RRSPs, which they aren’t using enough of.

            Wouldn’t you have more money in your pocket with straight up income tax cuts? You want to give your hard-earned money to corporations?

            Globe and Mail: What the Finance Minister hasn’t told Canada’s middle class taxpayers
            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/what-the-finance-minister-isnt-telling-middle-class-taxpayers/article16910512/

          • Ron, you’re starting to sound a lot more reasonable lately. That said, you’ve really got to stop railing against the corporate tax cuts. They affect the middle class just as much as an income tax cut, if not more.

            A corporation is nothing more than a legal entity. It does not pay taxes in the same sense that a person does, it simply remits the taxes in place of the people who consume their services and/or goods, and it’s shareholders who contrary to popular NDP mythology are not typically the Monopoly Man or Scrooge McDuck, but seniors living off of fixed incomes, people with pensions, In other words, the middle class.

            There is ultimately only one taxpayer, and that’s individuals/consumers. The vast majority of which make up the middle class.

          • Actually the wealthy own the lion’s share of stocks. Harper’s cuts did not create jobs. They did not cause prices to go down. It’s one thing to have a competitive tax rate. But Canada now has the lowest effective CIT rate among ALL major economies, including China.

            One can use flaky free-market ideology and claim this policy somehow benefited the middle class, when all indications are that it didn’t. But the fact is people want real economic benefits, not hypothetical ones.

            “Corporate income taxes are lowest in Canada (7.3 per cent effective corporate income tax rate), France (14.7 per cent), and China (14.8 per cent). At the other end of the scale, effective corporate income taxes exceed 30 per cent in Japan (31.5 per cent), Brazil (36.1 per cent), and Italy (37.6 per cent).

            “These effective income tax rates are significantly lower than the nominal tax rates in most countries due to the inclusion of various tax incentives, including R&D tax incentives, in these calculations.”

            KPMG Competive Alternatives 2012 — Focus on Tax (Chp 3, pg 7)
            http://www.competitivealternatives.com/reports/2012_compalt_report_tax_en.pdf#page=9

          • You seem to have missed that there are over 19,000 fewer federal public servants, more cuts to come on that front.

            The individual taxpayers share has gone up relative to corporate, however the individual tax rate is lower than when the Chretien/Martin Liberals were in power.

          • You should change your name to Billy Bubble.

        • Throwing in references to fecal matter is considered clever by the PMO it seems.

          • It’s what they know best.

        • Kind of a strong statement given that the government is trailing them in the polls by 7 or 8 points.

  3. Apparently the Liberals quietly passed another policy resolution:

    “Any summits with the Russians over Arctic sovereignty will only be scheduled shortly after a Russian hockey victory.”

    Sweet Jesus…what are we doing to ourselves…

    • More nonsense Cons are making up. Trudeau has them panicking.

      • Yes. Ordinary conversation and comparison seems to be beyond Cons.

      • Not the man himself, but the money behind him.

  4. It should be noted that Trudeau himself put forward this resolution, called “Resolution 31,” which bundles up his democratic reform package.

    His original democratic reform platform was a 5-point plan that included ranked ballot voting reform. This was based on the Liberals passing a resolution at the 2012 convention in support of RBV by 70%.

    A few months back Trudeau said he was opposed to proportional representation because he “believed deeply” that MPs should represent communities, not “just political parties.”

    So why the change of heart? This is probably because provincial Liberal governments successfully orchestrated designed-to-fail PR referendums with an absurd 60% threshold for change. With this resolution, Trudeau has successfully got out of his RBV promise and set the stage to kill electoral reform for good in Canada.

    Wherry’s obtuse analysis gives weight to the hypothesis that the topic of electoral reform is verboten in the Canadian media — except to occasionally rant it will “destroy democracy” (even though 91% of developed countries have implemented electoral reform.)

  5. Judging from the frantic comments emanating from Con-dom this morning, Trudeau has now sent its denizens beyond rending their knickers to soiling them.

    • You want frantic witless dawg………frantic was Turdeau 2 leaving after conventions end through a side door and refusing to answer reporters questions.

      • Yah, Bubba, it’s disconcerting to see him pick up Con evasive tactics so early in his career. Next, he’ll be slinking out through the kitchen like at least one Con senator has been known to do.

        On a related note, did you see in Wells’ recent column how easy it was for media types to enter and navigate around the Libs’ convention venue? Totally different from the Cons’ hermetically sealed and secured bunker in Calgary.

        • You do realize that what Turdeau 2 has picked up a has been Obama adviser who helped to push the USA to record unemployed, highest number ever receiving food stamps and adding some $17 trillion to their debt?

          There were no media at the last Conservative convention? You’re slipping into dementia there dawg.

          And the Liberals have one former Senator already in jail with another soon to follow

          • Where did I say there were no media at the Con gabfest? I said the media apparently weren’t given the liberty to prowl the premises as freely as they did in Montreal (if Wells’ anecdote was typical).

            As for the Dem presence at the Lib convention, Cons aren’t beneath drafting Republican expertise, so what’s the diff? IMO, neither party should be importing political operatives from ‘murka. Or are Cons entitled to exemption from their own indignant moral imperatives?

            Honestly, your scattergun comments suggest you should check your knickers. That’s where the smell is coming from.

          • “hermetically sealed and secured bunker??????????????

            Turdeau hired Summers as a full time adviser, not a convention consultant.

            Bird shot dawg, now go fetch the duck.

            And by the way………..you need a bath you stinky dawg.

          • I just said I didn’t think either party should be hiring American operatives. Is that assertion too complicated for you to process?

            I include in that statement “full time advisors” and, for that matter, Republican robocall firms (http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/03/03/robocalls_tory_mps_used_top_us_republican_firm_during_may_election.html

            And by the way, Bubba, juvenile taunts don’t hurt this dawg. They just make you sound…well…juvenile

          • juvenile taunts-Honestly, your scattergun comments suggest you should check your knickers. That’s where the smell is coming from.

            Woof

          • Wow, the witticism is biting.

          • Well that’s the most enlightened comment by a CRAPper I’ve heard in the past 5 years. You guys are learning something.

  6. I’m ready to come back to the fold. Anything to get rid of the fascists.

  7. Pingback: Stephen Fletcher wants an assisted-suicide debate

  8. Pingback: A Liberal agenda for parliamentary reform? - Macleans.ca

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