Idea alert


The Mark rolls out a series of 14 short proposals from Canadians of various stripes, including thoughts on democratic reform, Parliamentary committees, community organization, taxation, free votes and heckling.


Idea alert

  1. Breitkruz's nonsensical diatribe tarnishes an otherwise interesting series of articles.

  2. Most of these are really, really good. I thought the best was Chapnick's on heckling. Easiest to implement with a decent and immediate benefit. Flat taxes? Letting the little guys handle charity and aid? More accountability of ministers to Parliament? Free votes? Good stuff.

    I have to say though, seeing a Liberal MP talking about principle in government made me laugh…what with this being the party that single-mindedly hews to whatever is deemed most "centrist" in the moment, and makes it their platform. Seeing the same MP talking up the old Reform platform – after having watched the LPC denigrate it every opportunity – just made me shake my head in disbelief.

    And then there is Suzuki. "Canadians believe climate change is a major issue. … What better way is there to restore confidence in the government than to show leadership and imagination by coming up with a bold and practical plan to confront one of the most serious problems facing Canada and the world today?"
    Leadership and imagination? What? Following what Canadians supposedly (and that's in dispute) believe is neither leadership nor imaginative. It's the modern Liberal Party's modus operandi. Leadership means advocating what's actually best (i.e. dealing with the truly most serious problems facing Canada) and convincing the country to follow.

    • Well someone needs to talk up the Reform platform, as Stephen Harper et al are quite unwilling to do so.

  3. "I think Liberal malaise is because they have won the big argument in Canada and brought fascism to Canada."

    This has been another episode of Jolyon's Rigorous Political Analysis. QED and goodnight.

  4. Not a surprise in the lot. Restating what they are known for saying.

    EMay wants prop rep
    The Militia MP from Yorkton wants his guns
    Fraser Institute would save the world with a flat tax
    etc. etc.

    A single ghost writer could have drafted the lot.

    • Yeah, how come Conservatives don't come up with ideas?

      • The Liberal 150 pitch for big ideas, and the Mark's article, assume we have mastered justice, health care, housing, and so on. We conservatives affirm that we should fix our many problems before proposing expensive, hare brained, never before implemented "ideas", which typically are poorly camouflaged interest group demands at any rate. At the very least let's conduct a nonpartial evaluation of all leftist harebrained schemes implemented since 1964, such as feminism in all of its manifestations, to see if they work before proposing new harebrained schemes.

        • It is always refreshing to see he word 'ideas' in "quotes". Because they are bad. "Ideas", that is, not quotes. Quotation marks are extremely useful for demonizing "ideas".

          1964 was a truly horrible year. Too many "Ideas".

          • A hundred million men women and children were murdered in the 20th century because some very evil people claimed to have some "ideas". Ideas were the biggest killer of the past century. I'm quite certain the survivors of the Cultural Revolution, the Pol Pot regime, and the Gulag archipelago share my skepticism about misanthropes and their ideas.

            We're not the ones who believe we should get a job or a grad school position because of race and gender quotas, by the by. We believe in merit; it is the pathetic, unscienctific left that needs a handout.

    • Yes, it includes such prominent Liberal/Greens as The Manning Centre for Democracy (which employs well known Liberal blogger, Stephen Taylor), not to mention MP Garry Breitkreuz (didn't he lose to Dion on the second ballot?), and of course those renowned pinko lefties, The Fraser Institute.

  5. I deleted comment because it was in wrong thread.

    "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." Benito Mussolini

    Liberals Agree or disagree with Mussolini?

    • As a small-L liberal, I disagree. Can't say as much for big-C Conservatives, under whose watch I have, among other things, become part owner of a failing car company.

    • This is good stuff, Joylon.

      Disagree. Back at ya, "nothing against the state": Agree or disagree–even when discussing Israel?

      I think sometimes Conservatives paint Liberals (and Liberals paint Conservatives) as some caricature of everything you do not want. This makes it easy to be always partisan, all the time, but it may not be so close to real world reality.

      • It's like throwing stones in glass houses at straw men on a slippery slope ad hominen style.

        It's just a big pile.

  6. Hyperstupid Schoolmarm scold Justin Trudeau's big idea: "find some principles". "Instead, over the past four years, Stephen Harper has carefully nurtured and encouraged a level of cynicism about politics and politicians heretofore unseen in Canada."

    Jeepers, the fantasy scenarios these lefties conjure up indicate severe mental illness. What they believe to be Harper is a caricature that would make Dr. Evil look like the straight man.

    "Add to that his propensity to launch vicious personal attacks on anyone – politician or citizen – with the temerity to disagree with them, and his tried and true Bush-era tactic of loudly repeating semi-truths and falsehoods"

    The only one stuck in the Bush era is Justin. Speaking of rampant anti-Americanism recall the Liberals deliberately prolonged the software lumber dispute; Harper got us a deal worth billions to our economy. The boy is just plain dumb. Pretty face, but dumb.

    • We're not producing that many, really. It's a sampling bias. Those of us who have time to waste on sites like this are typically on the extreme ends of society in one fashion or another. The mainstream is typically too busy to goof around like we do.

      • "It's a sampling bias."

        Well, that's the kind of research I'd like to see. I'm skeptical, given how ubiquitous it seems to be.

          • I don't think we're alllowed to talk about this anymore.

          • I agree that I am fascinating, but do you have any on-topic comments to make? Mods here don't seem to fancy comments that feature nothing but personal attacks.

          • Hmmmm, that's odd……OK, mum's the word then.

    • Possibly the worst comment in the history of this blog. Zero on topic commentary, envious ankle biting snide personal attacks. Comment reported to moderator.

      I don't mean to sound conceited, but try being more like me, guys. On topic policy-focused commentary.

      • My comment got a +5 and was deleted by the administrator? Whereas cranky crackpot's -4 diatribe is still there?

        That some mighty fine moderatin' there, MacLean's.

  7. Ahh teh lure of the flat tax… "Finally, contrary to what some believe, a flat tax remains progressive, since progressivity simply means that the share of income one pays in taxes increases as one earns more income. To achieve progressivity, it is not necessary to have increasing personal income tax rates."

    I love the disingenuity of the argument where you never adress the fact that the real goal of a flat tax is to dramatically shrink government (because all that revenue is going to disappear)

    • Technically correct. Of course, technically a tomato is a fruit.

      We usually call such arguments pedantic, and the people who make them out-of-touch.

      • Right. It is still progressive, but in order to achieve a flat tax, with total government revenues held constant and a highish personal exemption (say, $12k – $15k), we'd need to see a rate more like 30% – 40%. I could live with a flat tax if the goal is not to cut the size of government in half. If that is the proposal, dressing it up as a flat tax in disingenuous. Neils' real proposal was "shut down the federal government, leaving only transfers to provinces and individuals, if we're lucky".

    • Maybe "they" should stop calling it a flat tax and call it a single rate tax instead. As A(nPoC) says below, though, it is a challenging juggling act to come up with a suitable single rate/basic exemption combination, unless the goal is to reduce government revenues.

      Technically, isn't a so-called head tax the truest form of a flat tax?

    • The paper actually does make a good case for simplifying our tax code: "Simplifying the tax code by eliminating nearly all deductions, exemptions, and credits that complicate the current tax system, would allow most tax filers to complete their tax returns on a post card-size form that could be filled out in about five minutes, thereby saving Canadian taxpayers' money and making everyone's taxes easier to calculate."

      However, in the first paragraph the paper seems to intentionally link this goal with an unrelated goal: "One big idea that would increase prosperity for all Canadians is to reform our tax system by implementing a flat, 15 per cent income tax rate for both personal and business income, and eliminate Canada's current four income tax rates with their myriad exemptions and loop holes."

      That linkage seems equally disingenuous, and brings their credibility into question.

  8. Mmmm. I think rolling out that Mark may hit the spot: now we can talk to the horse's mouths. About time, mehinks.

    • Note to self: Be carefull, this Mark website might be a Harper bashing webfest!

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