|Hoar frost On The Hills|
|Frost on Pin Cherries|
|Close Up of Frost|
These photos were taken at the same time as the earlier ones that I posted.
I also wanted to take this time to speak to any Canadians who follow this blog, although my comments are equally germane to US readers. For non-Canadians I'll do a quick poly-science course. We have a parliamentary system, meaning that the party that wins the most votes forms the government, and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister and that party then governs. Because we as voters have been really unhappy with our politicians, we have had a minority government. The party in power, the conservatives, are dependant on other parties in the house to maintain power. We have a bicameral legislature, although our senate is appointed by the PM. It can almost be dismissed as sinecure for old politicos, party functionaries and some people who are appointed on merit.Any first year course would point out that it was set up to moderate the popularly elected House of Commons. Both at the time and now this is nonsense. There is a movement to reform the senate which I'm not going to talk about now, maybe later. We appoint our judges rather than elect them which is another area we need to look at. I don't want to get bogged down in this detail either.
An agreement was made when Jean Chretien was PM with the all the political parties ,including Harper's Alliance Party at that time, that the Government would fund elections according to a formula that provided money per vote. This meant that small parties if they received votes would get money. The real crux was that political parties could not accept donations from organizations such as corporations or unions for that matter. They could from individuals. The legislation ensures that the operative factor in Canadian politics
is the individual citizen ,not the corporation or organization. Think how much the tar sands oil companies would throw Harper's way. It is a very democratic piece of legislation, but it is not perfect. For instance it allows the Bloc Quebecois ,a regional and separatist party, to be active without depending on its voters for money. Similarly the Green Party receives money although they have never elected a member to Parliament. Harper will attack it on the Bloc situation to appeal to "anglo-loyalist" element. He will also attack it on the basis of cut backs to balance the budget. Although the amount paid out is in the 30 Millions in an election year, it is nothing in the over all Canadian budget. If you ceased paying the hacks in the Senate, and closed it you would recoup much more every year, not just every election year(4+?).
This piece of legislation is the opposite of the US experience as my US friends tell me, because the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations can give money to political parties, thus enfranchising the corporation. This was one of the factors in the republican sweep because of the enormous funds they had to launch their attacks.
Harper has never really been a real PM i.e. a majority PM as Mulroney or Chretien or Diefenbaker was and needs this election to establish a historical reputation or legend as the pundits say. Would you want to be known as Canada's long term minority PM? He was again not the first choice as the leader of the Alliance, and only prevailed by default. His recession budget was forced on him during the proroguing affair, and he can not claim any success there, although he'll try. He also needs a success to maintain his leadership of the party because he is starting to look like a loser.After all what do you call a permanent minority PM- the partial right honourable Stephen Harper?
He must not be allowed to blow smoke or tamper with this issue which in a sense is fundamental to the Canadian way of government, in that it makes, "we the people", not the organization be it a corporation, or union or religious institution, the essence of government.Remember he tried this same move with gun registration until the people took a second look and realized with some changes it could ,and was protecting police, firefighters, and paramedics when they were called to an emergency to know that there were firearms in the house. Canadians agreed that those people are worth protecting, and said NO! Let's tell him NO again!