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Bernardo de La Paz

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 31,527

About Me

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there.

Journal Archives

No. Canadians know ten times as much about US as Americans know about Canada.

US cultural imperialism dominates Canadian media, so there are regulations to protect Canadian content. Thus Canada has a thriving music scene.

Canadian news hears about the US election most nights. Most US residents are rarely informed about Canadian politics by US media, since the USA tends to be arrogant and inward-looking. If there were not adults like Obama and (with a touch of luck and GOTV) Hillary Clinton in charge, then Canada-US relations would be badly damaged much like if an elephant blundered around a tiger trapped in a cage with it.

Remember that the USA has a population ten times the size of Canada and an economy at least ten times larger.

But also remember that the USA is only as strong as it is because it has a very friendly polite neighbor and stalwart ally to trade with and be its largest trading partner. Not only that, but the trade relationship is the world's largest.

The Members of Parliament chanted that as the friendliest of jokes because they are also aware that the right wing in the USA has been fomenting lots of conspiracy theories that Obama is a "homosexual marxist Kenyan dictator" who will stage a coup to over-turn the US election system term limit and rule for a third and fourth term as a dictator.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Jun 30, 2016, 12:56 AM (2 replies)

No term limits, but also no fixed terms. Governments can fall at any time, so no Nixons either.

Justin Trudeau's father Pierre Trudeau was prime minister for 15 years, 164 days, winning four elections (3 majority and 1 minority). He served 19681979 and 19801984.

If a government loses a "vote of confidence" in the House of Commons, then either the opposition will be given a chance to form a government (possibly a coalition) or an election will be called. The latter is almost always the case.

Regardless, there must be an election no longer than 5 years after the last one. Election campaigns are short. The longest one in modern times was 11 weeks and campaigns of 6 weeks are more typical.

If a minority government cannot convince enough opposition Members of Parliament to support them, for example for a budget vote, then the opposition has the right to call for a vote of confidence which the government will lose.

This tends to make for cooperative governance, unless a party wins a clear majority of seats. Even then an autocratic prime minister can be voted out mid-term by their own party or members might even join the opposition in a vote of "no confidence" to bring down the government and force an election.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Jun 30, 2016, 12:39 AM (1 replies)

Globalization is not the problem. Low wages, shitty jobs, & wealth inequality are the problems

A lot (not all or necessarily most of course but a lot) of the people railing, tweeting, and posting against the dreaded "globalization" are doing so on the WORLD WIDE Web with their MADE IN CHINA phones built from AFRICAN metals using USA engineering and apps developed in part in EUROPE. And that is only one example of many. That's GLOBALIZATION. It's not a problem.

Even "exporting" jobs is not a problem. Nobody here wants to be paid to recycle the materials in their precious phones that they replace every year or two while we wait for robots to get good enough to do it.

Even "exporting" manufacturing jobs is not problem. The sooner developing countries develop a robust middle class, the sooner there will be democracy in places like China and the sooner war becomes unimaginable to those people around the world.

The problem is low wages here. Raise the minimum wage. Increase education so that people can get better jobs. Invest in innovative NON_REPUBLICAN industries like solar power like Europe is investing in. Invest in high speed rail. Invest in elder care. Invest in replacing crumbling infrastructure.

Look to what the Democratic Governor is doing in California and contrast it with Republican Kansas.

Another part of the problem is wealth inequality. Close off-shore tax loopholes. If it means higher taxes for the 10% / 1%, go for it. Make sure they pay for the education and infrastructure that they suck dry.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Jun 28, 2016, 06:18 PM (4 replies)

The problem is not globalism, the problem is wealth inequality and income inequality.

Along with that and "part and parcel" with it is low wages and bad working conditions.

I do not begrudge low wage jobs moving out of the country to advance middle classes elsewhere.

[font size = "+1"]The sooner there are healthy middle classes in every country, the more war becomes unimaginable to the majority of the public and the healthier the world and the population of the world will be.[/font]

The problem is not that the iPhones and iPads of the people complaining about globalism are made in China and Vietnam. The problem is that the minimum wage in the US is ridiculously low.

When you have a robust working poor who can make a decent wage to live a decent (if a bit hard) life and provide a future for their children with health care, then you have a strong base for the nation.

But there is too much wealth at the top in the 1% and the 0.1% and the 0.01%. That wealth is invested offshore and dodges taxes and does not pay its fair share of the load.

There are NOT only three models that are all forms of authoritarianism.

The California model, the Canadian model, and the Scandinavian models do very well. Look there. That's what we got. Lots of options.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Jun 25, 2016, 03:02 PM (0 replies)
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