Congratulations, Canada! 
I think we should send out a big thank-you to Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada. Even though none of us wanted an election right now and it was completely unnecessary, in the end I believe it turned out quite well.

We've spent the past couple years under the constant threat of the opposition parties toppling the government as soon as they felt they'd have something to gain by it. Now, with the Conservative majority government, we can look forward to a few years of stability without this constant worry.

Congratulations to Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada for a job well done over the past few years. You've earned the privilege to run the country as you see fit for the next few years. Now is the time to earn the trust of Canadians and prove that you have good intentions for our future.

For the next few years, you have a responsibility to show respect for the taxpayers and make our country a better place for hard working Canadians to prosper.

If you muck it up, you'd better believe it will be your last opportunity in a long time. I sincerely hope that doesn't end up being the case.

I'd like to give a particular shout-out to the people in my riding, and all the others in the Toronto area, who clearly educated themselves on the issues involved and didn't just blindly vote for the Liberals again. I am frankly shocked and pleasantly surprised. In election after election I've had the feeling like my vote has been pointless and that I'm surrounded by a sea of lemmings. Yesterday you proved that I was wrong in that impression, and I amd very happy and proud of my fellow Canadians for having done that.

It may well turn out that we're not happy with how the Conservatives perform, and the Liberal party might get some good people in place over the next few years to make them a viable option again. Things may swing back in their direction, but at least now I'll feel like an actual choice was made, and that makes me happier.

If the Conservatives make a hash of things, I'll be first in line to vote against them. If, as they've done so far, they make my life better rather than worse, then I'll be quite happy to vote them back in.

I am proud to be a Canadian and feel privileged that we have the opportunity to go out and vote without threats of violence looming over our heads. So many people in the world are fighting and dying for this privilege. If you didn't bother, then shame on you. If you did, then I hope you're feeling the same pride that I am right now whether your preferred candidate won or not.

This is a good day for Canada!

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Our Gov't Websites Are Run By Geniuses 
I was reading an article on the Star's website talking about traffic fines.

http://www.wheels.ca/article/795209

There's a link to an Ontario government website where you can look up the particulars of the offenses.

http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/

Of course, that's not what I found there.

Instead, I found this:



Glad to know our gov't websites are in good hands!

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OH NOES!!! 300 City Jobs Lost!!! 
The alarmist headlines now are that 300 city jobs are going to be lost because our new mayor is considering privatizing garbage collection in some sections of the city.

I say... GREAT!

The message the left-leaning press seems to be pushing is that we're going to have 300 families put out on the street because their incomes have been cut off and they've been cast to the wolves.

The fact is, the less people we have making wages far beyond their job values at the tax payers expense, the better off we will be as a population. If there are 300 people who cannot find jobs making equal or better pay than they were getting, then that means there were 300 people that my tax dollars were over-paying because nobody is held accountable for how public money is handed out.

It's not as though nobody is going to pick up garbage anymore. Does anyone care about all the people that will be lining up for the jobs offered by the private companies that will now be doing garbage collection?

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Go ahead and spoil your ballot. 
As I'm reading about Liz May's whining about not being included in the televised debates, I am filled with a tiny bit of shame.

One of the Green Party's arguments for inclusion involves the tiny but measurable amount of votes they've got over the past few years.

I am ashamed to say that one of those votes was mine, and I'm wondering how many more of them came from people who had no desire to see the Green Party have any representation whatsoever in our government.

It was a few elections ago and, so far as I could tell, there were no viable options in any of the three parties that sometimes manage to get people elected. I could have decided it wasn't worth bothering, but I'm happy to live in a free and democratic society and I think it's my duty to get out and vote, even if the available candidates are all idiots.

So I did, and in a sort of protest against the established parties I cast my lot in with the Green Party, knowing full well they wouldn't be elected. I didn't want to add to the embarassing statistics showing how much apathy there is, and I didn't want to support anyone likely to be elected.

In retrospect, what I should have done was spoil my ballot.

In several elections since then I've had good reason to vote for electable parties, and I've done so. It seems largely irrelevant in my irrationally-voting riding, but I went and did my part.

If you'd like to debate the issues, I'd be happy to, but this post is to encourage everyone who doesn't like any of the options to still get out and vote... but don't vote for someone in protest. Simply spoil your ballot. Draw a happy face and drop it in the box. Write in a vote for Batman if you'd like. Just don't accidentally contribute to someone's crackpot agenda just because you don't want to be counted as apathetic.

I can't be the only one who's done it. I can't help but wonder whether many thousands have done just a bit too much to piss away taxpayer money into the coffers of yet another political party we aren't benefitting from.

I apologize for my transgression. Hopefully others can now learn from it.

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Jack Layton is a Funny Guy! 
I love watching Jack Layton give speeches. Comfortable in the knowledge that he will never be held accountable, he can say absolutely anything he wants to in an effort to woo a few voters over to the NDP.

Today, I watched him talk about how he will forbid any credit card companies from charging over 5% over prime in interest.

That sounds great to the masses who won't think it through. It sounds especially great to those who have fallen on hard times and have been forced to take on credit card debt to keep themselves afloat. I'm sure it sounds even better to those financial wizards who carry balances on credit cards to fund discretionary purchases they can't wait for or can't actually afford.

But this isn't a rant on the financially irresponsible.

This is a laugh at Jack Layton making up stuff that can't possibly happen or that would hurt the people he's pretending to try to help.

Firstly, credit cards are not low interest borrowing products. They hold unsecured debt so that debt is expensive. It's expensive because there's a relatively high chance of default so they need to cover their losses. That's the theory anyway. This isn't a rant about credit card companies either, so we won't go into all the issues with the premise.

The fact is, without the high rate of interest, it would be a lot more risky to give everyone and anyone a credit card. If they had low rates, they wouldn't be so profitable, and so they wouldn't let just anyone have one.

So basically, the people who stand to benefit most from this change, which I assume don't qualify for a line of credit, wouldn't get to have them anymore.

Now this might save many of them from getting themselves into trouble they don't need to be in, but it will also hurt a lot of people who just need a bit of emergency money to legitimately carry them through some sort of temporary shortfall.

I guess Jack wants to push those folks to the payday loan people.

Way to go, Jack! Looking out for the little guy!

Now if I were in some sort of position of power, I'd make it part of my mandate to ensure that high schools have mandatory financial literacy classes required for graduation. But that's just me.

Here's hoping Jack promises to eliminate income tax. That would be fun to hear!

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