Sunday, February 28, 2016

Democracy, but not for all

Published in the Toronto Star, February 28, 2016

Re: Let all MPs decide freely, Editorial Feb. 21
In demanding a free vote on the issue of assisted suicide, the Star editorializes that “If ever there was an issue that calls for MPs to examine their consciences and vote according to their personal values, this is it.”
Curious, the Star did not extend such liberality to would-be candidates who had examined their consciences and would have voted according to their personal values with regard to abortion. 

Indeed, the Star lauded Justin Trudeau when he barred such would-be Liberal candidates from seeking office.
Democracy has many faces, some of them ugly.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Democracy dismissed by Prime Minister

A copy of this post has been forwarded to the Prime Minister.

It's strike two against Justin Trudeau. The Prime Minister's idea of transparency does not include democracy 

The issue is the end-of-life law (euphemistically called dying with dignity). The Conservative and New Democratic Parties will allow their members a free vote when the proposed legislation comes before Parliament. 

At that time, Trudeau will deny the right of freedom of expression to the very people who sustain him in office, the Liberal Members of Parliament. 

Strike one in Trudeau's dismissal of democracy occurred last year when, during the election campaign, he vetted would-be Liberal candidates as to their opinion on abortion. Pro-life candidates were summarily dismissed, despite the fact that at least three polls indicated they represented a significant number. About 30 per cent of Canadians favour some control over access to abortion. 

The PM refuses to believe that democracy includes the right of contrary opinion. 

Canadians await strike three.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Maple Leafs, 49 and counting

In the February 14, 2016, edition of the Toronto Star, the writer pleads for suggestions how to improve the Toronto Maple Leafs, currently mired in the basement of the National Hockey League. My reply:

Sorry, I can't tell you how to improve the Leafs. I have a suggestion how to help make the viewing experience somewhat less painful.

But first, an observation. Why should the Leaf organization spend real money for real players and coaches when every seat in the place is already sold? Harold Ballard knew that economic fact and acted accordingly. Hey, that's business.

Second observation. NHL bosses (the American ones who run the league) are delighted at the current situation -- no Canadian teams in the playoffs. TV viewership in the U.S. declines when Canadian teams are involved, whatever the sport. All the American moguls want from Canada are players. Hey, that's business.

Now the suggestion. It's a Toronto cheer, a rough idea to be developed by some professional cheer leader. It goes: (Loud) T O (soft) r o n (boom, boom, loud) T O.  Or a variation : (boom, boom) T O, (boom, boom) T O (boom, boom) T O (boom boom, fading into the face off).  Of course, this can be used for any Toronto event, unless playing against Tokyo, Toledo et al. So let's get there first.

Full disclosure. My son and I stopped going to the games in the Maple Leaf Gardens days when I couldn't buy tickets at the wicket, while my regular scalper had a whole section of them.

Anyway, I wish the organization well, kind of, as they prepare another full-page ad of apology for their seven-squared year. It'll soon be a tradition as they enter their Golden Anniversary of Failure. In Roman numerals that's L. L for Leafs. Hey, that's show business, Lose one, Lose one.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Human rights more nebulous than ever

Do the well-paid human righters in the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) ever wonder why some people simply do not take them seriously or indeed scorn their efforts? In its latest venture into uncharted waters, or possibly to stir up more business, the Commission has redefined the word "creed". The chief commissioner speaks: "The door is open" for veganism to be considered a creed.

Vegetarians and their more extreme brethren, the vegans, immediately claimed victory, and thereby legal protection, for their "creed" which includes their version of animal rights. As one of their group put it, "This change is important for ethical vegans, because in instances where accommodation is required they'll have a legal right to enforce it."

Never mind what the word has meant for centuries, the OHRC news release reads, "Creed may also include non-religious belief systems that, like religion, substantially influence a person's identity, world-view and way of life." There are Toronto Maple Leaf hockey fans whose creed is no less strong than that of vegans. The net result may be complaints from tofu munchers, beer guzzlers and other undefined behaviours.

Can't you see it? Ethical vegans will soon demand the right to investigate restaurant kitchens to ensure their food not cooked in animal fat, to demand changes in menus, the censoring of "hot dog" or "pig in a blanket". Will they insist staff not wear leather shoes or belts?

Complainants will object to dissecting frogs in school labs, to wearing uniforms with animal-based components, or attending school functions at steak houses.

Complaints to the OHRC are financed by taxpayers. If the complaint fails, no loss to the vegan. Victory, however, brings a bag of money, usually thousands of dollars. Trying for that pot of gold entails only the loss of time. No matter what you state, you cannot be charged with perjury. The possibility of victory makes it all worthwhile.

We witnessed an earlier manifestation of this nonsense five years ago when the Ontario human righters declared a sex organization a religion. Visit Raelian (August 26, 2011) at the foot of this post.