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modest proposal

O Michaëlle Jean, I want to lick your boots

Your Excellency the Right Honorable Mme. Michaëlle Jean: I just want to say that it is so cool to have you as our Governor-General!

Like John Ibbitson in The Globe and Mail, Andrew Coyne in the National Postand countless other gushers of purple prose in the media punditry, I am sogoddamn proud that when it comes to choosing a local stand-in for ourdynastic monarch, we only go for the best.

You are such an inspiration to all us colonial plebs, Your Excellency. Justlooking at you, it's so obvious why you were chosen.

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Courageous experts call for Martin quarantine

On Friday, June 13, in Montreal, a team of courageous medical experts gathered at local MP and potential Prime Minister Paul Martinâe(TM)s office to undertake the dangerous task of quarantining the multi-millionaire before the final Liberal leadership debate.

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Electricity quotas: an idea whose time has come?

In a 2006 survey by the Dominion Institute, 72% of Canadians said they believe that, by 2020, global warming will have become the greatest crisis facing humankind. While the cause of global warming is still being debated in a few dusty corners, the scientific mainstream believes that global warming is caused by our continued and expanding use of fossil fuels. This crisis seems exacerbated by the apparent lack of political will, in Canada and the US to address the cause of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), the combustion of fossil fuels to produce energy.

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Praying to the free market God

Our God is a free market kind of God. How else to explain the reality that our Benevolent God of Gods chooses to smite, maim and otherwise do grave, sometimes even life-ending, bodily harm to those who would choose — or are simply unlucky enough — to live in a province with public auto insurance?

Thank God, in Nova Scotia we get to live in a paradise under a government with the good sense to put their faith and our auto insurance premium dollars in the hands of God-fearing, profit-driven, private sector insurance companies.

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It's time to take action on global emergency

While governments and industry focus on the economic costs of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they act as though there are no economic costs associated with hurricanes and tornadoes, massive flooding, or entire populations rendered unproductive by heat waves that leave them gasping to survive.

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Powerful minority hijacks system

I'm fed up. Our political system has been hijacked for too long by a powerful minority, who, if allowed to continue promoting their interests to everyone else's detriment, are endangering our very pluralism.

I'm talking about heterosexual men, of course. Yes, them: the guys who get to drive most of the time and give all the after-dinner speeches. If you let them, straight men will monopolize every sound system and TV remote within reach, and I've heard they often expect their spouses to take their name.

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Rethinking political parties

The need for radical social change is pressing and the desire for it widespread. Traditionally, political parties have been the means of giving shape, leadership and coherence to such desires. But in present circumstances they are simply not up to the task. There's never been a golden age for parties of the left but there have been periods âe" the 1920s until the late 1960s âe" when the majority of people desiring change in a broadly socialist direction would be members or supporters of mass socialist or communist parties.

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'Clarifying' the five principles of medicare

“Ottawa open to revising Canada Health Act, source says” (Canadian Press March 25, 2004)

Recently federal government officials have expressed interest in “revising” the Canada Health Act. When pressed, they insist that they have no intention of changing the five principles of medicare, but rather of “clarifying” them. Given the Martin government's predilection for free market solutions, perhaps we should be skeptical.

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Rethinking political parties: part II

A useful framework for deepening our critique and highlighting the importance of the new methodologies implicit in many of the social movements of recent years is provided by critical realism. This is a philosophical school that was itself a product of the political and cultural struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and provides a necessary alternative to both the limitations of structuralism and the dead ends of postmodernism.

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Liberal or Conservative: same difference, eh?

Canadians are going to the polls — maybe this spring, maybe not until the fall. When we go, we'll have to give some serious thought as to how weâe(TM)re going to vote. Most pundits seem to feel that now that the Conservatives have chosen a leader, there is a clear choice for Canadians — and just one choice: Liberal or Conservative. Okay, here are 10 reasons why you should vote Liberal or Conservative — it doesn't matter which one.

I. It is what the corporations would like you to do.

2.

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