Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Few Things to Talk About

As the post title implies, we have a few things to talk about today.

Firstly, I think we need to discuss the events that unfolded in the aftermath of the PQ victory in last night's election. As you should all be aware, an individual opened fire at the PQ Party, killing one and injuring at least two others. While media reports have been slow, other than identifying the shooter, there does seem to be some evidence that this was likely politically motivated.

Now, as a political commentator and some would say a political partisan, I know that there are times when we don't see the result we want from our democratic process. But, we must always respect the choices that are made by the democratic process. While we may disagree, as is our right, there are other avenues to express our disagreement. Violence has no place in politics, if it even has a place at all in our society, and what occurred in Quebec last night has no excuse and hopefully will never happen again.

As many of you who read the blog know, I've put emphasis on words as the best way of dissenting from a political standpoint. Language and discussion are our best path forward when it comes to political disagreement; Mao Zedong famously said that political power comes from the barrel of a gun, but he also said politics is war without bloodshed. When even Mao Zedong condemns violence as political action, you know that we've taken a misstep somewhere as a society to see it occur in our own country.

Our hearts go out to those who have been touched by this tragedy, and the actions of this individual, and I think we can all say that this has shocked us all and all of us condemn this action.

Now, moving towards Saskatchewan news.

Firstly, let us talk about Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent coming on down to Saskatoon to talk about some new emission standards. Awhile back, some reports came out that Kent was going to get a bit tougher with coal power emissions; rumours abounded that we'd see a restriction of 375 tonnes of CO2 emissions per gigawatt hour and that coal plants would have 45 years to make their plants meet this standard.

Ok, so maybe the term getting tougher was a bit broad there...

But of course, as is a Conservative's want, Kent introduced regulations that were worse than expected. Instead of the lower 375 tonnes, coal energy emitters have been given 420 tonnes. This is in addition to an extra five years to make the upgrades, so a grand total of 50 years instead of 45.

At this point, we really should just call Kent Minister for the Destruction of the Environment. I've talked before on this blog about how Conservatives are creatures of Freud's psychological Id, that they are creatures of the now and care only about fulfilling wants and desires rather than long term consequence.

I'm 25 years old. In 50 years, when these upgrades are supposed to be done, I will be 75 years old. That is practically my entire life time.

There is no denying that coal is one of the dirtiest forms of energy still in use today; many scientific inquiries point to that, and on top of which, we can look to the history of the Industrial Revolution to see what sort of effects mass burning of coal had on the environment around it.

There is talk of 'clean coal', but this is no more achievable than 'dry water'. We can make coal less dangerous to the environment, but we can never make it clean. As such, if we do actually care about emissions and clean power (which the Conservatives have made damn clear they don't), we should be slowly curtailing forms of energy that are outdated while working towards transitioning workers and jobs into clean energy sectors. (See my post, Evolution of the Economy for more on that line of thought.)

Effectively, these new regulations are about as useful as a fork is to someone trying to eat a bowl of soup. It doesn't accomplish anything, and in the end, it's just going to create a bigger mess.

Finally, that brings me to the start of the Race for Leader of the Saskatchewan New Democrats. Earlier this afternoon, Cam Broten announced his intention to seek the leadership; making him the first declared candidate in the race.

Now, I've touted Broten as a likely contender, so it's nice to see some of my pundit skills paying off. In the coming days, we'll see how many other 'predictions' I've gotten right with regards to who will run.

But as for Broten; he's a good first candidate and he's got a charm that should take him pretty far in the race regardless of who else enters it. If he can couple that with a good clear vision for the party and the province, Broten should remain one of the frontrunners in the campaign.

But of course, we'll have to wait and see how the race unfolds.Up next for the race, it seems likely that Erin Weir will announce his candidacy sometime this week; and then who enters the fray after that will be anyone's guess. Either way, it looks like we're going to have some high-quality candidates who stand a chance of reinvigorating the party and an interesting race to look forward to.


Anonymous said...

What Broten did in Sutherland shows he has no character or class.

Scott said...

Wow, for the first time in my life I'm really at a loss for words. Anonymous, I really wish you had identified yourself, if only for me to address you properly. But also, because it is these kinds of baseless accusations that are harming our political process and we deserve to know who is throwing these accusations around. Now, I have a random guess that I might know who you are; I won't name you here, and if you are indeed who I think you are, I can understand your need to remain low-profile when making such a comment...

Now, I know what you're referring to. I don't know how many outside of Sutherland do; and as such, since I am still involved in Sutherland, I don't know how much I should say. I will stress that you keep in mind, I was a candidate in that race before withdrawing in favour of Ryan Meili, and as such, I think I can speak fairly well about the events that occurred during that nomination process.

At no time, either as a candidate or as a volunteer, did I see anything untowards during the nomination process. As with any nomination race, all 3 candidates after my withdrawal had an equal chance of securing the nomination; it came down to their ability to gain support from current members and bring new members to the party.

There's no way ANYONE, other than the candidates and their campaigns, could have affected these numbers. And the implication that Cam somehow was pulling strings for another camp is quite frankly ridiculous. I've tried to make this blog a place for FACTS, and the fact that you don't present any sort of evidence or source makes this comment closer to hearsay and libel than factual.

I know that politics can be a game of sour grapes, especially when things don't turn out the way we want them to; but passing the buck on to someone else and blaming them for what occurred isn't the way to go. It's easy for us to blame someone else, it's less easy to accept responsibility for our own shortcomings.

Now, I will gladly discuss this issue further with you, if you're willing to put your money where you mouth is and identify yourself and provide at least even a small modicum of evidence to support your argument. Otherwise, I fear this will just be a case of two-heads butting against a wall with no progress being made by either side.

And even though I am against your comment, I will not delete it. I easily could have done that, instead of replying to it, but I don't think ignoring things is the way we move on and achieve something. We have to discuss things if we ever want to accomplish something, but we have to discuss it properly and with sound reasoning and support. And I'm more than willing to have my name attached to this discussion and let it be known that I'm in favour of evidence and facts over hearsay and accusations.

So, if you want to continue this discussion, please let's put aside the accusations and hearsay and talk about the cold hard facts; otherwise, I fear we won't have much to talk about at all.