Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Well, there weren't any mishaps with the hammer yesterday, but it was definitely loads of fun. Today is election day here in Canada and many people are on edge. I have decided that I am not going to watch any of the television coverage as it will just make me extremely agitated. My friends and I believe that, unfortunately, the Conservatives will win. The only thing saving us is that it will be a minority government. A lot of people are "sick of the Liberals," and think the shit the Conservatives are feeding them is great, but if they even stopped to consider everything that was being said their thoughts may be different. For example, the Conservatives have claimed they will cut taxes and increase spending...okay, then where does the money for the spending come from? We aren't exactly floating in extra cash. We're in debt! Also, Steven Harper wants to change the abortion legislation. That is fine if you are pro-rape baby carrying. What happens if a woman gets raped? She will not have the choice to terminate the pregnancy that was conceived violently and de-humanizing act. Could you imagine ggrowing up knowing you were a product of a rape? You may not find out, but then again, you may. And what would the expectant mother feel? This could lead to some serious mental break downs and if the Conservatives are worried about people with disabilities, then don't you think they should ensure their society would be healthy? Also, the Conservatives want to revert the gay marriage law back to it's original status. Why?! I mean, they're not hurting anyone. The point is not that he is taking away abortions or gay marriages, the point is he is taking away the right to choose. If you want to marry someone of the same sex, who bloody well cares?! My God, it's been happening since humans...well, were humans. Look at the history. It's only been recently that society has decided to construct stupid stigmas and stereotypes around that shit. Not to mention, Steven Harper's gang wants to cut university courses that he believes are economically unsound. For example, if you wanted to enroll in history or archaeology, you better find a different discipline if they win because he's getting rid of those. Oh yeah and he thinks that Sociology is "cute." Say good-bye to Statistics Canada then if you want to get rid of sociology, who do you think generates those stats? Sociologists! He also wants to put 1200 dollars into Day cares. Oh good, but that is only in one year. What would you like them to do with that? Buy a box of crakcers? He also does not believe in "social handouts," so good-bye Ontario Disability Pension. If they get rid of that, or reduce it, I will not be able to continue going to university. I would not be able to pay my bills, buy groceries or afford Jetta. So where does that leave us? Hmm, let's see, the student can't continue going to school because you cut her funding...so, she can't get a job...which puts her back even further than when you were assisting her for a short while. Now's she's really become a societal "burden!" At least I was trying to do something with my life. does anyone realize that most disabled people are unemployed because they can't afford to go to university or college and without such diplomas or degrees they can't get jobs. Most disabled people can't work minimum wage jobs. Could you see a blind person at the back of McCrappies flipping fries? Yeah that is safe. I can't work as a casheer, fast food employee, server at a restaurant...or anything like that. They are not accessible. So, in order to ensure I am independent like the government wants me to be, I have to go to university, and if they take away the ODSP pension, well then you can forget it. Anyway, I guess that is my rant for the day. I injured myself in swim practice today so I have to go find some more ice.


Matt said...

Well that was quite a rant... but a few of your points aren't exactly correct and I think they're important ones.
firstly (and i'm blind before anyone who doesn't know me gets too upset) most disabled people are unemployed because they're fat lazy pieces of crap that have become reliant on society and the government to keep giving them those hand outs. That's "most"! If you grew up with a sense of entitlement, you'd do the same thing. They have not been raised in a way that shows them there's anything wrong with that. There are no pre-qualifications for ODSP. Yolu're handicapped, you get it. You don't have to show effort of getting a job or trying to get back to school - you just get it. That's not healthy and the rest of society should not be on the hook because you're lazy. The plan should be more similar to something like an Alberta style welfare where you are given a living allowance and paid tuition. Or job interviews for things that you can do are set up for you. for Ontario to say "here's 1000 bucks - go away" is a cop-out and I'm quite frankly in favour of reforming that system.
All that said - ODSP will not be touched. it is exactly that. ONTARIO's program. There has been no chance in the Ontario government on this election day and there will be no reform to it anywhere in the forseeable future.
The taxe cut will happen. It is 1 per cent off the GST taxe. It is not lost money to the government. We currently have a balanced budget and it was a brilliant move for him to make that part of his campaign as it will not hurt the country and won him thousands of votes.
You will not enjoy this as your major will be one of the ones effected - but the reform on college and university is also smart. Fringe programs will be cut down (not eliminated!). there is no reason to have as many schools offering these programs as we currently have since there are not enough jobs to support it. The programs are not being eliminated - they are being brough back to reality and with the money saved by doing this tuitions are being brought down. That was something already in the works as an agreement with Liberals so it is not fair to solely blame that on the Tories. The idea being that it will be eaiser for more people (and the disabled who you spoke of that are so financially stretched) to be able to afford to get in to a General Arts & Science or something like that so that more people will have a higher level of education.
As for abortion - it's not going anywhere. Neither is gay marriage. Conservative or not, these are huge issues world wide and as society has become more tolerant the governments have to as well. What you have to understand about it is that while you're mad about the lies that the liberals have told (as am I) and the untrue things you believe that the Tories are spitting out that you as a Liberal do not believe - you have to step back and look at it less personally. he's trying to win a campaign. Politicians lie. What's happened here is that all the stuff about no gay marriage and no aboritions was a lie - but to hard line right wingers. Everyone knows he can't get rid of them. but while he lied to Liberals about certain issues to win our vote - he lied to right wingers to keep there's. There were a few hundred rednecks out there that were able to go "alright he's gettin' rid of the queers. i'll vote for him" which is what he wanted. Gay marriage and abortion are here (and everywhere) to stay at this point and public health care is a thing of the future that more and more countries are reverting to - we will not be dropping it. It's campaign jargan.
Now while all the people who do not yet know me are tearing me apart as an arrogant Conservative - I'll tell you that I am one of the furthest left wingers you will meet and I cast my vote for the corrupt Liberals. That doesnt' mean I can't recognize some positives that will come from the Conservative party being in power. I look at this as a war now that it is a minority government. If he does want to abolish social services, it won't get passed through the left wing parties, it will be argued over and it will be reformed instead of abolished - and quite frankly we need that.

Jess and Jetta said...

I'm in fact not Jess, I'm her friend Ashley, but I wanted the opportunity to respond to your views on disability support.

Making a statement to the effect that disabled people in general are lazy and looking to work the system to get what they can is a great misconception, and one which I am disappointed to find a person who has a disability perpetuating. It is this myth which encourages the residualist style welfare system which has grown stronger in Canada over the past fifteen years or so. While I agree that ODSP is not an effective program, and that a vocational rehabilitation system would be much more effective for those of us who are capable of employment training, disability support is vitally necessary for those who are, and will always be, unable to work at conventional jobs. Shall we return to the days of sheltered workshops, when the non-lazy variety of us worked for $1.50 an hour? In Canada, we pride ourselves on supporting a collectivist community, where we support the weakest and strongest of our members, and this would be virtually impossible without the current disability support system.

I certainly accept your points on the liberal developments in society - no one wants to revoke women's rights, and send disabled people deeper into poverty. But such things can happen as a result of federal actions, in spite of the best intentions. The provincially controlled welfare systems in Ontario, for example, became weak and ineffective as a result of changes to the Canada Health and Social Transfer, money provided to them by the federal government. Thus the federal government plays a crucial role in determining what services are provided provincially.

In terms of university education, in Canada we believe ourselves to have a strong post-secondary education system, where students can study the best quality material, no matter what field they choose. I know of many who are already studying in "cut-down" programs - in dangerous buildings, with under-paid professors, while students of privileged programs such as business and engineering work in ergonomically sound environments, with the best of everything.

My point is that whenever we analyze the decisions made by governments, and how they will affect our country, it is necessary to take our own social circumstances into consideration. For example, those of us who have the privilege of our families' financial support can not posibly comment on the lazyness of others who do not, just as those of us who are white can not judge the situation of those of us who are not. When making generalizations about who does not work hard enough, or which educational choices are the best, caution must be exercised. If it is not, before we know it, the whole country will believe the disabled are lazy, and those of us without the privilege of family wealth will find ourselves thrown further into the role of second-class citizens, which we so often occupy.

Matt said...

When well talking politics it is useless and in a way disrespectful to try and convince someone their views are incorrect which I think everyone knows and excepts. However, I do wish to comment on two things that you replied with. Possibly three. lol. Haven't decided yet.

As for the disabled I at no time said "all" were lazy but I will not back down from saying most are. 62 per cent of my graduating class (I attended the blind school) is currently collecting ODSP and has not taken any education or made any large attempts to get a job. The graduating class from the year before me is 71 per cent the same and the class after me is 59 per cent the same. That to me constitutes most.

I am willing to except that there are some not capable of education and "standard" jobs but that was my point from the beginning. Our system is garbage. Prove you have the disability and they will give you money. You should have to prove to what degree and have it handled on a case by case basis where it can be said "you're capable of post-secondary - here is your tuition and a living allowance - go get educated" or "you are not capable of this level of education - what else can we do?". It's far too general.

In terms of University programs. You speak of certain "cut back" programs being under funded in unsafe building and such - wouldn't it make sense to cut back the number of these programs and have a few very good ones where you have the top facilities and the top professors. That may reduce the number of students slightly that can take the programs but it would certainly bring the number of students closer to being in line with the number of jobs.
As for financial backing of parents and such - I don't believe it to be a factor in the discussion. I've been on both sides where when I first went to school everything was paid for by my parents and then this time being on the other side of the coin where it was my own money. It has no impact on someone's motivation or how lazy they are. If you work hard enough you can do it without your parents backing. Many of my friends are.

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