Thursday, November 2, 2006

I Love Canadian Political Satire

DW decided to surprise me with tickets to the Royal Canadian Air Farce today. It was very different than seeing them on stage or on TV. It took time to set up each skit and they had to find ways to keep the audience entertained. I thought it was really cool when the sang the hot dog song. They also had a stage manager who just always had a look on his face like he had not laughed in 150 years. To quite down the audience he would make announcement like "prepare to laugh this is funny" & "I laughed at this skit this morning" A good time was had by all and we get to go back in a few weeks.

In the last few weeks my interest in politics and political satire has been re-sparked. With all of the political controversies in the last few weeks it has been realy easy to sit back and enjoy. Here are my thoughts on some big news stories.

Foreign Affairs minister Peter McKay has been accused of referring to his ex-girlfriend Belinda Stronach as a dog. The comment was not recorded on the official record and McKay has denied making the comment. Demands for an apology by the opposition and women's rights groups have gone unanswered. In the mean time the opposition was too distracted to worry about other minor world events like North Korea setting off a nuclear bomb.

Just as Canadians are starting to get sick of our politician not devoting enough time to real work along comes the Conservative advisor and former Ambassador to Israel a "bitch". Now there are opposition calls for his resignation as well.

The whole controversy is blown so completely out of proportion. I am just amused that so much time is being devoted to such a little thing. I am sure Tie Domi's wife had much worse names to call her when she accused Stronach in court documents as the women who destroyed her marriage.

Just before the last federal election the Liberals were in a lot of hot water when they made announcement about changes to the Income Trust Accounts. Unusual trading occurred a few hours before the announcement. An RCMP investigation determined their was a leak but it was not the Finance Minister's fault.

Yesterday, it was time for the Conservative announce on Income Trust Accounts. The government completely broke an election promise not to tax Income Trust Accounts. The tax loophole was growing out of control and had to be dealt with. The decision has been met with what appears to be a severe backlash from all Canadians. The TSX dropped over 300 points today and shares effected by the moved dropped between 12 -30% today.

When you dig into the issue deeper the backlash is not as universal as the media has been reporting. A number of tax breaks are being granted to the elderly who potential stand to be hit the hardest by this move. The NDP has come out and openly supported the move as it gives a fair balance between personal and corporate taxes. The Liberals are outraged that the Conservatives broke a campaign promise. Under the same circumstances the Liberals probably would have made the same decision. It just wasn't one of their campaign promises.

The Quebec Finance Minister said that he supported the change as it will mean more money from the provinces. Liberal Ontario Finance Minister sympathized with being forced to break campaign promises. (Something he is accustomed to). He also feels that it was a decision made on sound economic principles.

I think it will take some time for the markets to adjust to the new rules. It is a decision that had to be made sooner or later to deal with an out of control tax loophole. The markets will take some time before they correct themselves. The average Canadian taxpayer will be better off in the long run.

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