Canada’s Tea Party…in my backyard.

So when I was driving home I saw an election campaign sign in my riding, one I’d hoped I’d seen the last of: the Christian Heritage Party of Canada.

“This is not acceptable,” I thought. “I must write about it on the internet and dispense with their lies.”

See, last election Ron Gray, the leader of the CHP (he resigned after the 2008 election), ran in my riding. I’ve also seen him write a few letters to the editor of the local paper, and here’s the long and short of it: creationist, anthropogenic global warming denialist, anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-death penalty, the lot of it.

And one must wonder, or indeed hope, that they’ve gotten better, because last election they literally were Canada’s Tea Party — though without the astroturfing.

One look at their home page tells me no. The first thing you see (as always seems to be the case with these types) is a giant picture of an infant that ostensibly links to a page full of anti-abortion bullshit. I’m not getting into this; it’s considered a dead issue in Canadian politics and indeed should be as overall the legalisation of abortion has had little, if any effect on our society as a whole. It’s a distraction, pure and simple — but I will, if necessary, keep a count on how many times the site attempts to steer me towards abortion as an issue.

Let’s start with the economy:

Jobs stimulate the economy. The CHP would revive the plan that was successfully used in Canada to combat unemployment after the Second World War. The Bank of Canada was ordered to make virtually interest-free loans to provinces, municipalities and cities for infrastructure projects: roads, highways, bridges, rail lines, ports—today we could include hospitals, urban and inter-urban passenger rail lines, water and sewage treatment plants. These facilities improved access to resources and to markets, and the increased economic activity enabled the borrowing agencies to quickly repay the loans — which were then retired, so that the injection of capital was non inflationary.

Hey, sounds like a neat idea, and it did work well after WWII. Of course…it’s also evil socialism, but the CHP don’t seem to care about that, at least not yet. Of course, I’m no economist and most anything sounds good to me as far as economics goes x.x;

Next is a taxation proposal:

The Fair Tax is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income taxes with a progressive national retail sales tax,

…erp, no, next please. I know very little on this issue as it is but from what I know of Value Added Tax in Europe it doesn’t work terribly well (even though it theoretically should).

Next…

Overhaul the broken Canada Pension Plan with a new Personal Income Security Account.

A Personal Income Security Account would provide a portable investment portfolio, vested in the name of each worker, for health, employment and retirement income. This plan was proposed for Canada in 1980 by a Christian politician, Dr. Robert N. Thomson. It was rejected by Parliament, but a few years later it was adopted by Chile.

Chile in 1980… why does that make me stop reading…

The next bit involves treating the national debt like a mortgage, though I don’t know why we wouldn’t have done so already if that is the way one is supposed to treat it. Someone help me out here?

Let’s move on to the environment. Last time around, as I mentioned, AGW denialists. This time around…

CHP Canada recognizes that pollution is a serious problem and that immediate steps must be taken to address: air pollution from particulate emissions, NOX, SOX and Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs); water pollution from untreated sewage discharges, ballast and waste dumping at sea; and pollution of both water and soil from overuse of chemicals, including fertilizers. However we also know that CO2 and water vapour — the main so-called “greenhouse gases” — are not pollutants. Both are essential to agriculture—and indeed, to all life on earth. Furthermore the global temperature does not follow CO2 levels (as IPCC computer models assume), it leads it. That is, higher global temperatures cause rising CO2 levels, not the other way around.

Denialism begets denialism. Sigh. All the rest of the page is is a giant rant about how climate change isn’t bad, and certainly isn’t being caused by us. They’d have done better just saying “Fuck the climate, Jesus is coming!”. At any rate, if they have anything of any value as an argument it’s probably been dealt with here.

“Justice and Defending Your Rights” is three ticks down, and “Life and Family” is below that. 10:1 says that we find creationism somewhere in there. But now…

Healthcare

Our Canadian Healthcare system, though envied by many countries, is in bad need of an overhaul. Wait times are far too long for necessary medical services. Our hospitals are not healthy places. There needs to be improved access to medical technologies and research. Our medical system needs to promote a healthy lifestyle in addition to current medical options.

The CHP would improve delivery of services by allowing more private delivery systems.

Restricting delivery to public facilities is only a strategy to protect the turf of public service unions. But more private initiative will increase innovation—both saving money and improving service. Even so, public funding must remain—and be enhanced. The Liberals cut it from 50% to 14%; it has never been restored. It should be restored to 25%.In addition, we should not allow ourselves to be terrified about so-called “two-tiered” health care: virtually every social democratic government in Europe already has two-tiered health care. It simply means letting private competition improve delivery and reduce costs, while retaining a single-payer insurance concept (the way the Canadian system was originally adopted) to ensure universal access.Currently, many private healthcare services are already available. If your doctor orders an ultrasound for you, you may be sent to a private clinic, when you are sent for blood work, it is frequently a private clinic. All you do is provide your health card.The real issue is universal access, with a single government payer. We are not advocating an American-type insurance system—simply for the Canadian system to work as originally intended.

Uhh. Sounds good, but I’d prefer to hear from the people in Europe first.

Eliminate funding for abortion:

Abortion count: 1

Revamp hospital design.

Maclean’s magazine reported on the sick state of Canadian hospitals in its June 11, 2008 article titled, “Healing sick hospitals”:

Hospitals may be one of the most dangerous places on earth. An estimated 4,000 Canadians die each year from hospital infections — more than twice the number who succumb to traffic accidents annually. As Nicholas Köhler’s investigation into the science of hospital design (page 40) makes plain, while Canadian hospitals should be curing disease, they are often just as efficient at spreading it. It’s unacceptable, and yet the problem receives almost no public outcry or policy attention.

There are no real secrets to good hospital design. While it has become fashionable to claim that hospitals must have soaring atriums, natural wood adornments and indoor gardens to lift patients’ spirits — a few years ago the New York Times raved about a hospital in Norway with picture windows in the surgery rooms — this is a distraction. The true design necessities are those that stem the spread of infectious viruses, limit medical mistakes and facilitate good care. Based on the research of California-based think tank the Center for Health Design, the solutions are to be found in such mundane features as single rooms with individual toilets for all patients, ample hand-washing stations, non-porous fixtures, standardized surgical rooms and quieter floor materials. The extra costs of single-room designs are typically recouped in just a few years. “We will never build another hospital with multi-bedded wings,” says renowned U.S. hospital architect Derek Parker. “They’re expensive, there’s no privacy, and they’re intrusive.”

It should come as no surprise that the U.S. is leading the charge to build better hospitals. Vigorous competition provides ample motivation to adopt the best methods immediately. Patients can find out which hospitals suffer from poor design and avoid them. In Canada, unfortunately, the scope for patient choice is limited, and the adoption of best practices scattershot. While Calgary and Montreal are forging ahead with impressive plans for hospitals focused on single-bed rooms, the rest of the country is still building multi-bed wards that contribute to the spread of disease. In fact, almost all U.S. states have accepted the basic principles of good hospital design as set out by the American Institute of Architects. No province has formally committed to similar guidelines. It’s Canada’s uncompetitive and doctrinaire approach to medicare that’s stifling innovation and investment in hospital design. And patients continue to suffer because of it.

*shrug* Nothing wrong that I can see here either, which is a start for this party. Seems like they’ve at least got the right head for the issues that they aren’t buried in their Bible about. The next section is about improving access to medical technology, which I’m all for, but the last one…

Promote healthy lifestyle choices.

The CHP would place a much greater emphasis on prevention, through public education programs to make people aware of the health risks of smoking, obesity, substance abuse, sexual promiscuity and perversion, and of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect, the two most common (and preventable) birth defects.

And here the ‘family values’ try to sneak in again. I wonder how much of that advice about ‘sexual promiscuity’ will be directed at the girls, and how much of that about ‘perversion’ will be about the evil evil homosexuals?

The CHP would end Government funding for the ‘Gardasil’ vaccination. Making young girls guinea pigs for Big Pharma is the Tories’ equivalent to the Liberals’ ‘Adscam’ scandal. Only the CHP would protect Canadian children from this kind of medical abuse.

I wonder if they’ll go after MMR next. I heard that Andrew Wakefield’s been around, maybe they could give him a call.

The CHP would give public health & epidemics a higher public profile, to educate Canadians in safer lifestyle choices. For example, Uganda’s ABC campaign (Abstinence before marriage; Be faithful in marriage; Condoms as a last resort) has been the only successful anti-HIV/AIDS program

Riiiight. Here’s a map of HIV prevalence in Africa. The big country in the middle is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Uganda is the small country that borders DR Congo to the east, at its northern end. It’s red, and the only thing worse is dark red. There’s quite a lot of countries that aren’t red or dark red, though, and all those — including DR Congo — are doing better than Uganda.

So much for the only successful anti-HIV/AIDS program. If there’s an all-candidates debate, I’m bringing this map and shooting the CHP candidate right out of the water.

Next, Immigration and Refugees. And what else but…

Immigration – Citizenship and Loyalty

Canada has always been a land of hope and opportunity for people from around the world precisely because of our Judeo-Christian heritage which ensures everyone is treated equally before the law.

Adherence to the rule of law must be protected or Canada risks becoming like other countries, which due to inadequately developed immigration laws, are now dealing with strident cultural groups which insist that their new host country accept the tenets of the country they have left behind as the means by which to establish cultural norms and settle disputes and conflicts.

In this area, Sharia law with its demands for cultural and legal accommodation in places such as the UK, the Netherlands, and other Western nations, must receive special attention. Sharia law, which endorses such things as the denial of equal rights for women under the law, female genital mutilation, honour killings, polygamy, violence against homosexuals, jihad, dhimmitude and the death of infidels will be strenuously opposed under a CHP immigration programme.

This, I can agree with: sharia law is horrible and needs to die quickly.

Such demands are a violation of the principle of loyalty to the new country and are far in excess of our common understanding of multiculturalism. The CHP rejects cultural relativism, and asserts that not all cultures are equal or equally good. Canada, as part of the British Commonwealth, owes its distinct cultural heritage to the Judeo-Christian worldview and norms. Our laws, customs, and freedoms can be traced directly to this heritage. Thus, Canadian immigration will balance respect and appreciation for the diversity of people of different ethnic backgrounds with respect for Canada’s Christian heritage, while not diminishing the latter. Whatever the country of origin, we must build a primary sense of being “Canadian” and forcefully reject any attempt contrary to this vision.

This I cannot: it’s an appeal to tradition. And the rest of this ‘citizenship and loyalty’ bit is just a bunch of bullshit to support that, plus a bit at the end where people will have to sign an oath saying they won’t support sharia law or terrorist groups…but isn’t supporting a terrorist group already illegal? Oh well. Next.

The economy part is just a bit of fluff about maintaining the current system but better controlling it so we can suit our needs, but this bit at the end:

Often new immigrants are middle-aged and will be retiring themselves in a short number of years. CHP Canada would place greater long-term emphasis on strengthening the family, and increasing the national birth rate, coupled with short-term immigration of skilled and qualified immigrants.

[citation needed]

Next section: “Terrorism and Screening” — whoopee, more alarmism about them evil A-rabs. This says it all:

CHP Canada will immediately overhaul Canada’s current unsustainable policy of mass immigration to:

  • Recognize that immigration is being used as a form of jihad designed to undermine Canada’s Judeo-Christian culture and law to replace it with Sharia law; CHP Canada would immediately implement a moratorium on immigration from any Muslim nation.

…yeah. Seriously. Immigration as a tool of war. They’re waging a culture war on us. Totally.

Of course, I’m an atheist, so I guess they’re not after me — they’re too concerned with those good Christian folks who uphold our historical roots.

The next bit is more about encouraging population growth. They cite ‘studies’ from the Fraser Institute and C.D. Howe Institute, but the one link they have is broken.

Then there’s a warm bit on refugee policy and on multiculturalism — we don’t hate everyone else, just the terrorists, and we need to protect our culture a bit more. We’re not trying to impose Christian hegemony, no sirree.

And now for Justice and Defending Your Rights.

  • Defend against Human Rights Commission attacks on free speech.
  • Protect conscience rights.
  • Defend democracy and the constitution.
  • Legislation to enshrine private property rights which Canadians currently do not have.
  • Affirm the right to protect home and family.

Let’s see what gems we have in here…

The CHP would maintain the current Possession Acquisition Firearms License (PAL) for both restricted and non-restricted weapons. This Federal license insures that the firearm owner is properly trained and indicates which firearm types the bearer is qualified to be in possession of. It also allows police to know who owns a firearms license. If persons become a danger to society, their firearms licence can be revoked.  The CHP would do away with the long gun registry which records the serial number of all long guns being purchased or transferred. This very expensive system costs the Canadian tax payers millions of dollars which could be put to better use to fight crime.  The CHP would provide for the public-use of existing military and the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) ranges for rifle and pistol certification programs for civilians. This would develop and encourage firearms ownership, enhance safety and allow people to be aware of their obligations and responsibilities.  The CHP would instruct the Firearms Centre to issue Type III Authorization to Carry permits to any Restricted Firearm Possession and Acquisition license holder who asks for one. Having the right to own a weapon is not enough; Canadians should have the right to carry one for self-defense.    The CHP will maintain the registration of handguns but would restore the right of Canadians, especially women, to own .32 and .25 caliber weapons of barrel lengths shorter than 4.1 inches for the purpose of self-defense.  The CHP would do away with the requirement for the purchaser to belong a gun club when purchasing a handgun. In its place the CHP would require all training to include live firings (on a range) of both handguns and long guns.

Summary for those who aren’t interested:

GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!

And that’s it. It seems that whoever wrote those points at the top has a memory problem that caused him to forget about the first three or four points he spelled out.

Oh, wait, this one has subsections on different pages! Capital punishment is first…

Capital Punishment

The Problem:

Governments have manipulated statistics to hide the fact that Canadian society is becoming more and more violent, with less and less regard for the sanctity of human life.

Those who advocate abolition of the death penalty advance several spurious arguments:

They say that murder rates didn’t increase after abolition.But they did. Abolition was made legal in 1975. But in 1965, all death sentences were commuted by Cabinet—which was de facto abolition. A comparison of the decade before the last execution and the commuting of sentences (1955-65), with the decade after de factor abolition (1965-75) shows a spike in culpable homicides. Again, in the decade after (1975-85) the homicide rate, without deterrent, continued to climb.

And they include a table, but it only cites hard numbers, not homicides as a proportion of offences or population. I smell statistical manipulation. The rest of it is, well…pretty much smoke and mirrors, in fact, the second point is an outright non-response entirely — the counterargument to capital punishment not being a deterrent is simply “But it is!”.

Next is on criminal justice — and whoever wrote that page needs a new copy of the Criminal Code, because the Young Offenders’ Act no longer exists — it’s been replaced by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Actually, whoever wrote that page needs to learn something about criminal law, namely how the “throw ’em all in jail for a while and they’ll never go back” strategy has failed colossally in the US. Recidivism rates here, furthermore, seem to me to be impressively low (the numbers are at the bottom, after a fairly lengthly explanation of why you can’t make a judgment based on the absolute overall recidivism rate) and indeed in the United States the numbers appear much higher.

And the next section, in case you were wondering…

GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!

Well, at least there was no creationism. Life and Family comes next, and…oh, look, more subpages!

Abortion count: 2 — plus a tiny smudge of bullshit about euthanasia

Now, under childcare they propose a noble idea…$1000 a month to families where one parent stays home to raise the child.

You read that right. One parent. Single parents don’t get to benefit — they’re not good enough. I guess that’s why I’m an atheist, in fact: I had a single mom.

Oh, and this:

The average take-home pay of a woman who works at a second job is under $1000 per month. We want to help her stay home and care for her children if that is what she wants, and surveys continually tell us that this is what she wants.

[citation needed], but probably not forthcoming, as is often the case with misogynist bullshit.

Canada desperately needs government policies that strengthen families. Daycare fills a short-term need; but it weakens families. Much social science research now confirms that institutional daycare—even the best of it—actually hurts children and families. And surveys show that three out of four mothers who work outside the home—the very ones who use daycare—would rather be at home with their children if they could afford it.

There should be a law requiring political candidates and parties to back up every claim they make with hard evidence. The world would run so much better if we used science rather than bullshit to run it.

Next up? Defend Marriage. It’s just a short three paragraphs whining about how we didn’t look into the facts, but France did, and France said it was bad, therefore it’s bad. Or something. Homophobic prickishness, thou canst fuck right off.

And now, education. And…uhh…

Education

THE PROBLEM:

According to Canada’s Constitution, education is in provincial jurisdiction; but Ottawa has intruded deeply into this field—as it has in health and other social fields—through funding tied to policy-manipulation.

Okay…

One result has been a consolidation of a militant secularist hegemony within the national Education Establishment, violating the principle in the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” (Article 24, Sec. 3).

Uh huh…so what the hell exactly is going on?

With their federal funding secure, Canada’s post-secondary institutions have become some of the most intellectually sterile environments: reactionary (in a 1960s ‘faux-liberal’ mode) and defensive of their intellectual turf.

POST-secondary? Hold on a fucking section. The British North America Act of 1867 provides that education is the responsibility of the provinces…at least, elementary and secondary education. Post-secondary institutes can be and are funded by the federal government via endowments, but they operate more or less independently of the government itself whereas public schools have a curriculum that is set by the government and have their operations overseen by the government.

Furthermore, post-secondary institutes do not fall under the mandate of the cited section of the UDHR; that is, unless the CHP disagrees with the federal government of Canada who deem that one is a legal adult at age 18 insofar as being able to vote and join the military; they are also in disagreement with the Province of British Columbia who deem that one is a full adult and subject to adult responsibilities at age 19. According to the CHP, people who have graduated high school are still children and their parents should be allowed to choose where they go to school.

I’m 20, and you say that my decision on where I want to go to university should be at the behest of my parents? Seriously? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

The ‘current government strategy’ is only derided because…because…because the people running the institutions are bad, somehow.

The proposal itself seems noble; I’m not too sure on vouchers but making student loans interest-free for ten years after graduation…wow, seriously, if these guys didn’t have their heads half in their Bibles and smokestacks I’d be inclined to vote for them. I have to give them credit: someone is using their brain, or at least part of it.

And you know what else? No creationism — extra credit for that given that their previous leader wrote a letter to the editor of the Langley Times where he backed *gag* irreducible complexity.

In some respects, they’ve got more brains than the Tea Party, which is probably why they haven’t been astroturfed — but they’re just as crazy as any of the other nuts who scream about global warming being a fraud and how the evil Muslims are all out to get us. Oh, yeah, and:

GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS! GUNS!

I’m still going to the all-candidates meeting with that map, by the way.

Healthcare

Our Canadian Healthcare system, though envied by many countries, is in bad need of an overhaul. Wait times are far too long for necessary medical services. Our hospitals are not healthy places. There needs to be improved access to medical technologies and research. Our medical system needs to promote a healthy lifestyle in addition to current medical options.

The CHP would improve delivery of services by allowing more private delivery systems.

Restricting delivery to public facilities is only a strategy to protect the turf of public service unions. But more private initiative will increase innovation—both saving money and improving service. Even so, public funding must remain—and be enhanced. The Liberals cut it from 50% to 14%; it has never been restored. It should be restored to 25%.In addition, we should not allow ourselves to be terrified about so-called “two-tiered” health care: virtually every social democratic government in Europe already has two-tiered health care. It simply means letting private competition improve delivery and reduce costs, while retaining a single-payer insurance concept (the way the Canadian system was originally adopted) to ensure universal access.Currently, many private healthcare services are already available. If your doctor orders an ultrasound for you, you may be sent to a private clinic, when you are sent for blood work, it is frequently a private clinic. All you do is provide your health card.The real issue is universal access, with a single government payer. We are not advocating an American-type insurance system—simply for the Canadian system to work as originally intended.

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2 Responses to Canada’s Tea Party…in my backyard.

  1. vanitas says:

    Brilliant analysis! Thanks for that. I never paid much attention to the details when I was rabble-rousing and demonstrating, so am not up on the BNA Act or other vital documents re Canada. A lot of my activism appears to have been based on ideology without rigorous analysis or the citation of sources. But it is never too late to hone those critical thinking skills; I thank the day I stumbled on Myers´blog and began interacting with people who value facts, proof, rationality, and the truth.

    It´s interesting to note the progress of the right in Canada: Reform Party -> Canadian Alliance + Progressive Conservatives = Conservative Party. I remember the night Preston Manning won in 1993. He worn a brown shirt/black tie when interviewed! The comments that generated were definitely godwin material. I hadn´t realised that his chief policy advisor was Stephen *spit* Harper. Now that is scary.

    p.s. do I use your name or your ´nym on this blog?

  2. vanitas says:

    p.p.s. one should always be wary of a political party with “Christian” or a variation thereof in its name.

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