Friday, April 29, 2005

Corruption

First a superficial topic, then a philosophical one, now a current event.

For those of you who are not keeping up with news from Canada, here is a brief update. A decade ago, the province of Quebec held a referendum to separate from the rest of Canada. It lost by 0.6 percentage points. The government either before or after set up an campaign to promote the Canadian identity in Quebec. Currently there is an investigation into corruption in the campaign involving the dominant political party (the liberals) funneling money back into their coffers. All of this has raised the issues of another election. They had one just last summer. It works differently here. Only the prime minister or the parliment can call for an election and they can do it whenever they want. It has also raised the topic of Quebec separating from Canada again. FYI, the two major political parties in Canada are the Liberals and the Conservatives, then there are two smaller parties, the New Democratic Party and the Quebec Block, then the Green party is very small but growing.

I'll talk about the separation idea later. Corruption is everywhere in our society at all levels. Of course, with large amounts of money it is more tempting. In the US, large corporations is where the money and the power is, so the corruption is there. It filters into government like George W and the Halliburton thing. Big business as government. Here the government holds more power and money because of the socialist system. So it is not surprising that there is corruption there. Now of course corruption also happens in US government and Canadian businesses. My view is that since the corruption here falls inside the government, the people will be held more accountable for their actions. I feel there is corruption in large US businesses that is accepted or is not caught. And don't get me started on the travesty that CEO are making millions while requiring their workers to earn less than the poverty level at minimum wage.

These last two posts have ranted a bit against US capitalism, but after seeing George W last night provide all the PC answers to all the questions kinda got me worked up.

6 comments:

Zeke's, the Montreal Art Gallery said...

Howdy!

They started the campaign after the referendum (basically the thinking was "that was close, let's see if we can avoid it in the future.") And if you're into conspiracy theories, the only reason why the No side lost was because of the Colorado Rockies. If you look at the results, all of Quebec City voted Yes, except for the riding of Jean Talon, which went No by 1,238 votes. The Nordiques had been sold to Colorado in May of 1995, the vote was in October, and there were an awful lot of angry people.

Also, thanks for the laugh, with the literal translation of Bloc Quebecois, I've never ever thought of them that way. If you want to quibble a little, I don't think there are many people who would consider them a small party. In 1993 they formed the official opposition.

Zeke's, the Montreal Art Gallery said...

Howdy!

That's a typo, it should be "The only reason why the YES side lost." Sorry.

Frank said...

Chris,
Thanks for the clarification and the interesting tidbit about the Nordiques. I thought I had heard in the news both versions that the campaign had started before and had started after. So I wasn't sure which was correct.

I don't quite understand the No vote near Quebec. Are you saying that there was ballot box stuffing in that riding? And with the Nordiques leaving, the votes in that riding should have overwelmingly been Yes?

Frank.

Zeke's, the Montreal Art Gallery said...

Howdy!

There probably was ballot box manipulation all over the province, but my take is that the sale of the Nordiques made people angry enough to switch their vote (the government was perceived as not having done enough to keep them in Quebec City). There were enough of these angry people to make the riding go "no" when everybody expected it to go "yes."

Also, the other very cool (to me) thing about the referendum was that voter turnout was 99.5%. I'd never heard of an election where it was that high.

Anonymous said...

Chris, the turnout wasn't 99.5% but 93.52%.

Frank said...

Anon,regardless, that's awfully high and still shows Chris' point.