Tag: Politics

Domestic Policy Issue: Net Neutrality

Domestic Policy Issue: Net Neutrality

Good evening,

The next issue I will be discussing is net neutrality; this is the principle that internet service providers treat data on the internet the same and not give any special treatment to websites regardless of the user, content, etc.

I believe that internet service providers should not be allowed to speed up access to popular websites regardless of the fact of their owners paying a higher rate. This would allow traffic to be diverted away from less popular websites, where owners pay a lower rate, to more popular websites, even if the less popular website has the content the user actually needs.

The internet can be a great place and is a vast system filled with ideas and information that the world has not seen the likes of in the past as it is in its form today. While the internet has a dark and light side, we will only be discussing net neutrality and even so, only briefly.

Large corporations should not be able to use their wealth and power to sway or intimidate the changing of opinions and the actions of smaller corporations or service providers into doing something that would benefit them; either directly or indirectly. The service provider should be responsible for keeping a level playing field among all.

This is especially important when it comes to creating competition among corporations to sell their product or idea to consumers. If a larger corporation has an edge just because it can pay more to these service providers and divert traffic away from smaller businesses starting up, then consumers will not be getting all the information that could lead to a more thought out and well informed decision on how to proceed. Corporations have been found in the past to slow down file sharing, limit access to certain applications created by competitors and restricting access to certain websites altogether in an attempt to boost their own web pages.

Another problem is that if we do not have complete net neutrality then this could lead to humans around the globe having access to mostly biased, ill-researched and poorly presented information and ideas. This could create confusion and help spread bad or downright wrong information to others, and the affects could be quite damaging, depending of course on the type of information one may be looking for.

If one corporation cannot keep up with the market and cannot generate new and exciting products for consumers, then it should not be allowed to pay internet service providers more money to hinder its competition. If a sports team can no longer compete at the top level to win a championship, then it has no business purposely taking out other teams and hindering their progress; if you cannot compete adequately then you deserve to be at the bottom of the food chain.

-IntellectForSale

 

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Healthcare Issue: Dental Coverage

Healthcare Issue: Dental Coverage

Good evening,

The next issue I will be discussing is that of dental coverage and if preventative dental care should be covered under Canada’s universal health plan.

Unfortunately for many Canadians, dental is not covered under the current universal health plan. Many Canadians cannot afford the high costs of preventative dental work such as cleanings, treating and filling cavities and root canals. While it is up to the individual human to take care of themselves and have good oral hygiene, it is not possible to perfectly defend against the many different types of bacteria and damage from them or from the foods and drinks that are consumed. Plague builds up over time and needs to be regularly scraped away to prevent long-term damage to our teeth.

Long term damage such as staining, gum disease such as gingivitis, dental caries and cavities can cause millions of dollars to Canadians every year. For those families with low annual incomes, getting treatment can be costly and many humans will choose to put off treatment until they can comfortably afford it. Cavities can develop quickly, especially due to high sugar, high carbohydrate diets, leading to pain in the roots and gums and possibly to actual breakage of the tooth because of compromised dentin and enamel.

We should note here that dental caries are more likely to be found in those humans in lower socioeconomic standing rather than those on the higher end. Therefore, they are in a more dire need of proper preventative and emergency dental care than those with money that can regularly obtain it more easily and frequently. Canada does not have to include dental care on its universal health plan for everyone but can limit it to those individuals or families that fall below a certain annual income line, re-evaluated every approximately two to three years for example.

Canada is known around the world for its universal health coverage, starkly contrasting the situation in many rich countries, including the United States, but it is lacking in many areas such as mental health, dental health, prescription drugs, among others. The Canadian government should want to keep its citizens healthy and re-evaluating health coverage would be the first step to accomplishing this.

-IntellectForSale

 

Domestic Policy Issue: Aboriginal Funding

Domestic Policy Issue: Aboriginal Funding

Good evening,

The next issue I wish to discuss is one that many humans in Canada are aware of and one that is a result of the way Canada’s history has transpired over the last roughly 500 years. The issue is that of Canadian Aboriginal funding and if the Canadian government should continue to allocate funds to those humans who identify as such.

First of all we need a bit of background. Of course, before Europeans first major contact with the North American continent around the end of the 1400’s, the Aboriginals were the primary residents of what is now known as Canada. Most Canadians went through Canadian history in school, and therefore most are already aware of many details such as the brutal taking of land, spreading of disease and widespread genocide of the Aboriginal people over the next couple hundred years. There was also the major issue in the 1900’s of the government funded residential school system where many children were taken from their families and brutalized in these Christian church administered buildings whose clear goal was to integrate them into a more “white and proper” society and destroy their culture over time.

Statistics Canada says that as of 2011, almost 1.5 million humans in Canada identified as an Aboriginal, which was about 4% of the total population of Canada at the time. The Canadian government has attempted to correct the wrongs of history by supplying funding for those who identify as Aboriginals. I believe that those humans who identify as Aboriginal Canadians should not be given checks in the mail every month to do with as they see fit. They should be given assistance in many different forms by the Canadian government so that they can make a proper living for themselves.

The kinds of assistance that should be supplied could be in the form of lower tuition rates at post secondary schools such as universities and trade schools. Education is very important to everyone and it can help make aware more opportunities out in the world that could be of help to those who will work for them. Social programs and support groups such as those for depression, suicide, drug addictions, alcoholism would be extremely important to improve the quality of life for Aboriginals people. When compared to the rest of the Canadian population, suicide, drug addiction and incarceration rates are very lopsided and needs to be addressed. This can be avoided if the government spent more time and effort into real help and not just throwing a check at them every month.

Other forms of assistance could be in the form of being placed in a lower tax bracket, assistance in acquiring jobs, more funding for those who attend school and monetary assistance for those enrolled in programs and who show progress in their attempt to curb their drug addiction, alcoholism, etc.

Of course, I cannot hope to cover all the issues that could arise and those that are already out there. In the long run, the Canadian government should be able to eventually stop funding to this specific group of humans; this cannot go on forever and money could be better spent on programs helping Canadians as a whole have better opportunities in life. Ideally, a few generations should be all that it takes. Aboriginal culture is an important part of Canada’s heritage and should be preserved as well as possible. The languages, history and spirituality making up Aboriginal culture should not be simply phased out but integrated into the Canadian consciousness for the possibility of being enjoyed by all.

It would be fantastic to get to a place where it is not Aboriginals versus the rest of Canadians but to a place where all humans of Canada can coexist peacefully, move away from the harsh past, and move forward into a brighter and inclusive future.

-IntellectForSale

Domestic Policy Issue: The Senate of Canada

Domestic Policy Issue: The Senate of Canada

Good evening,

The issue that will be discussed today will be on the topic of the Senate of Canada. The question that will be explored is this: should the federal government elect or abolish the Senate?

While I do not have the time to fully discuss the Senate, what it does and how it works, I can at least give a bit of background required for a sufficient understanding of the matter. The Senate of Canada is part of the Parliament of Canada known as the Upper House, whereas the House of the commons is the Lower House. There are a total of 105 seats that senators from different regions in Canada can occupy; these regions are based on some arbitrary division and each province and territory have a specific number of senators. Also, the approval of both the House of Commons and the Senate is needed for legislation to be passed.

First, we need to look at how the Senate is divided based on province/ territory and region. There would definitely need to be some slight tweaking in this case but for the most part it seems to be fine. Each MP in the House of Commons is elected and represents roughly an even number of people per region in each province or territory. Therefore, the need to have this representation in the Senate is not necessarily required.

Next, the biggest concern is exactly who the Senators occupying these seats are and whether they are properly qualified to be a “sober second thought”. I believe that each Senator should be elected but no Senator can have a political affiliation to any party in Canada. They should be elected by the citizens in each region based upon their credentials and their own personal (unbiased) opinions; many, if not most, of the opinions of any one Senator would preferably not fit nicely into any one party’s own ideas. They should be required to state and elaborate on their position on a number of topics. Each Senator should also be required to have property or some sort of investment in that same region, forcing them to experience any social or economic hardships that their own voters experience as well.

Potential Senators would, of course, have to be investigated for any criminal activity or problematic history prior to choosing to run. At the present time, Senators may serve in the Senate until they reach the age of 75. I believe that for the Senate to keep up with the modern world, a Senator should hold a seat until they are 75 or after a full 30 years has passed, whichever comes first. This allows the Senate to avoid stagnation and properly allows Canada to pass legislation that would keep it at the front of the pack on the world stage with regard to social, economic and domestic issues.

One major problem, in my opinion, is that of vacancies in the Senate. A seat in the Senate should not be vacant for any more then 365 days after the previous Senator has been vacated. This allows each province to be fully represented and a proper discussion from the input of all 105 voices to keep the Senate fully functional.

Finally, corruption and partisanship should not be an issue in this type of elected Senate; neither should exist. There needs to be a strict watchdog over the Senate to investigate any and all issues concerning any Senator. They should have the power to remove Senators from their seats after a thorough investigation and this watchdog committee should be almost completely separate from the government allowing only the Governor General to have a presence. Senators need to be transparent and accountable so they maintain the respect and confidence of those who voted for them.

-IntellectForSale