think tank forum

news and politics » canada

lucas's avatar
9 years ago
r2, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
what's right, what's wrong?

--

wrong:
health care. private practice is extremely discouraged or banned. queuing harms people (in some cases, significantly).

they're the bitch of many other countries economically.

iirc, their navy is a complete joke. but i guess they don't need one unless russia goes insane or something.

right:
immigration policies seem friendly and optimistic. but they're mostly lucky that they don't border a country like mexico.

gun control seems fairly reasonable.

the parliamentary system is pretty sweet because it seems more likely to resist a two-party system.
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
health care is remarkably privatized, if you look deeper. it's just the government is the main insurance provider. i agree that reform is necessary, but on the whole we aren't sure what model to aim for. canadians are very knowledgeable about the issues facing private health care in the us and are generally proud about the perceived accessibility of the system.

for a while, CADUSD > 1. commodities are our new (and old) economy. we were deluded for some time during the 20th century. when commodities are strong, we get a lot of foreign investment. unlike the us, we don't run deficits and over the past few years have been aggressively working on cutting our national debt. we have one of the strongest and most well capitalized banking systems in the world, with the large canadian banks earning billions of dollars of profit even through the latest crisis and aggressively pursuing foreign acquisitions in the united states and abroad. real estate prices have remained strong, and lending through commercial paper is still open for most canadian companies.

in the east, we historically had a great manufacturing sector (auto, mostly. canadian plants/workers are more efficient than the us -- also cheaper due to govt health care). the strength of the canadian (petro)dollar has meant that plants are closing all the time. dutch disease, essentially. education is heavily subsidized, contributing to a very well educated working class. i hope that has partially refuted the idea that canada is an economic 'bitch'.

i agree with your point on the military, but it doesn't really bother people or else something would have been done. as a society we are very cognizant of the close proximity of the preeminent military power (and also our close ally). our military does have some interesting features though -- we are one of the few countries with a unified structure (army, navy, air force all under one command structure). we have an extremely well-trained army with terrible equipment.

we have a truly outstanding pluralistic society in comparison to other western countries. we are nominally christian. abortion and same-sex marriage is a nonissue in all but the most backwards of regions.

i think one of our biggest failures is in securities regulation, which is done on a provincial level. quebec is also a disappointment, in the sense that even after centuries of living in parallel, the english and the french colonists cannot get along. this affects almost every aspect of english canadian society from british columbia to the atlantic. i think we have a remarkably positive and accepting view of aboriginals in canada, although like most colonial countries, we have a shameful history of abuse.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> it's just the government is the main insurance provider.

that's economically respectful (efficient). but as we both know, queuing is inefficient. hopefully that problem can be resolved.

> for a while, CADUSD > 1.

i don't think this means anything. nominal exchange rates are meaningless, as far as i've learned.

> commodities are our new (and old) economy.

so as demand from the u.s. and e.u. falls, canada will suffer. heavy reliance on commodities seems risky to me. i guess i don't know where canada is on production of technology and information. i also don't know how resilient canada is to structural changes to the economy.

> we have one of the strongest and most well capitalized banking systems in the world, with the large canadian banks earning billions of dollars of profit even through the latest crisis and aggressively pursuing foreign acquisitions in the united states and abroad.

this is pretty badass.

> also cheaper due to govt health care

i don't see how this can be true. i realize the efficiency gains from government health insurance, but i don't think this surplus gain transfers to working consumers nor auto producers.

> the strength of the canadian (petro)dollar has meant that plants are closing all the time.

which, to me, seems to be more risky and dependent than manufacturing.

> i think one of our biggest failures is in securities regulation, which is done on a provincial level.

that seems pretty weird (and inefficient) to me. but u.s. law is weird too--shareholders incorporate at the state level. which might make sense--i don't know.
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
re: commodities > i agree, if we had a small selection of them. but we have a lot. we were originally used by the british for lumber to build the royal navy. later we sold furs to europeans. today we theoretically have the largest reserves of any nation (yes, more than saudi arabia). i would like to think that because of our emphasis on education, we are reasonably well equipped for structural changes in the economy. i admit that although it is more widespread, our institutions (which are all public and heavily research focused) do not have the caliber of education as the top american schools.

re: banks > you should look into this further if you are interested. we have a charter system of banks where only certain licensed institutions can sell a wide range of financial products to consumers. almost all of the domestic banking business across categories is done by five banks. m&a is severely restricted. we used to have a system like the us with pure wholesale 'investment' banks but after being burned on underwriting in the past few decades all of the big dealers got swallowed by the big retail banks. overall this seems inefficient to me except during periods of financial distress.

re: health care and production > your economic knowledge is far more specialized than mine, so i might be committing a fallacy here -- can't the costs of healthcare be borne proportionally more by the taxpaying individual than by corporations (through health insurance in the us)?
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> i agree, if we had a small selection of them. but we have a lot.

i wasn't aware of the diversity.

> today we theoretically have the largest reserves of any nation (yes, more than saudi arabia).

i didn't know that either, but as you mentioned dutch disease, your country needs to manage the reserves carefully. luckily you can learn from other countries' mistakes (such as saudi arabia).

> i would like to think that because of our emphasis on education, we are reasonably well equipped for structural changes in the economy.

probably very much so.

> our institutions (which are all public and heavily research focused) do not have the caliber of education as the top american schools.

to be fair, i'm not aware of any country that comes close to matching the top 30 u.s. institutions.

> you should look into this further if you are interested.

i might, but in the past i've had a hard time finding resources.

> can't the costs of healthcare be borne proportionally more by the taxpaying individual than by corporations

i think they can, but that's making a million assumptions. i was just thinking that canadian unemployment makes canadian labour (yes, just for you :) more expensive. again, to be precise, it's one hell of an intractible marcoeconomic model.
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
re: commodities > well, we have a lot of gold (and some of the world's largest gold companies), and we have everything else. not a perfect hedge by any means but for the commodities world i think we're doing okay.

re: reserve management > very true, although for better or worse i think this is done at the provincial level (alberta).

re: educational institutions > britain does okay, although with much less scale :)

re: unemployment > i was told very recently that canada and the us measure unemployment differently, which explains the variance. i don't know if i believe it but it is worth investigating. either way, we also have the issue of regionalized serious long-term unemployment (not sure what type, heh): northern canada, many agricultural regions, quebec, and the atlantic provinces. we may see more unemployment in southwestern ontario as manufacturing becomes less relevant.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> very true, although for better or worse i think this is done at the provincial level (alberta).

wild rose country (or, montana's friendly neighbor) has the goods?

> britain does okay, although with much less scale :)

yeah, there's some extremely good schools globally, but it seems that no country has the states' concentration.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
wrong:
hockey.
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
so negative tonight :(
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
hahaha, just a joke :)

.. .. do you like hockey? :/
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
p.s. i said things i like about canada!
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
i like it more than american football.

world democracy says football (soccer) and cricket!
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
well i just hate sports, and hockey is pretty disgusting.
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
if hockey is wrong, I don't want to be right.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
uh oh, i better keep my sports-bashing to myself.
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
just be glad you didn't bash baseball!
Chiken's avatar
9 years ago
link
Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
whats wrong with baseball!?
DaGr8Gatzby's avatar
9 years ago
link
DaGr8Gatzby
Drunk by Myself
Cannabis cigarettes?
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
nothing's wrong with baseball, which is why I would have been extremely angry had lucas bashed it.
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
r1, link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
I do not appreciate sports that expend more time waiting to do things than actually doing things. Thus, I do not like America football or baseball.

Hockey is alright, but its (and american football's) dependancy on padding makes me think the people who play it are more interested in bashing each other than scoring goals. I don't like brutes.
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
*waits for the wrath of asemi!*
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> I don't like brutes.

i thought you had a thing for vikings (or that's how you described a supposedly attractive ex-boyfriend, anyway.)
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
it's not about waiting to do things, it's about thinking! I won't speak for American football, because I don't really like it much, but baseball is so interesting if you know all of the intricacies!! there are so many things that could possibly happen and so many things that you could possibly have to do (as a player on the field) which makes it a very cerebral game compared to something like basketball where there is constant action. I think that you can appreciate watching baseball a lot more if you have played it.
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
> i thought you had a thing for vikings (or that's how you described a supposedly attractive ex-boyfriend, anyway.)

Nope. I have no such thing, and I have never dated anyone remotely close to a brute. Historically, I have only been drawn to sensitive boys.

> I think that you can appreciate watching baseball a lot more if you have played it.

This is probably true. I do have some respect for the pitcher, as even I can tell he is almost always checking on everything and everyone around him.
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
trust me, any half-decent baseball player is always thinking about something, despite looking like they are all just standing around doing nothing :).
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
well i don't know if the guy is actually like a viking, but you compared him to a viking.
Chiken's avatar
9 years ago
link
Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
I gotta agree with asemi, after playing baseball for almost 12 years I gotta say it's an awesome sport and everytime i watch it i miss playing it dearly.

He's right though, the amount of thinking going into the game is amazing, because every player on that field has to know the count, the number of outs, and where everyone is on the bases or else they are screwed. SS and 2B have the most responsibility out there, thats why it was my favorite position.
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
2nd base and catcher were always my favorites :). catcher involved a lot of thinking, you were involved in every single play, and making an awesome stop on a wild pitch rules. 2nd base because I love nothing more than fielding ground balls. pitcher was always fun too, because when I pitched it was before the catcher called the pitches, so I could decide what and where to throw. trying to get inside a hitter's head is fun.
bluet's avatar
9 years ago
link
bluet
ttf should play baseball together
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
> you compared him to a viking.

I certainly didn't. I said he is the biggest asian person I know, likely because he is half Norwegian. I hope you aren't implying that all Norwegians are Vikings...? :-o

> I gotta agree with asemi, after playing baseball for almost 12 years I gotta say it's an awesome sport and everytime i watch it i miss playing it dearly.

Yeah, I feel the same way about soccer.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> I certainly didn't.

you did. i was speaking of a potential battle between him and mjs. you said "[he] would crush mike--he's like a viking" (nearly an exact quote). remember this now?
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
Nope, because it wasn't an ex that I was talking about. I was talking about Pat O'Hara...who calls himself "the lumberjack viking". I am definitely not attracted to a lumberjack Viking, hahah

I'd like to go back to Canada soon. Somehow I doubt my 15 minutes there before getting booted right back out was an accurate representation of the country. If it weren't so far away, I would go to Montreal! (To sample the french culture and visit...the Tam-Tams!)
Chiken's avatar
9 years ago
link
Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
what does it take to get banned from canada? because i would like to attempt this feat.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> I was talking about Pat O'Hara

no you weren't. i bought up this battle idea, and i've never heard of "pat o'hara" before. i wouldn't have said a name that i didn't know. i remember this conversation distinctly. you don't remember it at all, i guess.
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
google tells me: criminal records, sympathizing with the taliban, breaking immigration laws, various dissident groups (anti-republicans, anti-globalization... ???), 50 cent was apparently banned at one time, some guy on stormfront got banned... "I chose a White lady customs agent and explained in my best American that I will sue every half-breed fag in Canada if I’m not immediately released"
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
canada is the bitch:

Since at least the 1970s, all provinces and territories have matched their DST start and end dates to those used in the United States, and when the U.S. Congress changed the rules effective 2007 the provinces and territories (except Saskatchewan) changed their time legislation to match.


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time_around_the_world)


:x
Chiken's avatar
9 years ago
link
Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
I heard getting a DUI in the US will get you banned from canada for 5-10 years. not the approach i wanted to take......I guess i'll have to sympathize with the taliban. seems the easiest and least likely to get me in trouble in the US
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
lr > if that didn't happen it would make a lot of things very complicated up here. e.g. network television schedules. it's dst anyway, who cares.

that reminds me, i really do hate the word "bitch".
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
i support it, but canada should ditch dst and show the u.s. what idiots they are.
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
> i remember this conversation distinctly. you don't remember it at all

You're right, I'm always wrong. But I'm not attracted to brutes and that's the end of it.
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
well that ended poorly
Étrangère's avatar
9 years ago
link
Étrangère
I am not a robot...
<3
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
back on topic
http://is.gd/ozJY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcJn5XlbSFk
lucas's avatar
9 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
i started to write stuff, but it's not worth it. it's fox news. they're idiots. (as are their viewers.)

http://www.shiftercar.com/index.php?topic=18442
bluet's avatar
9 years ago
r1, link
bluet
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcJn5XlbSFk

i hope the majority of the programming isn't like that :\

but, "fundamentialist norwegians" :D
Weasley's avatar
9 years ago
link
Weasley
20 x 10 living
FOX news are gits. 'nuff said.
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
our governor general ate a raw seal heart today

fuck yeah.
Fsmart's avatar
9 years ago
link
Fsmart
:)
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
I'm going to Toronto in August :).
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
Nice. Be in touch closer to the date and I can steer you in the right direction
Fsmart's avatar
9 years ago
link
Fsmart
where do you live nestor? toronto?
nestor's avatar
9 years ago
r1, link
nestor
nestor
currently, yes

i have one year left of school in london, ontario
asemisldkfj's avatar
9 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
for sure, nestor.
nestor's avatar
8 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
CAD just blasted through parity (again)
nny's avatar
8 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
I wonder if the Tea Party people will have an analogous counterpart in canadia called the red coats...
nestor's avatar
8 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
i don't think so. most people are content / apathetic towards the current government (nominally centre-right, but centrist in practice).

the canadian housing bubble hasn't deflated yet and job losses have been fairly muted except in certain sectors.

against american desires, we've committed to leaving afghanistan (our only major overseas military commitment) in 2011. our government has both doled out enough stimulus and restrained spending so that the competing parties don't really have a leg to stand on when it comes to popular opinion.

we also don't have a political culture like you do (much to the chagrin of some of my friends, who rely on american politics to fulfill their appetite).
nny's avatar
8 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
We don't have a political culture in the US. In fact, in most places if you start talking politics you get thrown out. The only people who talk politics in America anymore are lunatics and nutbags. It's commonly accepted that the whole system is completely boned and we're all basically fucked. So we're just sitting on our hands until the ride ends.
nestor's avatar
6 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
news of the day:

bank of canada governor jumping ship to england.
mayor of toronto removed on corruption charges.
nny's avatar
6 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
If the current governor of illinois is put in prison it'll be a corruption charge trifecta for illinois. They have 2 governors currently serving time.
lucas's avatar
6 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> bank of canada governor jumping ship to england.

congrats to him, though!
nestor's avatar
6 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
canada quickly realized that the UK needs him more than we need him. there are loads of good economists at the BoC who can do a fine job.
lucas's avatar
6 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
yeah, i mean, that move says a lot about the bank of canada and economics in canada in general.
nestor's avatar
6 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
i think for him it's about de-risking his career. no doubt he made some decent moves - cutting rates right after he showed up, being the first to make a commitment to a level of rates, but he didn't have a very tough job.

canada has some real downside risk and he would likely need to make some tough calls on raising rates and face a housing downturn.

england is just fucked, and they're giving him more power to do what he wants.
nestor's avatar
6 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
maybe i don't get what you're implying though
lucas's avatar
6 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
i'm saying that one of the most powerful and supposedly capitalistic countries went to canada to find someone to fix their monetary system. that's a feather in canada's cap. is that a poor assessment?
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
pretty sure the mayor of toronto smokes crack
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
oh yeah, that guy is the best
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
just for the record, i did vote, and it was not for that guy
nestor's avatar
3 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
things looking up on the political side, but our economy is totally fucked at $45 oil.
nny's avatar
3 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
Go Rob Ford!
lucas's avatar
2 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
the saudis are really sticking it to the bakken et al.
nestor's avatar
2 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
yeah, and the bakken et al are sticking it to themselves too.