Le Plan… Le Plan!

Points saillants du discours prononcé sur l’environnement, les changements climatiques et les emplois reliés à l’énergie propre à l’Université Laval.

Zzzzz…

Does this inane blather resonate with anyone? Don’t get me wrong… the generalities are possibly all well and good, but there’s a real lack of substance here. What specific proposals are the Liberals pitching and would it be too much to ask that the lofty rhetoric be backed up with facts and figures? Also, hard not to be reminded of this.

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49 Comments

Filed under Environmental Policy, Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff

49 responses to “Le Plan… Le Plan!

  1. Ti-Guy

    Remind me again what the current government’s policies are on all of this? Oh right…be seen to be doing something. And slap the Conservative Party logo on it.

  2. Agreed. The Harper government is no better. Lots of hollow rhetoric and little in the way of positive action.

    I heard somewhere the other day that the Obama administration is now outspending our government on “green initiatives” at a rate of 14 to 1. Additionally, on the recent trip to China (widely panned by the MSM as a complete failure), the U.S. government signed some important technology transfer agreements that could provide significant benefits to both countries in terms of developing alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, Canada is ramping up lobbying efforts in Washington to exempt the tar sands from proposed regulations that punish “dirty oil”…

  3. And then there’s the scandalous $750 million the Harper government has committed to the development of corn and soy-based ethanol even though their own experts have advised that it makes no environmental sense as the input/output energy ratio is at best a wash.

  4. TofKW

    Here here RT. It’s about time more bloggers comment about this ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars. To heck with it being a wash, it actually takes more energy to make ethanol than what you get out of it. That 750 million is nothing more than a farm subsidy. But then the Harper government needs to “be seen to be doing something”.

  5. Bill

    I thought HSR was a concrete idea. No?

  6. Ti-Guy

    Meanwhile, Canada is ramping up lobbying efforts in Washington to exempt the tar sands from proposed regulations that punish “dirty oil”…

    Well of course they are. What else do they have to offer?

    I could care less about international trade at the moment because our modern economic impasse or immobility is a direct result of having to compete in a global economy for which Canada has little to offer anyone (other than the insolvent USA) but commodities.

    It’s going to take bold ideas to break out of this, but you can’t win on any of them with our tired, petrified, cynical and lazy (or alternately, hysterically over-exuberant) gatekeepers in the media.

  7. Omar

    O/T

    RT, do you ever wander over to Joanne’s ‘True Blue’ anymore? I’ve been peeking in for about a week or so now for the first time in probably over a year and things seem, well, out to fucking lunch to put it bluntly. I mean, we all knew where she stood as far a her allegiances, but the tone and tenor over there seem to have gone wildly over the top. I don’t remember her past writings being so vehemently partisan. I used to think she at least had a modicum of objectivity, but from what I’ve read there lately it would seem whatever objectivity she did possess has gone right out her southern Ontario window. Maybe it’s me. Maybe it was always such, but somehow the rhetoric seems angrier. Cripes, don’t these folks realize they actually hold power?

  8. Ti-Guy

    Red, if you haven’t seen this already, this is what I think the Liberals should be doing, in addition to holding “thinkers conferences” or whatever they’re planning.

    Only, as Lawrence Martin says, no more “long, slow rebuild full of introspection and self-flagellation.” It was largely a perfect storm of stupidity, subterfuge and public indifference/distraction that brought the Conservatives to power (barely) and it won’t require much to send these cretins back into opposition where they belong.

  9. Navvy

    A good article Ti-Guy. Donolo certainly isn’t lacking in attack material.

  10. Ti-Guy

    I had Joanne pegged right from the start, which is why I never liked her. She was always reasonable and all sweetness and light here and on other Liberal blogs, while all the time being nasty to Liberals and egging on certifiable loonies among Conservatives elsewhere. One would assume that a decent person would avoid doing that.

    A typical passive-aggressive.

  11. Ti-Guy — I could care less about international trade at the moment because our modern economic impasse or immobility is a direct result of having to compete in a global economy for which Canada has little to offer anyone (other than the insolvent USA) but commodities.

    Heh. Being somewhat entrapped in the matter of international trade I can’t help but laugh at the news presented to me on a daily basis. The stories are all over the map and completely contradictory… I’d hate to be an investor. Consumer confidence is up, then it’s down, factory orders are down, but the Baltic Index is up… then it’s down a bit, but German exporters are feeling confident… until they’re not and the Japanese are rebounding one moment, but then slumping the next, there’s a shortage of box containers, but then a surplus, GDP figures are ticking up slightly, but that’s only relative to catastrophic lows from last year… and so on. It’s all just such a chaotic mess at the moment.

    I’ve really given up trying to make any coherent sense out of it.

  12. Omar — To be honest, I haven’t visited there in ages. It’s one of the many sites that I intentionally avoid as it invariably tends to get me vehemently riled up with no good outcome at the end of the day. I’m quite happy therefore to cede that part of the blogging swamp to our friend Canadian Cynic because it just strikes me as being a pointless waste of time to argue with nitwits such as Joanne, Sandi, Dodo, Hunter, Neo, et. al., that are not only permanently fixed in their tiresome ideological ruts, but also disingenuous creeps that are utterly incapable of engaging in legitimate discourse or reasonable argument.

    Also, just as a matter of principle, I refuse to comment on sites that employ “moderation” to censor out potentially disagreeable opinions — that rule applies regardless of political affiliation, btw. I just find it a stuffy and thoroughly objectionable practice.

  13. Ti-Guy

    Speaking of the import/export business, the small grocery across the street is packed to the rafters of incredibly weird and/or awful-tasting Polish food stuffs, which haven’t moved in months. Some of this stuff doesn’t even seem to conform to our labelling laws. At least, it takes me forever to find the English and quite often, there’s no French at all.

    How does that kind of thing happen?

  14. Ti-Guy — Good question. I noticed that in a quasi-Dollar store the other week and pointed out that the item in question had no country of origin labeling on it (something I’m kind of a weird stickler about). She just shrugged and dismissed my inquiry with no regard. I would have to assume that such items slip through Customs without being inspected (being kind of a random procedure). Chalk it up to ignorance on the part of the importer and export firm involved, combined with lax enforcement by the CBSA/CFIA/DFAIT.

    Funny however about how sticky they can get about such things at times. I remember having an entire shipment of goods from the U.K. seized because I forgot to include one trivial invoice out of like 50 handwritten documents from small vendors that my client had compiled on her shopping trip. Man, was she ever pissed off about that… being accused of “smuggling” was deeply offensive to the poor old dear’s sense of dignity. And it was a completely innocent mistake, just an unintended oversight on my part. But Customs was unrelenting… An “in rem” offense, as it’s termed under the law; that is to say, if a mistake is made, intent and/or circumstantial causality are irrelevant.

  15. Ti-Guy

    Chalk it up to ignorance on the part of the importer and export firm involved, combined with lax enforcement by the CBSA/CFIA/DFAIT.

    With this grocery, I’m thinking something a little more louche. They’re connected with those “dollar stores” (their bags quite often have the logos of those stores on them, even though it’s actually a grocery store, much in decline from the period when it was owned independently by an Italian guy who loved food) and I’ve always been a little suspicious of those stores.

  16. Well, perhaps. There was a local “convenience store” in Amherstburg that I knew for a fact smuggled their groceries over the border. The Krogers bags were a bit of a give-away…

    Risky, but quite an easy way to make a decent profit.

  17. Ti-Guy

    Who knows? I really have difficulty seeing the difference between deregulation, commerce and fraud these days.

    The EHealth scandal in Ontario really drove home for me how widespread it is and how many sophisticated and/or well-educated people (particularly IT workers) are involved in it.

  18. Ok. This Liberal gone to the darkside weighs in.

    The Liberal Party used to be a party of the establishment, of big business to a great extent. The extremely wealthy were all big Liberal supporters, and the Conservatives struggled, often appealing to farmers and small businesses, but losing, obviously, organized labor to the NDP.

    The fact that Bob Rae plays such a prominent role in the party has much more to do with the Liberal downfall than any “tactical errors” they have created.. though, to be honest, the suggestion by Lawrence Martin that it was Paul Martin who contributed to the Liberal downfall as opposed to Jean Chretien.. and treating the Adscam fiasco like just another “Big Cheque” affair probably says more about his own moral compass than anything else.

    The Liberals have abandoned the “centre right” vote, and are not ever going to get the hard left vote, and as long as their policy keeps looking like a reformed NDP playbook, they aren’t going anywhere.

    Ignatieff, I think, knows it, but rather than be honest and direct, he’s trying to walk the line and keep the Bob Rae crowd quiet.. supporting national daycare for example.

    If Paul Martin and John Turner were not thrown under a bus, I, and many other current Tories, would be voting Liberal today.

    Ok.

    Ti-Guy, you may now proceed with your attack.

  19. Navvy

    Rob’s concerned about the concern that there might be a concern over how concerned the Liberals are with the left. Concern.

    How can someone in Alberta claim to have any clue what anyone else in Canada feels about anything? Rob, where exactly do you believe the Liberals numbers have gone? Hint, the party doesn’t start with C.

  20. Ti-Guy

    Ti-Guy, you may now proceed with your attack.

    Once again, you make the mistake of only paying attention to “evidence” that’s supports your thesis. It’s very poor scholarship, but then you went to university in Alberta (humanities major, no less), so you are forgiven on that point (not really, but I’m pretending to be charitable).

    Seriously, you’re completely off. All major parties are parties of “big business.” Political liberalism however is transparent about that. It seeks a comprise between private enterprise and the common good.

    I really don’t know what the Conservatives are doing anymore and I don’t care. Most of you are either too stupid, too dishonest or to fucking irritating and bloody-minded to bother with anymore. Not you necessarily, but you don’t seem to have a problem with them. And you should. You are enabling them.

    The “stupid” part is really the deal-breaker for me, by the way. Especially the “narrow expertise” stupid of the type that does relatively well in certain places and in certain activities.

    Generalists are not something that Conservatives will ever attract and that, ultimately, will be their downfall. In a complex, interconnected World, we’re going to need people who are sufficiently multi-disciplinarian to see the big picture and the Conservatives don’t appeal to those types at all.

  21. Ti-Guy

    “completely off.” s.b “not completely off.”

  22. Navvy

    By the way, where on earth are all these people wandering around worried to death about a national daycare program. It may very well be that Canadians are against the idea, but I haven’t heard any conversation at all about this since the last election. Why are you assuming everyone else in the country is as obsessed over it as you are?

  23. Navvy

    Actually no, they aren’t against the idea at all. I had forgotten the numbers on this issue.

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/scfcn/CTVNews/20060620/child_care_060620/QPeriod/

    Half of Canadians preferred the Liberal child care plan. Even a third of CPC voters preferred it to their party’s “plan”. Don’t let that stop you from assuming you know better though Rob.

  24. If Paul Martin and John Turner were not thrown under a bus, I, and many other current Tories, would be voting Liberal today.

    I happen to think that Rob has some valid points here and am inclined to agree with much of his analysis. The fact of the matter is that the Liberals are adrift at the moment without any serious policy positions and bereft of any sort of ideological compass. When they were the “natural governing party” it was acceptable to be more than a little cynical, arrogant and ultimately pragmatic in the running of the country’s affairs, but those attitudes haven’t translated well into their opposition role. Once upon a time, they were the embodiment of the stodgy “centre-right” corporate establishment (Martin and Turner, as two prime examples) — stable business as usual with the expected amount of inept mismanagement glossed over by an oh-so vaguely leftist inclination with respect to social justice issues, but now they’re… well, I don’t know what the heck they are, to be quite honest.

    Regarding the national daycare thing, yeah, that’s a non-issue with me. These days I’m happy to leave the discussion to the 20-30 somethings amongst us to hash that one out.

  25. Navvy

    No disagreement there Red. But what Rob is suggesting is that Canadians are reacting to some sort of move to the left by the Liberals. This isn’t supported by any facts at all. You’re right, it’s a matter of not having any substantial policies at the moment, and a leader who hasn’t had a chance to show his stuff. To suggest that the Liberals are instead suffering because of a popular policy they suggested 4 years ago is insane.

  26. Ti-Guy

    I happen to think that Rob has some valid points here and am inclined to agree with much of his analysis.

    I can’t, because it’s too focused on personalities, which is mostly speculation and on recent events, many of which, we were told, were unforeseeable. I’m pretty sure Paul Martin didn’t except the RCMP to open an investigation mid-campaign, n’est-ce pas?

    Rob’s got to pick a side and go with it and not expect the Liberals to be everything he wants them to be, no matter how scoldy he gets.

  27. Ti-Guy

    By the way, Red…if you can explain what the economy is going to look like in five years, you’ll be well on your way to figuring how real policy, which the Conservatives only pretend to enunciate and which the Liberals find too impolitic at this point to articulate.

    The NDP is still holding out for the collapse of capitalism and the advent of the worker’s paradise, of course.

    The Greens are the only ones who’ve been realistic about the economy (zero-growth economics is the future). And that earns them exactly nothing.

  28. Navvy — I can’t speak to what Rob may find to be particularly irksome about national daycare, although it never seemed like much of a workable or economically feasible scheme to me. Personally, I’d rather have had a generous tax-rebate or some kind of decent remuneration for enabling my wife to stay at home with the kids for 10+ years… All water under the bridge now, I guess.

    As for Ignatieff “not being able to show his stuff” I don’t buy that argument at all. There’s nothing stopping him from barnstorming all over the country, speaking his mind and saying whatever he wants to. That he feels constrained to deliver trite, irrelevant speeches filled with hollow platitudes and empty rhetoric to small bands of partisans wins no points whatsoever from this quarter.

  29. Navvy

    With respect, what does it matter what you or Rob think about daycare? I know you don’t put much stock in polls, but it’s the only way we have of really gauging the opinion of Canadians on any issue. In this case, they refute Rob’s suggestion that the Liberals have moved too far to the left immediately. Conservatives are constantly telling us what Canadians think about things, but they’re offside on just about every single issue. This absurdity about Canadians really being Conservative, and that they were just waiting for a united right is tiresome. It’s based on a rewriting of history and a complete disregard for what the facts actually tell us about Liberal fortunes, past and present.

    That he feels constrained to deliver trite, irrelevant speeches filled with hollow platitudes and empty rhetoric to small bands of partisans wins no points whatsoever from this quarter.

    Sound like anyone else you know? Harper has never said anything relevant, or intelligent, in his career. Yet a plurality of Canadians voted for him and here we are. This is all about media image and, since his honeymoon, nobody has been doing Ignatieff any favours. I continue to believe that an election will be a completely different ball game. When Canadians rub the sleep out of their eyes and pay attention again, I think the numbers will move around pretty quickly. I don’t believe I’m being overly partisan, I’m a recent Liberal convert and I’m not a member. However, I have seen Ignatieff give great performances and have a gut feeling that, with a solid platform behind him, he can begin attracting votes.

  30. Ti-Guy — By the way, Red…if you can explain what the economy is going to look like in five years, you’ll be well on your way to figuring… real policy…”

    Hard to say. I believe there may well be another massive financial shock-wave coming once the commercial real-estate market collapses and all the impending mortgages now running to term come due. But you know, somehow or other, life goes on… So in five years, we’ll probably be limping along with high levels of unemployment, even greater degrees of wealth disparity and a climate of persistent social unrest.

    Or we could be facing a violent revolution of the disenfranchised underclass… Alternatively, it might be hoped that everything will be just work out marvelously and billions of God’s creatures will be happy little campers in our global panacea.

  31. Ti-Guy

    Alternatively, it might be hoped that everything will be just work out marvelously and billions of God’s creatures will be happy little campers in our global panacea.

    I guess the Liberals could embrace that vision and work back from it to formulate policy. The other two likelier scenarios are just too realistic for to be politically attractive.

    Too bad the Conservatives embraced it first.

    I’m serious about zero-growth economics. We’ll just have to wait until a generation of economists, whose careers have been based on metrics and techniques that are incompatible with them die or retire before the rest of us will be allowed to entertain that idea seriously.

  32. I don’t know what “everyone else in Canada” may or may not do. What I do know, is I’m not particularly committed to any particular party.. and, frankly, the “social conservative” agenda quite irritates me, but not enough to warrant supporting a party who wants to encourage LESS responsibility in our citizens.

    And R/T.. you’re right about the lack of focus.. for me the only commitments the LPC made which distinguish them significantly from Tories have been the “Greenshift” and the “National Daycare Program”.

    Both of those are enough for me (not speaking for anyone else) not to vote for them. And I don’t expect any party to accomodate me. My vote, however, will go to the party who most closely resembles my life view – as it would be any other voter.

    Oddly enough.. the most sensible commentary on politics in a while came from Arlo Guthrie who was explaining why he, a hard-core liberal from the 60’s, was supporting Ron Paul.

    Because he’s the only one who didn’t seem to be already bought and paid for.

    Starting to feel a little bit like that in Canada.. not that I want some wild libertarian government, but that it would be nice for a government to be about doing the basic things that government does, without some commitment to some lobby or another who is holding their strings.

  33. Ti-Guy

    but not enough to warrant supporting a party who wants to encourage LESS responsibility in our citizens.

    Where do you get this idea? Seriously, I’d like to know. Is it the welfare mama on crack interpretation of welfare liberalism that is received wisdom in certain parts of the country?

  34. If…John Turner were not thrown under a bus, I, and many other current Tories, would be voting Liberal today.

    Sure, because you were absolutely captivated by Turner’s anti-FTA campaign–his only significant political commitment–and you’re spitting mad that the Liberal establishment back-stabbed your preferred nationalist, protectionist, David Orchardesque option. What choice do you now have but to offer uncritical support to the nation’s most passionate exponents of anti-nationalism? I feel for you.

    Or not. Actually, I do believe you couldn’t lie straight in bed, Rob.

  35. Navvy — … what does it matter what you or Rob think about daycare?

    It doesn’t matter in the least. My kids are all grown and now embarking on their individual paths in life, so the daycare issue is of no concern to me at all. And to be honest, it wasn’t ever because I never really expected any kind of a handout from the government in that regard, or for that matter, took one.

    I know you don’t put much stock in polls, but it’s the only way we have of really gauging the opinion of Canadians on any issue.

    No, I don’t. Sorry… but in defense of that conviction, re-visit the video of Palin supporters being interviewed at her recent book-launch. Public opinion just painfully distresses me more often than not.

    This absurdity about Canadians really being Conservative, and that they were just waiting for a united right is tiresome.

    Wingnuts south of the border indulge in similar fantasies. Unfortunately, the media is quite happy to assist in furthering this pathetic delusion.

    I continue to believe that an election will be a completely different ball game. When Canadians rub the sleep out of their eyes and pay attention again, I think the numbers will move around pretty quickly.

    Maybe so… significant numbers can certainly be shifted in short order during an election period for one reason or another, but I don’t see any compelling issue on the horizon that would effect such change to the present status-quo. A trumped-up gaffe or two on the campaign trail, a fumbled football or some other such misstep may perhaps swing some critical amount of voters this way or that.

    I don’t believe I’m being overly partisan, I’m a recent Liberal convert and I’m not a member. However, I have seen Ignatieff give great performances and have a gut feeling that, with a solid platform behind him, he can begin attracting votes.

    I’ve seen him have his moments too, but he’s lacking something at the moment. Well, something… anything really — original ideas, sincerity, conviction or genuine passion. How is it possible to actually make Steven Harper look somewhat decent by comparison? That’s a rather perverse sort of achievement to be sure.

  36. Ti-Guy

    I was hoping Rob would answer my question.

  37. Rob — What I do know, is I’m not particularly committed to any particular party.. and, frankly, the “social conservative” agenda quite irritates me, but not enough to warrant supporting a party who wants to encourage LESS responsibility in our citizens.

    No, I’m not all that “particularly committed” politically these days either, but I do know what I cannot morally abide and that would be the reprehensible, Christo-fascist “social conservative agenda” of the CPC. As for the Liberals or other parties encouraging “LESS responsibility in our citizens” that assertion strikes me as being a complete load of bollocks.

  38. Navvy

    without some commitment to some lobby or another who is holding their strings.

    Something tells me you’re not talking about CD Howe, the Frase Institute, or the Council of Chief Executives, etc., etc., etc.

  39. Rob’s being a little disingenuous there… either that, or simply naïve, given that all of the the major parties suck up furiously to the Chambers of Commerce and other such bastions of corporate welfare, err, I mean… free enterprise!

  40. jkg

    I think the CPC has shown their ample obsequiousness to the business lobby. You had the CEO at the time of Encana praise the taxation of income trusts, and contrary to popular belief, there was a large group of corporations lobbying the government for something to be done because it was “unfair.” To boot, the Harper government has actually made it a net advantage for corporations through their taxation policy ie. existing income trusts are virtually taxed more than corporate entities.. That is plainly pro-business.

    With regards to history, no party can claim to be the defender of farmers and the working class (well, perhaps the NDP), and they have changed target constituencies and ideologies over time. If you want to go way back, the Liberals arose from the 1837 rebellion, and they certainly weren’t fighting in defense of John Molson or James McGill.

    But, I am pretty sure that ever since our countries inception, we have sought to have “good goverment,” and not necessarily, small government. It is that patriarchal sentiment that prompted the loyalists to stay with the British Empire. It is also the same sentiment that has been the subtext of our entire political history up until about now in which this mythology that we Canadians share American neo-liberalism as if though it should be put on those cheeky Heritage Minutes. It is as if though when our cousins decided to establish “libery, justice, and the pursuit of happiness,” the Fathers of Confederation should have just put “what they said.”

    Here is a different take on it if you have quite a bit of time

  41. It is as if though when our cousins decided to establish “liber[t]y, justice, and the pursuit of happiness,” the Fathers of Confederation should have just put “what they said.”

    Fortunately, we finally got around to our “what they said” gesture in the Charter portion of our Constitution Act–“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” morphing gracefully into “life, liberty and the security of the person” in order to avoid justly-earned charges of plagiarism. I mean…geez Louise: could we not at least have switched the order of the first two bloody items?

  42. Ti-Guy

    I mean…geez Louise: could we not at least have switched the order of the first two bloody items?

    That doesn’t work stylistically, I think

  43. That doesn’t work stylistically, I think…

    …and the rest of the Charter’s rhetoric does? It reads like a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up by a hung-over articling student. Still, I get your point.

  44. jkg

    morphing gracefully into “life, liberty and the security of the person”

    Along with peace, order, and good government, that should be in every political science and history textbook. Still, you are right; it steps on the toes too much, but at least those Reformers still recognized the importance of distinguishing ourselves from the republicanism in the U.S. I think it is because of those overlaps that neo-conservatives have no trouble rewriting our nation’s history to suit the populist right wing politics du jour . Otherwise, the appeals to tradition would be genuinely false.

    and the rest of the Charter’s rhetoric does? It reads like a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up by a hung-over articling student

    That must have been quite a party at the Charlottetown Conference. It is no wonder Dorion was annoyed; all the reveling must have drowned him out.

  45. jkg

    Or I should say former Reformers

  46. Ti-Guy

    It reads like a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up by a hung-over articling student.

    Heh. Or stereo instructions. “Connect right ‘A’ to freedom ‘B,'” etc.

    There was a suggestion at the time that a stirring preamble be written, but that got nixed by our politicians who delight in never agreeing on anything.

  47. There was a suggestion at the time that a stirring preamble be written…

    I’ve heard that a “stirring” (i.e. “turgidly prolix soup of high-flown mixed metaphors”) was drafted but was ultimately rejected by someone who had both enough taste and authority to see that it got shelved. I believe it was preserved.

    It began with something like, “Canada, land of deep snows and vast mysterious spaces…” and went kitschily on like that for bleeding paragraphs. Now, I may also be thinking of something that was written during the Fulton-Favreau Formula era, or even something drafted for Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights–but I’m pretty sure it was for the ’82 Act.

    Have you come across mention of this?

  48. JKG:

    Actually, I’m very fond indeed of the overall rhetorical tone and juridical complexion of the BNA Act–the instrument that gave us the phrase “peace, order, and good government”. I like the fact that it’s the anti-Declaration of Independence–not meretricious, not self-consciously on display like an eight-year-old shouting “Look at me!”. It sets forth its business soberly and modestly, with dignity; it’s an instrument to be used, not some runner-up in an undergraduate essay contest written by a committee of belle-lettristes manqués to be framed and hung on a wall but never actually taken seriously.

    I guess the same thing can be said about the 1982 Canada Act. It’s an honest, BS-free document. Like the Brits say–it just does exactly what it says on the tin. More power to it, really.

  49. Ti-Guy

    It began with something like, “Canada, land of deep snows and vast mysterious spaces…”

    I think you may be remembering a newspaper inviting readers to submit their own suggestions. I could be wrong; it’s been an awfully long time.

    I just read up on the issue of preambles and there is some dispute about what force they have in the interpretation of the law. Best to leave them out, especially the stirring ones.

    Then again, given how intellectually dishonest the vast majority of people are, nothing will prevent the deliberate mischaracterisation of statements to have them mean anything and/or nothing.

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