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Author Topic: Tales from the Narco-Petro-Superpower
Antonio Gramsci
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For those of you arriving late, you should know that Canada has become a Narco Petro Superpower. As such, we will be looking to use our newfound wealth to dominate the world for decades to come. We’ll be polite, of course, but secretly we’re looking forward to crushing you lot.

(Especially the English. Always paying attention to Australia and never to us. We’ll show you. Bodyline Controversy…who fucking cares? And we’ll have Hargreaves back, thank you very much.)

Anyways, as you are all shortly to become enslaved to the NPS, I thought you should all be kept abreast of the fascinating goings on in daily life here, as they will soon affect all of your major financial and personal decisions. You will need a guide to life here, so that you make no major faux-pas. Knowing the difference between St. John and St. John’s is key…not giggling at place names like “Wawa”, “Chibougamou”, "Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo-Jump” and “St. Louis du Ha! Ha!” is also important. Feel free to ask questions.

First up, federal politics. We had four by-elections here yesterday. The opposition Liberals (think New Labour, only they’ve been that way for about a hundred and fifty years so not a lot of posturing about how “new” they are) won three, the governing Tories (think of a weird coalition between American Republicans, Cameronites and Liberals in disguise, except that instead of being Unionist they are decentralizers, so they pick up some SNP-lite votes in Quebec, too) won one.

Left-wing parties? We have two of them at the moment. Which is odd because they represent the smallest section of the electorate. Traditionally, the left is represented by the New Democratic Party (which is very Old Labour in its federal incarnation, but in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia - the three provinces where it sometimes holds power – the provincial parties are barely distinguishable from the federal Liberals in style). But it’s going through an odd period. Despite historically being a party of disaffected resource-producing areas and a couple of ridings with big auto plants in them, in 2002 they elected a new leader, Jack Layton, who would appeal to urban hipsters. Problem is, urban hipsters aren’t actually a major voting block, and even where they are, they see the NDP as old and dated, so they vote Green.

Now the Greens have zero – and I mean zero – idea about how to run a government or and economy. They have never elected a single member at either the federal or provincial levels in Canadian politics. Their manifesto is kind of autistic – fiendishly and intelligently detailed about a handful of issues, while the rest is a kind of drool. But this is not stopping them from eating a long way into NDP support. In the three ridings where the Liberals won last night, the Green vote total exceeded the NDP vote total. If this happens in the general election, the NDP will not carry a single urban seat.

Our NPS status was actually assured on the weekend, though few Canadians noticed it. The Parti Quebecois, a steaming turd on the body politic for the last forty years, voted yesterday to drop any idea of secession from their party platform (technically, they voted not to require the leader to hold a referendum on sovereignty in their first term of office should they regain power…though since that ain’t happening any time soon it’s pretty theoretical). This is one of those once-in-a-generation fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall moments, but we missed it. Busy shopping.

Existentially threatened no more, the NPS can get back to the incredibly petty politics in which it can truly wallow. Free of any serious competition, the Liberals and Conservatives compete with one another to offer the middle class ludicrous goodies. The Tories offer the country tax-free savings plans (the rationale, in the budget speech, was that it would help Canadians save for “things like RVs”…I shit you not). The Liberals offer tax deductions for college savings plans (so horrifically regressive that not a single education group came out in support).

But hey, forget that stuff, let’s dream big! Buy out some of the more bankrupt border states? Washington and Vermont might be relatively cheap. Many Canadians also dream of resurrecting the 1980s dream of annexing the Turks and Caicos Islands. No seriously, that almost happened…they got tired of running their own affairs (would you want to be in government when your entire island is a beach?) and asked if they could become part of Canada. Definitely time to buy some beachfront property. We already own Selfridge's and bits of Canary Wharf, so more bits of London seem like good bets.

Oh and your Premiership seems like a nice place to spend some money. We could have had it for a song fifteen years ago, but Molson just didn’t have the vision (and the association between Canadian beer and the terminal decline of a football club is merely coincidence, understand?). But hey, look at all those great examples of Canadian figures in football. Frank Magna? Kia Joorabchian? Jack Kachkar? Stand-up men, one and all. I say we buy out Randy Lerner, for we are the Aston Villa of nations, and our Nigel Spink moment has come!

Do we have any lessons for the rest of you, you who obviously want to escape your pedestrian bonds and join us in our NPS bliss? Not really. To paraphrase Bob Rae, a former NDP premier of Ontario, who won a seat last night for the Liberals (party-jumping happens a lot in Canada), we’re the guy born on third base who thinks he hit a triple. With oil at $110/barrel, gold at $1,000 an ounce and wheat at $10 a bushel, our economy could be run by a bunch of chimps and we’d still do fine. Problems in the American economy? As long as the Chinese keep spending, this won't bother us at all.

Our motto is: Invest in the future? Feh! We don’t need no stinkin’ investment.

Actually, maybe that Aston Villa metaphor is no longer apt. At the moment, we’re more like Chelsea, only with Megson in charge. And we’re coming to fuck you all up.

Now if you could all please stand in line in an orderly fashion, we’ll be with you to fuck you up shortly.

As you were.

[ 18.03.2008, 14:59: Message edited by: Antonio Gramsci ]

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Wyatt Earp
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Zzzzzzzzzzz.
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Antonio Gramsci
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It's working! I have lulled you into a false sense of security!
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Reed
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The Liberals offer tax deductions for college savings plans (so horrifically regressive that not a single education group came out in support).

Why is that regressive? I'm not disagreeing, I just can't figure it.

What's the "Narco" part of your new NPS status?

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Antonio Gramsci
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Narco link fixed.

Regressive because a) deductions are worth more to pepole in wealthier tax brackets and b) wealthier folks are likelier to be able to save than poorer folks. So in this particular instance, based on current usage of Education Savings Plans, for every dollar of tax relief going to a family from the bottom income quartile, about ten would go to families from the top income quartile.

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Reed
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Oh right. It's like the tax break on mortgage interest. And does everyone itemize in Canada? Apparently, in the US, about a third of the people who are eligible to get a tax break from the interest on their mortgage don't because they don't make enough to bother itemizing. They/we just fill out the short form.
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Antonio Gramsci
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The tax break on mortgage interest is almost an exact analogy (we don't have that, btw).
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linus
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Good read, AG, thanks.

It's great to see the liberals do well, the media (particularly the CanWest conglomerate, or Fox North) has consistently mocked Dion, in good part because their owners are pro-war.

On the PQ's new platform: pretty shrewd political move. The hardcore separatist base has dwindled a bit, they tend to be older voters who still have some baggage about having been dominated by the Anglos several decades ago. The PQ has put itself in a better position to battle for the middle. They had to change as a result of having finished third in the last elections, behind the ADQ.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
Left-wing parties? We have two of them at the moment. Which is odd because they represent the smallest section of the electorate.
<...insert "People's Front of Judea" joke here...>
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Antonio Gramsci
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Cheers, linus. I just thought our non-Canadian friends should know what they are in store for.

And yes, I am aware that "narco" can also be short for "narcolepsy". Well, I'm sorry but everyone's just going to deal with it. The NPS is here to stay!

Bow to us, with our fearsomely correct public finances, and our beautiful, beautiul currency! Gaze upon us and despair (we do, all the time)!

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Don Malhumorado
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I'd quite like to move to Canada. It's like America, but not so in your face. America has had too many glasses of cheap orange squash. Which is funny for a bit, like.
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Villain
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Canada got invaded by Denmark the other year.

Put the Union Jack back on your flag and we may take you seriously.

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ursus arctos
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Has the Reform Party imploded? And what is the ADQ (Action Democratique?)?

I'm so old that I remember when the original NDP appealed to urban hipsters (except that we didn't call ourselves hipsters then).

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Amor de Cosmos
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Fuck, if ability to defend our borders is going to be a criteria, come on down San Marino...Andorra...Burkina Faso, take your pick. Just don't disturb the big guy sleeping next us, OK?
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Amor de Cosmos
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Has the Reform Party imploded?

No, it rebranded itself as the Canadian Alliance Party, which then amalgamated with the Progressive Conservative Party to become the ... err ... Conservative Party.

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