18 September 2007

Election 2007: Day Two Notes

1. Quote of the Day: "We can't be a dying race." Premier Danny Williams on his campaign promise to offer cash to people having babies or adopting children.

What "race" is he talking about?

Take a look at the Conception Day idea the Premier mentioned in his newser. Here's the audio clip of the Premier. [ram file] Here's a story from the Toronto Star from September 12 on the idea: it goes way beyond just the need to boost a population in a region, province or country. The whole idea is to produce people of a certain ethnic origin, as opposed to say dealing with the other issues in the society that are affecting reproduction to say opening up immigration.

The low birth rate in this province is not the result of any decrease in sexual activity. So what is behind the idea of a cash bonus for upping the birth rate?

2. Ethical Story of the Day: An admission by retiring Progressive Conservative MHA, Speaker Harvey Hodder, that members of the legislature - Hodder included - actually refrained from claiming legitimate expenses so they could maximize the amount of cash available to hand out in gifts. The Auditor General decried the money - termed "donations" - as inappropriate expenditures. Chief Justice Derek Green did likewise.

Hodder made the remarks on CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show but the audio isn't available on line. There are related stories on the Auditor General's report in The Telegram but they also aren't available on line.

If you want to see a genuine example of the bizarre logic of politicians, consider a letter from Maura Hanrahan to local media on the subject. Rather than have a properly funded, fair and equitable program, they felt it better that they have cash to hand around entirely at their own discretion.