Maybe its time for change? Maybe its time for a new Prime Minister? We like to think the Tories are the best for managing deficits, however, Ronald Reagan, Brian Mulroney, Mike Harris (Ernie Eves), George Bush and now maybe Harper, will show us that maybe those ideologies just do not work? The Conservatives say that our fundamentals are sound. However, who are they fooling. They are not true Libertarians. There own platforms calls for an approx 1-2 % growth. Economist say that this is highly optimistic, if not deceptive. With the U.S slowdown it is more likely to be a 1-2 % downward turn. That amounts to, in a recent broadcast on CBC Newsworld of a 3.3 billion dollar shortfall. Hmmm! Sounds familiar? Remember Ernie Eves? Yes, Ontario was left with a large deficit, even though our “fundamentals were sound” in Ontario. Makes me wonder, what are the Conservatives going to cut in order to balance the books? Will there be some form of privatization of Healthcare or key Government corporations? Read more below from a recent National Post article on Jack Layton. It maybe time for Canadians to give the guy a chance. By: Isaac Thomas / G.T.A Patriot Contributor
By: John Ivison, National Post
Published: Monday, September 29, 2008
Jack Layton has never really been taken seriously. Beyond the fiercely partisan types who crowded into a community centre just off Danforth Avenue yesterday, the NDP leader has always been regarded as a harmless buffoon — a man so smug, he’d drink his own bathwater. Jack — let’s call him Jack — has always said outrageous things and nobody has paid too much attention to this point.
But perhaps it’s time people actually started listening.
The NDP leader unveiled his party’s platform yesterday in front of a boisterous crowd in his own riding. It was a virtuoso performance.
“Friends, I sense a real excitement out there. A sense of hope that this time, in this election, we can really make a difference,” he said.
“And maybe we can even make a little history.”
If current polling trends continue, he could do just that, by taking possession of the keys to Stornoway, the residence of the leader of the Official Opposition. The NDP started the campaign as much as 19 points behind the Liberals — some polls now put them in a statistical tie.
On the surface, much of the New Democrat platform will seem appealing to many Canadians — families would receive an enhanced child benefit payment of up to $400 a month; billions would be spent on affordable housing; students would be given a $1,000-a-year grant; more doctors would be hired and their loans forgiven if they work in family medicine; and everyone would get an extra day off work in February. Unlike in days of yore, this would not mean plunging the country into deficit. Budgets would be balanced and personal income taxes would be held steady.
In short, Jack made a convincing case that if he became prime minister, we could trust him to spend our money wisely. There he is in his campaign literature, sleeves rolled up, in the living rooms of the hard-pressed Canadian families helping them make ends meet. No wonder he’s flying high in the polls — he’s identified real problems, real issues and promised real solutions.
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By David Van Biema
Has the so-called Prosperity gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That’s what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of Pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California at Riverside, he realized that Prosperity’s central promise — that God will “make a way” for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, dangerous expression during the subprime-lending boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” The results, he says, “were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers.”
Others think he may be right. Says Anthea Butler, an expert in Pentecostalism at the University of Rochester in New York: “The pastor’s not gonna say, ‘Go down to Wachovia and get a loan,’ but I have heard, ‘Even if you have a poor credit rating, God can still bless you — if you put some faith out there [that is, make a big donation to the church], you’ll get that house or that car or that apartment.’ ” Adds J. Lee Grady, editor of the magazine Charisma: “It definitely goes on, that a preacher might say, ‘If you give this offering, God will give you a house.’ And if they did get the house, people did think that it was an answer to prayer, when in fact it was really bad banking policy.” If so, the situation offers a look at how a native-born faith built partially on American economic optimism entered into a toxic symbiosis with a pathological market.
Although a type of Pentecostalism, Prosperity theology adds a distinctive layer of supernatural positive thinking. Adherents will reap rewards if they prove their faith to God by contributing heavily to their churches, remaining mentally and verbally upbeat and concentrating on divine promises of worldly bounty supposedly strewn throughout the Bible. Critics call it a thinly disguised pastor-enrichment scam. Other experts, like Walton, note that for all its faults, the theology can empower people who have been taught to see themselves as financially or even culturally useless to feel they are “worthy of having more and doing more and being more.” In some cases the philosophy has matured with its practitioners, encouraging good financial habits and entrepreneurship.
But Walton suggests that a decade’s worth of ever easier credit acted like a drug in Prosperity’s bloodstream. “The economic boom ’90s and financial overextensions of the new millennium contributed to the success of the Prosperity message,” he wrote recently. And not positively. “Narratives of how ‘God blessed me with my first house despite my credit’ were common. Sermons declaring ‘It’s your season to overflow’ supplanted messages of economic sobriety,” and “little attention was paid to … the dangers of using one’s home equity as an ATM to subsidize cars, clothes and vacations.”
With the bubble burst, Walton and Butler assume that Prosperity congregants have taken a disproportionate hit, and they are curious as to how their churches will respond. Butler thinks some of the flashier ministries will shrink along with their congregants’ fortunes. Says Walton: “You would think that the current economic conditions would undercut their theology.” But he predicts they will persevere, since God’s earthly largesse is just as attractive when one is behind the economic eight ball.
A recent publicly posted testimony by a congregant at the Brownsville Assembly of God, near Pensacola, Fla., seems to confirm his intuition. Brownsville is not even a classic Prosperity congregation — it relies more on the anointing of its pastors than on Scriptural promises of God. But the believer’s note to his minister illustrates how magical thinking can prevail even after the mortgage blade has dropped. “Last Sunday,” it read, “You said if anyone needed a miracle to come up. So I did. I was receiving foreclosure papers, so I asked you to anoint a picture of my home and you did and your wife joined with you in prayer as I cried. I went home feeling something good was going to happen. On Friday the 5th of September I got a phone call from my mortgage company and they came up with a new payment for the next 3 months of only $200. My mortgage is usually $1,020. Praise God for his Mercy & Grace.”
And pray that the credit market doesn’t tighten any further.
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Tagged 90s, adherents, bailout, Bank of America, bankrupt, bankruptcy, banks, bible, black, bless you, blessed, charisma, christians, church, Churches, corrupt churches, corrupt pastors, credit, credit crunch, credit score, cult, david van biema, Dollar, economic boom, Evangelicals, Evangelism, financial freedom, forclosures, Foreclosures, fraud, God, God and money, Gospel, loan, Melnichuk, money, mortgage, Pastors, Paul Melnichuk, Pentecostal Christianity, pentecostalism, Pentecostals, pimps, Prayer Palace, Price, Prosperity, Prosperity Gospel, pulpit pimps, Religion, subprime, subprime-lending boom, taking money, tax exempt, teaching, tele-evangelist, teleevangelism, theology, tithe, University of California, Wachovia, Walton
Queen’s Park Bureau Chief
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper should not be given the “blank cheque” of a majority government, warns Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe.
In his first campaign foray outside Quebec in five federal elections, Duceppe told a Bay Street audience at the prestigious Economic Club of Toronto today that only he can stop a Tory majority.
“I am too respectful to tell people outside Quebec how to vote in the federal election,” he said to about 100 people, including prominent Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, who sat with him during the luncheon.
“Mr. Harper had fun saying I was coming to grab votes from Torontonians. Of course, I’m not. One thing for sure: nobody can grab seats from Mr. Harper in Toronto. He doesn’t have any!”
Duceppe quickly got to the point of why he was taking his campaign outside Quebec to give a speech predominantly in English to a roomful of people who cannot cast ballots for his party.
“Let’s be clear, this election is about giving or not giving a majority to Stephen Harper,” the sovereigntist leader thundered.
“It is now clear that Quebec is the only place in Canada where it possible to stop Stephen Harper from obtaining a majority.”
On a podium flanked by two Maple Leaf flags (and an Ontario ensign and Quebec’s fleur de lis), Duceppe appealed for “a minority federal government and a maximum of Bloc MPs.”