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When it comes to the Canadian economy, Obama may as well be PM

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

The U.S. fuel-economy standard will rise. Canada is going there too, whether we want to or not ...Read the full article

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  1. Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada writes: 'Despite all this, Canadians still continue their infatuation with Barack Obama.'

    Indeed, Canadians can be infuriatingly stupid sometimes. Regardless, it looks like we're about 6-12 months away from a carbon 'Smoot-Hawley' Act that should get Canadians to smarten up regarding their 90% approval rating President.

    It will be very amusing. We all hated Bush II, yet come 2012 we'll be praying that Bush III (Jeb) takes the Whitehouse. Yeah, I know, dismiss me as just another Globeandmail crazy for now. Sneer at how you'll never, under any circumstances, wish for a return of the Bushes. Whatever. We'll see who's right in the end.
  2. Peter Lucas from langley, Canada writes: Excellent article, I think. Canadian NDPers and left-of-center types should be happy for the next four, maybe eight years. Believers in choice, individual freedom, and free markets have to put up with it.

    Since Canada depends so much on exports and since the US is by far our largest market, it would be stupid and a waste of money for Canada or its provinces to do anything but accept US standards.
  3. Peter Lucas from langley, Canada writes: Jimmy K, methinks you're right. In four years, Bush III will look good to Canadians.
  4. Harold K from Windsor, ON, Canada writes: From the article:
    Despite all this, Canadians still continue their infatuation with Barack Obama. It's just as well; for better or worse, he is as much prime minister as president.

    Mr. Ibbitson is a great writer and often a good journalist, but he sometimes is overly dramatic and absolutist (and critical) when drawing conclusions/forming opinions... The above is a great example of his judgementalness clouding his judgement.

    Cheers

    (PS. Doesn't he argue in his new book for the greater intergration with the U.S.??)
  5. Harold K from Windsor, ON, Canada writes: ps. Fuel efficiency (reduction of green-house gases) is something we should greatly thank President Obama's administration for taking the lead...

    The 'free market' types would rather we wait for the next spike in oil prices or unil the next famine or wave of hurricanes...

    The so-called free market is poisening the earth -- and your children -- my friends...
  6. Harold K from Windsor, ON, Canada writes: pps. As I recall, Mr. Ibbitson wrote a series of articles clearly suggestive of HIS 'infatuation' with then candidate Obama... Ahhh, the fickle nature of opinion writers -- with little sense of personal responsibility for their past opinions (or what changed their mind).
  7. Lawrence Brohammer from Arizona, United States writes: Larry from Arizona

    Born in Canada and now living in the United States, I frequentyl
    read the Toronto Globe. I never voted for Obama but was amused
    when the election was over and the Globe ran a storey of how the
    Americans did something right for a change and voted for Obama.
    Now that he has been in ofice for a few months, people are seeing
    how ambitious this young man is and all the changes he is going to make. With a democratic congress he pretty much has a free hand to
    do what he wants to.
    With his socialistic ideas for America , it is pretty safe to say that he will be a one term President.
  8. siren call from Alberta: Land of the Living -and dead- Dinosaurs., Canada writes: I think some of the anti-Obama people don't quite understand why some of us like Obama ...

    Speaking personally, it's because I think a heck of a lot of what he is doing is right.

    Specifically on the car issue -- no one who doesn't need an SUV should have one. Period. Let the free market decide you say? Well, what is it 4 years now since Bush declared the electric car would be the new standard. Any free enterprise take him up on that?

    The cap and trade was coming whether we got Obama or McCain and anyone paying the slightest bit of attention knew that. Not Harper though.

    Speaking of whom; can we dump the current crew in Parliament and save our money? Obama is making the decisions anyway and we might need the $$$ to deal with possible protectionism.
  9. n w from Canada writes: Finally something to force our government into action. God knows they wouldn't take any of their own volition.
  10. Ralph Bishop from Hong Kong writes: Lawrence Brohammer from Arizona, United States writes: .
    With his socialistic ideas for America , it is pretty safe to say that he will be a one term President
    --------------------------------------------
    Maybe not - it depends on the price of crude, and Americans may
    thank him for having the foresight to keep their gas prices lower than would otherwise had been the case. The bottom line is,
    he is demanding that American car companies match what their Japanese counterparts are already achieving - almost like he is saving the American car industry from itself. On both counts, I hope he will be very successful.
  11. iPhone from Canada writes: .
    Lost American related jobs is a good thing, as it will force the 'mandarins of the Canadian business establishment' to go in country to promote their business.

    Ah, the lessens of diversification.
    ~
  12. Peter Lucas from langley, Canada writes: Ralph Bishop, the first CAFE standards were enacted a long time ago, forcing the Detroit 3 to produce cars very few people wanted. The D3 lost money making the smaller lighter cars, but were able to stay in business making larger cars, SUV's and crossovers, which consumers wanted enough to pay more than the cost of manufacture.

    Now the Central Committe, oops....I meant Mr. Obama and congress are going to force any D3 survivors to make more cars nobody wants.

    Government interference was a large part of the current D3 woes, and unlike you, I think more government
    interference will be the death of them. Not saving the industry from itself.

    One of us is closer to being right on this one, but we won't know for years.
  13. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    America will always do what is best for America. Understand that and personally plan around it if you can. In other words, if you have a job dependent on US consumption by either business or consumers, look for alternatives. You have US$D? Dump them ASAP for safer currency landings.

    To date, Obama has been given a free ride by the MSM. The Wall Street bailouts are nothing less than criminal grand larceny of historical proportions. Adding almost 2.5 TRILLION to the debt only next fiscal falls into the same category and a projected increase on 8 TRILLION over the next 4 years is worse.

    Sooner or later the American people are going to have to pay for this via direct and indirect taxes.

    What is also interesting is the MSM censorship of an ever growing
    'Tent City' problem all over the USA caused by monster home foreclosures and 500,000 people losing their jobs every month!

    Round 2 of the 'Tea Parties' is slated for this summer while the first ones held attracted tens of thousands, the next ones will be in the millions. AGAIN, the complicit MSM almost censored the outrage and dissent of the Obama administration. Long hot summer to follow...
    .
  14. Steve Babister from Manila, Philippines., Canada writes: Peter Lucas,

    Maybe car manufacturers need to look at why people want trucks, SUVs, etc?

    Most people I know do not want to own a truck, SUV or a large vehicle, not even for gas prices, just because they don't need them.

    If and when people do, they rent a truck for a day.

    For those who wish to use the truck/SUV for outdoors things, then by all means buy one. For those with a Ford F350/450, HUMMERS, Navigators, Porsche Cayennes or BMW X5, etc. well they really could do with a car instead since most of them would never take if off of asphalt.
  15. yves couture from montreal, Canada writes: Frankly, I fail to see what is so terrible in the fact that Canada will follow the US with more sensible rules for the auto industry.

    The SUV love in, that has lasted some 20 years, was one of the most short sighted industrial turn ever. A text book case of blindness for future students. Now we will see the end of it and hopefully the North American auto industry will be force back to reality.

    The fact that the US government plays a leading role into that was unavoidable. The greater lesson is that governments can play a positive role. This could be good for Canada too.

    After WWII, Canada's progressive initiatives in social policies somewhat copied the new deal. Was it a lost in sovereignty ? Should we now define sovereignty as the continuation, here and just here, of bad policies ?

    In fact, as the end of his text shows, Ibbitson is looking for a rational for greater North American integration. A journalist looking for a rational will always easily find it, however weak the arguments.
  16. Kevin Chew from Germany writes: If Obama can so radically restructure the entire economy of the US (automobiles = the economy), does it not logically follow that a Canadian government should also be capable of radically restructuring the Canadian economy? Only, in the case of the Canadian economy, the radical restructuring in question should be a reduction of dependence on trade with the US.

    With a reduction of dependence on trade with the US, Canadian governments would then be free to make decisions on such issues as climate change without having the restriction -- or convenient excuse, depending on how you look at it -- of having to take US policy into account.
  17. Rick Taves from Chatham-Kent, Canada writes: If Obama is forcing us to adopt saner transportation and energy policies, his lead is to be applauded. The monster trucks, monster SUVs, and monster homes that we have built in the last two decades loudly advertise their owners believe that they don't give a damn.
  18. KT Ocean from Canada writes: Harper elected Obama Prime Minister. The world, along with Canada, agreed that GHG is an potentially devastating problem which we all need to address now. Any leader interested in governing his/her own country would have devised a plan to address this problem in a way which best suits the needs of his/her country. Harper chose not to and in fact openly stated that it would make better sense to follow the US lead rather than to have our own plan. Harper seems to think Obama has a better strategy for dealing with Canada's situation of high energy needs due to geography and mixed blessing of oil sands which lack the technology to make them sustainable.

    Harper said Obama was better at running Canada on this issue than Harper would be - so I guess we will see if Harper was right.
  19. Wayne Crockett from Toronto, Canada writes: Ibittson has one real political objective in life - the end of Canada as a sovereign country. He will be beating the drums of fear, as he did when he thought the War on Terror was the means to this end, for months to come. The Canadian government's failure to act (Liberal and Conservative) are the reason that we are compelled to follow on this issue late in the game. It is Ibittson's mantra that this powerlessness is unavoidable, it just isn't so.
  20. Hugh Andrew from Canada writes: This is no excuse for the Government to not have a vision, strategy and plan of its own. This knee jerk, situation based government ensures that Canada will fail to achieve its potential.
  21. tom g from upper ottawa valley, Canada writes: Relatively pure theoretical forms of Democracy and its economic sibling free-market capitalism is sometimes observed to contain a fatal flaw. The flaw is: Who will be the first to take a step to do good works?

    In these systems of extreme competition, there are few rewards for doing what serves the common good, or even doing what is the right thing to do. However, there are huge penalties, and often fatal ones, for failing to meet the limited criteria for success in our culture: In economics, failing to maximize profit and in politics, failing to hold power. Politics and economics, of course, overlap, which renders profit and power and by extension politics and economics pretty much the same thing.

    Even in our patched up systems of democracy and economics, the question remains: Who will be the first to risk a corporation or a government by working for the common good, or simply doing the right thing? Our culture values a limited concept of success above all else.

    So Obama now may be starting to measure up to expectations by taking the first leader to take a step for the common good. It is understandable if the sense of a common good remains a somewhat nationalized sense. I'll go with it despite some recent other steps that don't seem so good at all. Now we need the the economy to be threatened and beaten up enough so that an economic leader takes the first step. We also need Canadian leaders who will take a real first step for the common good rather than just pretend.

    By the way, we the people are owed these first steps for the common good. We have tolerated the excesses of greed and corruption and unconscionable distributions of wealth for decades. We have bailed out the utter failures of our political and economic leaders with our life savings and the futures of our children. We are owed. Get on with it, because there are other political and economics systems.
  22. tom g from upper ottawa valley, Canada writes: Good lord I'm a failure at on-screen proofing. Not so good, but very common.
  23. Stan Hunter from Canada writes: Good article except for the conclusion of two alternatives. Those are the two choices for our conservative government, a myopic response- only type of miss leadership that misses the overall point........

    How about we lead by doing the right thing? Why do we wait and see what the Americans are doing to decide what we should do?

    We are sadly lacking of leadership and this article makes that apparent.
  24. Eliza Grey from Canada writes: If all of this means better air quality from the US floating north I am sure there will be a new fresh air tax for Canadians.
  25. Eliza Grey from Canada writes: Funny, Mr. Dion was viliefied in the last election for proposing a carbon tax and other environmental controls. Now we are getting them via the US whether we want them or not. Hard to be a Cassandra.
  26. J.C. Davies from Canada writes:
    'The American strategy also entails restructuring the domestic automotive industry, with Ford, General Motors and Chrysler mandated to build cars that can compete with their Japanese and European counterparts.'

    How about making cars that people actually want. US dealers are stuck excess inventory of small cars ordered last year when oil prices peaked. As long as gas is 'cheap' people will continue to avoid compacts and sub-compacts.
  27. Yessi Writer from Ottawa, Canada writes: It's our own fault for not taking the initiative to develop our own renewable energy industry. Instead, we sent our greatest minds (and their respective ideas) packing -- and now we're losing out. C'est la vie, you old-fashioned, Canadian government.
  28. Greg Ast from Nanoose Bay, Canada writes: Perhaps some good news in all this - the Canadian plants of Toyota and Honda produce the Corolla, the Matrix, the Civic and the RAV4 which all qualify as the most successful economy, family ( ie sedans with four doors) cars in North America. These plants should be expected to flourish under Obama's legislation.
  29. Tammy Schoep from Canada writes: @Orest Zarowsky: The other companies did get bailouts... or loans... or help.... whatever u want to call it from their own countries... so did most of the companies in the autoindustry, they are all hurting...

    Canada and the US are the only ones that are making a HUGE deal about it and the only ones that are demanding that the wokers (the smallest stakeholders) give back in order to get those loans... And BTW autoworkers in Japan get more compensation for their work then we do here in Canada or in the US...

    It is about time that a Government US or Canada put the health and well being of the many above that of the super rich... Hopefully this New Government will be able to get us out of the economic and environmental disater that the 'Believers in choice, individual freedom, and free markets' have put us in... Drastic Change Needs to Happen NOW!!!!!
  30. Serenity Now from Canada writes: Ya know we could stop being sheep for the almighty dollar for once, and maybe stand up for ourselves.

    I do not see how they can slap penalties in place with a free trade pact in force? And if they do, then they can go get their oil for Iran and Venezuela instead of us.

    Stop being such cowards and stand up for yourself for once.
  31. Tio Pepe from Parry Sound, Canada writes: It's good to see that Obama acts as Canada's Prime Minister as we we currently don't have one!!!
  32. Stephano Daliwal from Canada writes: The Obama administration should be applauded for taking a proactive approach to their energy security as crude oil and other fossil fuel reserves are declining. This is happening against the rise in the prosperity of large Asian economies ( India and China) which is increasing demand.

    The West must create alternatives for the future as the cost for crude oil will be very expensive yet unsustainable. There is also the possibility of major wars being fought to gain access to energy resources ( Iraq is the beginning). Central Asia and Africa are likely to be major conflict areas in the future.

    Obama's plan is positioning the USA for a more sustainable economy.
  33. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: We have no industry left in Canada, it's all been assimilated by the corporate Borg. I would much rather see 4 billion get sunk into a Canadian industry - restart AVRO or something, rather than have all that money handed, no strings attached, to US corporations.
    Bombardier, the corporate welfare case, is still a better investment of Canadian dollars than Chrysler. At least it's Canadian.
  34. P. Frederick from Vancouver, Canada writes: Obama is not building the American economy on realism, he's building it on credit cards.

    His government will run a deficit this year that is currently projected at $1.85 Trillion - in comparative terms that would be a Canadian government deficit of $185 Billion.

    Barry's version of socialist economics that the media so far refuses to acknowledge or criticize will continue until he, like all socialists, runs out of other people's money to spend.

    It will be interesting to see what he does about California, which today or tomorrow will default on its Mt. Everest of debt and be declared bankrupt.

    He bailed out GM and gave Chrysler to his UAW supporters, will be bail out California and give it to his biggest union supporters - the SEIU ?
  35. Lucien Ngenda from writes: Funny you should right this article. However, your conclusion failed to admit one thing: Most of these policies are right for common good.As to Obama high approval rating in Canada(and in the world), don't worry, people know a leader when they see one. And believe me, Canadian know their president is Obama.

    I for one, propose that we demand pay cuts for Canadian ministers because all they will doing the next 4 (possible 8) years is to simply copy&paste Obama's ideas. Then again, it has always been the case.
  36. Dan Green from Palm Beach Gardens FL, United States writes: What we are witnessing, is a movement, to transform, the worlds largest economy, to a welfare state. Currently the administartion has zero opposition. Approval ratings of the President ,indicate the people like what is happening. Universal heathcare is desired, eventhough it is proven to cause rationing. Financial regulation is popular, as we have living proof, Bankers, and Investment Bankers, are not model citizens, who reaped billions within the law. Lastly, no one can argue, with a juiced up, government sponsored, education system. All wonderful ideas. The taxes to pay for it all, will complete the transiston, as it will be legislated. Canadians should be jumping for joy, as many of these policies, mirror image how you run your country. If the little three make it, run by the government and the UAW, your in clover, if they don't build cars people want to buy, bye bye car plants, and car part plants. All our new car plants in the southeast US are in place, and providing the market ,with all the cars required. How exports from the Tar Sands fit into a new energy policy, is anybodys guess. To cap those emmissions is going to be costly, unless Canada gets a pass. Juice your lobbying efforts down here. This Journalist seems well informed.
  37. Durward Saar from Canada writes: Obama is an idiot, this is exactly the same kind of thing that brought down the car companies to begin with, we have been through the small car BS and it's proven most don't want small cars and won't buy them.
    I'll never buy a car from the big three Marxist Motors, Ever.
    Oh and CO2 is a harmless building block of life and has no effect on climate change which has been changing since the dawn of time and always will....It's the Sun stupid.
  38. P Martin from St. John's, Canada writes: Since Harper is barely capable of tying his own shoes, it is not surprising that the future of our country will be determined by others. Good or bad...we have ourselves to blame. When Harper is gone, hopefully soon, things may actually start to get done.
  39. Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary from Canada writes: I don't see what is so dreadful about all this. It has to happen. I agree with Siren Call, about the SUVS. I see lots of them in Calgary, and I find them a huge, huge nuisance. They clog the smaller streets downtown so that you can barely drive down a side street and turn a corner for the gigantic vehicles parked along both sides. Cadillac Escalade is common, Land Rovers, Toyota gigantuas, Hummers, you name it, we've got it.
    I've watched a woman with a couple of little kids trying in vain to find a parking spot at Shoppers for her gigantic Hummer. I ask you -- what the hell does a suburban soccer mom need a Hummer for?? SUVs and big pickups are the bullies of the highway. They pull right up behind you, shine brights in your rear window, and expect you to either speed up a lot -- or move over immediately to the slower lane, whether it's safe to do so or not. I'm fed up with them. Extinct? I hope so. The sooner the better.

    And don't get me started on gigantic peach palaces that are ruining the countryside to the south, the east, and the north of Calgary. Western expansion is stopped by the T'suu T'ina Nations Reserve, but they've raped the landscape right up to that fenceline.

    Cap and trade - we knew it was coming, it had to. All of this, we knew it was coming, it has to come. There is no choice.

    I would love to have Obama for Prime Minister. I'd love to see the Conservatives forced to face the facts and the music when their money spending habits were brought to light.

    However, if we can't have Obama - I'll vote for the person most likely to be able to work with Obama while protecting Canada's interests, and that would be Ignatieff. He has ideas, workable ideas - while all Harper can do is come up with attack ads, and wants us to stay in the old rut where we last saw George Bush.
  40. Charlie Sedarka from This Town, Canada writes: P. Frederick from Vancouver, Canada writes:
    He bailed out GM and gave Chrysler to his UAW supporters, will be bail out California and give it to his biggest union supporters - the SEIU ?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Debate usually entails logic. The conservative government bailed out the car makers here. How are they different from Obama?

    The Fed, under Bush, bought AIG. I hope your assertion isn't that just Barry, as you refer to him, is bad but that they all are otherwise you've lost your argument right out of the box.

    p.s. - A Republican governs California
  41. Les Caine from Canada writes: Things Change!

    There was never a good reason for Canada to sign the proportional sharing of our energy that found its way into Free Trade and subsequently NAFTA. We are committed to supply the United States almost half of our oil and gas. Now we may be forced to pay a environmental premium or in essence penalty for this nonsensical obligation. We are one of the few nations currently blessed with current ability to meet our energy needs if we are careful and use common sense. If necessary, we could cut imports turn pipelines to feed Canadian demand and become a leader in a new green economy.

    I am encouraged to see the United States move toward better conservation and new emphasis on alternatives. If we are forced to live with the cross border consequences of poor management, why not some good?

    We should not build trojan horses for others compromising our sovereignty. On some issues we are already too integrated. On others like the 'America only' stimulus that is currently legal under NAFTA, by state and municipals governments, no fair rules.
  42. Gary Baggey from Bright., Canada writes: I am very pleased with The new USA. President . We have a Superstar leader and that is what this world needs is a real leader. If the Canadian Pupits that we alect was half as good I thing we would be proud to be a Canadian.I am glad the there is some one bigger and better then the Garbage that we elected last October. He thinks like the NDP. He is for the little person for once.He has done more in his first 4 months in power then any gov. has done in this world in the last three hundred years . I hope that in our next election we can let good change sweep our land. Please do not vote Mike or Steven just because it is a family tradition please vote for yourself and your children .Gary Baggey.
  43. Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes: Harold K from Windsor, ON, Canada writes: '... The 'free market' types would rather we wait for the next spike in oil prices or unil the next famine or wave of hurricanes... The so-called free market is poisening the earth -- and your children -- my friends... '

    The problem with using the environment as a driver of social change is that demonstrating the future risk is difficult.

    It is only once the problem is already upon you that many are convinced.

    For me, it was the massive floating island of plastic garbage in the pacific, currently estimated to be the size of the continental US, that really shocked me into understanding the scope of our consumerism.

    I also had the following forwarded to me, and it's quite the eye opener as well.

    http://tinyurl.com/ypzvzf
  44. Charlie Sedarka from This Town, Canada writes: @Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada

    Great, and scary, link
  45. Hydrogen Bob from Canada writes: The sad thing is that we have to rely on US policy to improve Canadian environmental and financial regulations. And please, put a lid on all those individual liberty cries. Even a libertarian agrees that a citizen can not do things that harm other citizens. People can not breathe in Toronto on hot summer days because of the pollution, so the SUV lovers can just go stick it.
  46. J.C. Davies from Canada writes:
    'Philosopher King from Ivory Tower, Canada writes:
    For me, it was the massive floating island of plastic garbage in the pacific, currently estimated to be the size of the continental US, that really shocked me into understanding the scope of our consumerism.'


    Don't believe everything you read. The 'plastic island' in the Pacific is no more real than Atlantis.
  47. Spencer C from Canada writes: If Canadian politicians cannot lead (and I include ALL political parties in that indictment, not just the Conservatives) then why not let someone else do the job.

    Canada has been mired in mediocrity and stagnation for years now, going back to Chretien, talk big, act small...or not at all, that has been the motto here.

    North America society needs a dramatic shift economically, socially and environmentally to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century, if the person with the balls to make that shift happens to be American I say 'so what?'
  48. agent sixtynine from Canada writes: Anyone know where I can find a used Ford Pinto?
  49. rahim ladha from Canada writes: This is no surprise, since the time Martin took over the PM role until now, we have had a disfunctional parliament, the conservatives have not proven to be better Our political parties are more interested in their own political careers then teh greater good of the country. The are a bunch of selfish self centered disfunctional lot who cannot stop bickering and blame game to do what is right for the country. Obama clearly wins as a decisive and activist leader who will shape political future of Canada Who else would do that, Harper is more interested in pleasing his alberta oil company base, and buying middle class voters with targeted tax cuts and programs. Ignatieff and liberals do not have their act straight, do not know where they stand and were ready to sleep with the Bloc few months ago to get to power. Layton with his anti industry outlook, anti middle class outlook easily becomes hostage to immigrants minorities Duceppe, who does not really care as much about Quebec as his own power job, definately has no great good of Canada in heart. Hence clear winner is Obama who will shape Canadian policies But this leaves us vulnerable to issues such as Tar Sands, Food Safety, Artic resources and Trade Too bad we do not have politicians who care about this country more then their own greed for power
  50. J. Kenneth Yurchuk from Toronto, Canada writes: Ibbitson writes: Mr. Obama believes that government should shape the direction of the economy through an industrial strategy, using regulatory measures to constrain market forces while directing investment and consumer spending along desirable paths.

    So the Americans electesd a social democrat. So what. Most of Europe has done quite nicely under those directions, and because Harper and Ignatieff are Yankee Yes men, no matter who's in the white house, we will get NDP policies without going through the actual electing of an NDP government.

    Strangely enough, though, I suspect Jack Layton would defend Canada's sovereignty with more energy than either of the two Quislings running the Libservative Coniberal Party. (See NDP policies on SPP for example)
  51. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: 'Western expansion is stopped by the T'suu T'ina Nations Reserve, but they've raped the landscape right up to that fenceline.'

    Thank god for the Indians, Aboriginals, Natives whatever they call themselves these days. If it wasn't for them the plastic and garbage machine would have consumed every stick and branch in mowing down every Canadian forest.
    Rich a-holes have destroyed cottage country around Algonquin, they chop down 10 acres of bush to plant golf course grass and built their giant McMansions, big old noisy twin 450's motor boat, jet skis, motorcycles roaring around ridden by middle aged biker wannabes, good grief. The idiots immediately set out to destroy everything that attracted them to the land in the first place! Or perhaps they don't care a whit about nature, and only bought the place as a status symbol?
    Mom goes to pick up wood to burn around the 'campfire' in her 89K Hummer.
    The biggest threat to the survival of mankind is his own stupidity.
  52. Tom H from Canada writes: So what? I'd MUCH rather have Obama running my country than Harper.
  53. ah sails from Canada writes: The USA finally were finally forced to elect a progressive leader, it is a good thing for them and the world including us. We've had the opportunity to be progressive and forward thinking with more social will than the USA but lacking the political will and leadership. We're floundering around with a backwards government while Obama leads us into the future, I guess it's better than no direction at all.
  54. Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary from Canada writes: We are entering into an age where everything that we have known as normal and acceptable is being turned on its head. Everything is being called into question; how we get around, where our food is produced, and the absolute consumerism that we have known for decades is finally, thank God, being slowed. Fortunately, there are technologies waiting in the wings for just such a time.

    We could have self-sufficient 'green' cities, where everyone has work within the community, which would make people happier and more productive, and cut down on crime.

    To JC Davies who said there's no plastic island in the ocean -- there is:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/19/SS6JS8RH0.DTL&hw=pacific patch&sn=001&sc=1000

    The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii.

    Marcus Eriksen, director of research and education at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in Long Beach, said his group has been monitoring the Garbage Patch for 10 years.

    'With the winds blowing in and the currents in the gyre going circular, it's the perfect environment for trapping,' Eriksen said. 'There's nothing we can do about it now, except do no more harm.'

    The patch has been growing, along with ocean debris worldwide, tenfold every decade since the 1950s, said Chris Parry, public education program manager with the California Coastal Commission in San Francisco.'
  55. Raymond S from The West, Canada writes:
    Tom H from Canada writes: So what? I'd MUCH rather have Obama running my country than Harper.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What an unbelievably stupid post.
  56. William Tam from Canada writes: Like many socialists before him, Obama is trying to transform the US of A into his utopia and he is doing this by relentlessly expanding the role of government. He wouldn't have been able to do this when Americans were more confident. His next goal might be even more ambitious. How about eliminating poverty by offering a job with the government to everyone who applies and paying them a decent salary so they can all live decently, like a minimum wage of $30 an hour with pension. Don't have the money? Just print more!
  57. Stan L from Canada writes: I think we need to give Canadians a bit more credit than this editaorial gives. Obama is indeed a great leader.....for the US. He appears to have given a lot of these issues some considered thought and is tenacious in his 'follow-through'. I to admire that....but make no mistake, I don't suffer the illusion that what he is doing is necessarily good for Canada, in fact i don't think he has given a moments consideration to Canada in any of his recent plans (border, emission standards, environment, the arctic, etc...)

    Just because we have a vacuum of leadership, original thought, vision and honesty of execution in the PMO doesn't mean that we are willing to forgo our sovereignty to the neighbour next door.
  58. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: Great story on the garbage vortex. What a sad legacy we are going to leave - extincted by our own waste.
    Stupid old dinosaurs survived much longer as a species than we ever will.
  59. Richard Melville from Calgary, Canada writes: Relax folks, we're almost a colony again. This being a country thing was just too scary.
  60. Elizabeth Montgomery from Calgary from Canada writes: It's ironic that the ancient Irish believed that the dead went to Summerland - to the west of Ireland, and the 'Isles of the Blest'. Eternal summer, lots to eat, no such thing as heaven or hell.

    I suppose you could say that the 'blest' are us, with our privileged livestyles, and the 'Isles of' is the mess we've left floating behind us.

    I think every human being should have to several times in his or her lifetime make a voyage (chartered?) to this island, and bring back at least a green garbage bag full of crap to be recycled at home.

    It impacts wildlife - a turtle has been caught in a plastic snare for its whole life, which has distorted its shell to a figure 8 shape; and fish end up eating the stuff, with bits of plastic lodging in their flesh.
  61. gary wilson from writes: Ibbitson's article assumes there exists some more favorable alternative to
    reducing carbon dependence. Reducing carbon dependence is a must for the US and for Canada. In order to accomplish this, there are no better alternatives to restructuring the domestic automotive industry, and to setting standards on fuel efficiency and emissions. Granted a carbon tax is likely more efficient and effective than a cap-and-trade system, but they both serve the same purpose. The greenhouse-gas-spewing oil sands has to become one big question mark because it is unsustainable as is. We are kidding ourselves to think we can carry on status quo and the Alberta and Federal governments have been foolish to believe they could. One big question mark does not have to read 'shut-down.' It only means we have to adjust. Adjust in all the same ways we knew we had to 20 years ago. It's catch up time.

    Ibbison's claim that 'despite all this, Canadians still continue their infatuation with Barack Obama' is misleading. It's 'because of all this, Canadians still continue their infatuation with Barack Obama.' This is the reason. He has the political will and courage our Canadian politicians are completely devoid of.
  62. Joel Parkes from Peterborough, Canada writes: Cap and trade system. Reducing our addiction to carbon based fuels. Curtailing credit card companies exorbitant rates. Shutting down the poisonous tar sands. What's the problem here? Why does this article read as if all of these are bad things?
  63. Robin M from Canada writes: Too bad we don't have a Prime Minister that is open with Canadians and our media, as Obama is with Americans, especially those who don't agree with him - i.e. his visit to Notre Dame last Sunday and how his commencement speech left those who opposed his visit with egg on their face..

    The Q & A with Obama
    By Jon Meacham | NEWSWEEK
    Published May 16, 2009
    From the magazine issue dated May 25, 2009 is an interesting read..

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/197891?tid=relatedcl
  64. Canada 1 from Montreal, Canada writes: William Tam from Canada writes: Like many socialists before him, Obama is trying to transform the US of A into his utopia and he is doing this by relentlessly expanding the role of government

    Well, we are witnessing the unchecked disaster capitalism at its
    best, so what exactly do you propose?
    Same old, steady as she goes?
    This economic fiasco will be ever present for years to come, with hundreds of millions of people around the world loosing their employment.

    Sorry, not going to work for decades to come. The US consumer is
    'maxed out', what ever assets (house, stocks) he/she
    have accumulated have lost 40% or more..........so.....
    'markets know best' kind of solution is not part of the
    evolving scenario.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  65. Wall Flower from Canada writes: Ibbitson got it all wrong. Obama is doing what we Canadians should have done a long time ago. Stephane Dion's words of warning on this are ringing clearly in my ears on this issue.

    Expect the EU to come up with even more stringent trade policies than the Americans on this.

    We could have been the leaders. Instead, tarred and feathered Dion all the way to the backbench of Parliament and re-elected an idiot who still thinks that climate change is a fairy tale.

    We Canadians deserve everything that is sure to come our way...
  66. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: We have a trash vortex in Canada too, called Toronto, but it spews trash out rather than sucking it in.
  67. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: Wall Flower from Canada writes:

    'Ibbitson got it all wrong. Obama is doing what we Canadians should have done a long time ago. Stephane Dion's words of warning on this are ringing clearly in my ears on this issue.'

    Spare everyone your drivel.

    Dion was interested in generating revenue to fund his anti-poverty drivel and not much else.
  68. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: There is nothing worse for Canada's sovereignty, or for its economic interests, than an activist American president and a compliant Congress.

    That does not matter in the least. Canadian progressives could care less what is good for Canada. They are all about whether something looks and feels progressive. If it is politically fashionable - as any attempt to curtail greenhouse gasses is bound to be - then it's wonderful. If it comes out of Obama's mouth, it's wonderful. Forget Canada. Progressives are out to save the world.
  69. wwww bbbbb from Toronto, Canada writes: FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hate to break it to you Johnny, but this is the kind of leadership that Canadians have been looking for. Cap and trade, higher emissions standards on cars and limits on how deep in your pockets a credit card company can go are real changes that progressive Canadians have been looking for.

    Canadian industries will need to adjust to the new reality, shame on them if they don't start taking steps now.
  70. mike sty the Coalition Centrist from Canada writes: Rather than leading.......the Harper CONservatives are followers.

    Canada's (still) Minority....not getting the job done
  71. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: Wall Flower got it 100 percent right. The Canadian electorate chose a policy wonk who somehow put people more at ease than Dion did. As has been noted recently, Mr. Dion made the mistake of emphasizing the fight on poverty with his environmental plan. And even there, it wasn't so much of a mistake; the perceived mistake was pounced on and the rest is history. Another effect of Mr. Dion's time as Liberal leader: the electorate seems to approve more of the other policy wonk as the one who can lead us through the crisis. Figure that one out. A policy wonk with three years of dubious achievements as PM is the hero, sort of. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is our de facto leader. Good. But we will never get free of the economic grid joining us all together until some pivotal event occurs: new technology or catastrophe.
  72. Wall Flower from Canada writes: 'I hate to break it to you Johnny, but this is the kind of leadership that Canadians have been looking for. Cap and trade, higher emissions standards on cars and limits on how deep in your pockets a credit card company can go are real changes that progressive Canadians have been looking for.'

    How I wish that were true but it isn't. If we were indeed looking for such leadership, Dion would be our PM right now.

    Any hope of having a Canadian PM with the cajones to present us with such policies died on October 14, 2008.
  73. David Smith from Toronto, Canada writes: In Mr Ibbotson's list of Obama actions, it would appear that Canada's governments...that's plural....seem to have foisted upon them measures they should have passed anyway but lacked the political will to do so.

    Peter Lucas from langley, Canada writes: Excellent article, I think. Canadian NDPers and left-of-center types should be happy for the next four, maybe eight years. Believers in choice, individual freedom, and free markets have to put up with it.

    Actually Peter, my guess is that we'll be happier for a far longer period. There is the little matter of peace, order and good government that we Cannucks have long preferred to excessive definitions of 'choice, individual freedom and free markets'.
  74. Robin M from Canada writes: Joel Parkes from Peterborough, Canada writes: 'Cap and trade system. Reducing our addiction to carbon based fuels. Curtailing credit card companies exorbitant rates. Shutting down the poisonous tar sands. What's the problem here? Why does this article read as if all of these are bad things?'

    Joel, it seems many posters appear to view Obama through their own ideological lens, which is fine... and unfortunately their views won't change, even though the last few decades of de-regulation and outlandish greed and consumerism very nearly toppled the world economies..

    Enforcing standards and regulations on fuel is a good thing, so is reining in the Credit Card companies, as they will not freely do this themselves. Focusing on better education, and health care, introducing an energy and climate change policy is a good thing.. But those who oppose Government intervention and would rather let the free-markets remain, a free market that brought the world financial markets to its knees, may try and think about, given the enormity of crisises Obama inherited, what other alternative does Obama have, as he tries to save America's economic hide..
  75. Brian Jones from Vancouver,BC, Canada writes: What most people fail to realize is the social cost carbon taxes will have on the economy. There are a lot of countries in Europe that rely on smokestack industries for the livelihood. This is also true in Canada and many parts of the United States. Last week we had a preview of what’s in store when the Steel workers in Europe rioted when the steel mill was shut down temporarily until demand picked up.
  76. Richard ay from Canada writes: Reading a lot of the responses on this board, I wonder how many of you B.O. policy promoters have given any attention to the fact that the most profitable way to a 35.5 mpg average, is to lighten the already light vehicle even more.
    It has been reported that 'The National Academy of Sciences has linked mileage standards with about 2,000 deaths per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every 100 pound reduction in the weight of small cars increases annual traffic fatalities by as much as 715'.
    This equates to, '...a cost of $35-million per day in human lives to save $1-million in gas'.
    As a senior with hip and knee problems, I'll take the ease of entering and exiting an SUV, over that exercise being almost impossible in the low-slung cars of today, and even lower & more cramped cars of tomorrow.
  77. Comments closed, censored, hidden, deleted, disappeared from Peso-onie land, Canada writes: 'When it comes to the Canadian economy, Obama may as well be PM...' --- Well... he is! In absentia, of course, but in actual fact, he is. --- And our lot in power follows suit, with pathetic baaaaaaaaaaaa's and meeeeeeeeeeeeehs, for all the world to see!
  78. Jake Richardson from Canada writes: 'Barack Obama has more influence over your life and your job than Stephen Harper does.'

    Good. I like Obama and his policies a heck of a lot more than Lord Harper.
  79. JP Warwick from Canada writes: I bet Canadians never thought they'd look back on the GWBush years as the good'ole days...

    You know, before the current guy bankrupted us with protectionist measures damaging to Canada and other trade partners (trade agreements will probably mean as little as US laws to Obama.) Canadians like to accuse Bush of wanting to tear up the constitution while Obama has just came in and got on with the shredding.

    Bush: Bad for Iraq.
    Obama: Bad for everyone else and especially Canada.
  80. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Phil King, that floating island of garbage is a massive problem, and is being almost ignored. Overfishing is also a massive problem, and government health departments are out there telling people to eat more fish. Here in Ottawa the allegedly 'green' councilors want to run a train right through the Ottawa River Parkway. Trees in the way? Cut 'em down. Who cares about a few acres of park when you're saving the world? Unfortunately, environmental policy seems to focus almost exclusively on climate change, because that's where the activists and the media focus. If we halted climate change tomorrow, none of the big problems would go away. People don't seem to realize world ecosystems face very immediate danger from garbage, pollution and habitat loss. By comparison, climate change is a maybe-someday threat. And I'm convinced that's exactly why governments are so gung ho on fighting climate change - the results of any policies will never be apparent - so any old policy can be called a success. If they can announce that a particular initiative reduced GHGs by X number of tonnes, it's considered a great thing. Never mind that it won't make any discernible difference to the climate. The 'fight' against climate change allows for endless obfuscation. Governments can spend a few billion on windmills, subsidize some hybrid cars, trade some carbon credits, and people feel good because they think the problem is being solved. The reality is, garbage, pollution, habitat loss and species extinction are a threat right now, and they're not being dealt with. Yet these problems, if we focused on them, have a far greater potential to be solved. I'm not sure exactly when the concept of 'conservation' got completely divorced from the environmental movement, but it's a bloody shame that it did.
  81. Brian Jones from Vancouver,BC, Canada writes: Alistair, I couldn't agree with you more.
  82. Brian Jones from Canada writes: Alistair, I couldn't agree with you more.
  83. Brian Jones from Canada writes: Alistair, I couldn't agree with you more.
  84. Brian Jones from Canada writes: Alistair, I couldn't agree with you more.
  85. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: I like how some of you are tying in the fight against credit card interest with the environment, as though they are both 'progressive' causes that go hand-in-hand. You do realize that lower credit card rates will encourage more credit-driven consumption don't you? And that mindless, credit-driven consumption is the very anathema of environmental progress? You knew that right?

    If you want to change the world, you need to quit contradicting yourselves. Cheaper credit and the environment - two things that DO NOT go together.
  86. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin

    Bang on.

    The problem with 'environmentalists' is that they're watermelons. Green on the outside, red on the inside. If they cared about conservation, they'd be focused on habitat loss, oceans, forests, chemicals spewing out into our air, land and waterways, etc. Instead, they're throwing a fit about plant food and demanding world government and wealth redistribution to the corrupt dictators of the third world.

    They're back-door socialists trying to rebrand their failed marxist policies which fail at the ballot box.
  87. Just Courious from Vancouver Island, Canada writes: This editorial:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/2009239073_edita20cars.html

    offers some interesting details....
  88. J.C. Davies from Canada writes:
    'Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Phil King, that floating island of garbage is a massive problem, and is being almost ignored. '

    It's being ignored because it doesn't exist!
  89. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Brian Jones, are you saying you agree with me? Your endorsement(s) seems rather lukewarm. :)
  90. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Brian Jones, are you saying you agree with me? Your endorsement(s) seems rather lukewarm. :)
  91. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: JP Warwick, I wouldn't go that far in criticizing environmentalists. (Though I certainly used to. I'm more generous now.) Some are exactly what you say. But most honestly believe that climate change is the be-all and end-all for saving the planet, and that all available resources must be thrown at it. They also believe, naively, that climate change is directly linked to every other problem. Habitat loss? Well, that's because of desertification caused by climate change. Soil erosion? Well that's because of drought, caused by climate change. Invasive species? Well, they're moving into higher latitudes because of climate change. All those linkages may exist to a point. But the fact remains, if climate change stopped tomorrow, ALL those problems would still be there, and they'd STILL be getting worse. And pouring all our resources into fighting climate change means ignoring the rest. The green crowd tries to square that circle by linking it all back to climate change, and playing up the tangential benefits of climate change policy (modest decreases in particulate air pollution for example). The media plays along, and the vicious circle continues.
  92. Spencer C from Canada writes: The fact that an American president has more influence over Canada than our own PM is not news.

    So why is it such a big deal now? At least the changes are progressive ones.

    Did Bush not influence Canada's economy when he helped trigger the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression?

    Did Bush not influence Canada when he went in Afghanistan?

    Did Bush not influence Canada when he decided to tighten the border?

    Did Bush not influence Canada when he ignored NAFTA rulings and imposed duties on Canadian goods?

    NEWS FLASH: ANY AMERICAN PRESIDENT IS GOING TO HAVE TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE OVER CANADA!

    I'll take better fuel economy standards, a cleaner environment, a transformed, cutting edge green economy and a more rational foreign policy over wars, recessions and fear tactics any day.
  93. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: JC Davies, it most certainly does exist. This isn't some phantom-possible-maybe-future threat like climate change. This is real garbage. You can scoop it out of the water and hold it in your hands. You can see it floating on the surface. And like an iceberg, what's floating on the surface is only 10% of what's there.
  94. Ron McAllister from Toronto, Canada writes: 99% of Scientists believe Green house gases are causing the planet's temperature to rise. I guess if you are smarter than these folks then your mind can't be changed. But if you believe GHG's need to be brought under control, for the sake of the planet's health then how can you not applaud Obama? It is amusing to see the right-wing nuts go on about Obama's 'socialism!' These would have been the same alarmists who thought the 'red scare' of communism was about to take over the US during McCarthy’s reign of error. Just one question to the free market thinkers; how'd your deregulated, laisse-faire capitalism work out for you during Bush's time in office? With peak oil about to force us to change our ways it is about time an adult stepped into the leadership void we've had to put up with in Canada now for the last 6 years. It is time to see the Black Swans folks, Baby Jesus is not going to save you.
  95. M Sakel from Hogtown, Canada writes: Oh, please, Mr. Ibbitson! You're a great journalist and we love you. But......
    Methinks, sir, you must have picked up already and applied for a Permanent Residence application to make the U.S. of A your home and native land!

    No way on Earth, Heaven or Pettawawa Obama should be called by anyone still retaining their legal Canadian identity and/or citizenship 'the President ' of the land of Pearson, Lewis, Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Diefenbaker or Joe Clark!

    Our friendly neighbours south of the border are wonderful, but, hey, we're entitled to our own politicians--even though some of them lately have attempted to legally change our country's name from 'Canada' to the 'Banana Republic of the North'.

    And at least, in this Parliamentary democracy we live in, we never have to see locksmiths unemployed, eh?
  96. J M M from Canada writes: Ibbitson--when did you change your mind---re: Obama etc.
  97. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Ron McAllister from Toronto, Canada writes: 99% of Scientists believe Green house gases are causing the planet's temperature to rise.

    Yup. To a lefty, to say it makes it true. Facts notwithstanding.

    Your numbers came from your backside. You can't get 99% of scientists to agree on the time of day. Nor should you try.

    What you mean to say is that the IPCC misrepresented the work of 99% of the very small number of people who contributed work that made it into the report and claimed to speak for everyone. You may also mean that 99% of scientists fear repercussions to their grants and careers if they dare speak out against this contrived, false and forced 'consensus.'

    The UN lying about what scientists have said isn't science. It's propaganda designed to get their way and our money for their agenda.

    The truth is that every day more and more 'real scientists' are finding their courage and speaking out. Just because the Media has chosen to ignore (or libel) all who dissent from the agenda doesn't mean they don't exist and it certainly doesn't mean anyone who disagrees is a toady of Exxon.
  98. Lester M from Canada writes: The time has come for us to end our dependency on US trade - it was an easy market in the past, but if they add new regulations on oil imports, we should build the pipelines to the west coast and let Asia know we are OPEN for business.
  99. J M M from Canada writes: The New World Order has control over Obama as they had with all the other Presidents(since J. Kennedy) in the USA. Google N.W.O
  100. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Ron McAllister, Bush 'deregulated'? Have you ever heard of Sarbanes-Oxley? Probably the most onerous regulatory burden ever ushered in by a US president? Google it sometime. By the way, even free-market economists don't use the term laissez-faire anymore, because it doesn't exist anywhere in the world.
  101. A. S. from Canada writes: Culturally speaking, Mr. Ibbitson could just move to the United States. Better do it before the border closes!
  102. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Alistair Everything Ron learned he learned from bad, marxist bumper stickers. I mean, the guy is still dragging out 'peak oil theory' which, since he didn't know was supposed to be the 1980's, seems a bit out of date. You could also point out the democrats ran the house and senate for Bush's second term and that Bush couldn't pass a bill declaring the sky blue without the dems permission. Even the NYT had stories about various GOP politicians complaining about how out of control fannie and freddie were and the dangers of sub-prime loans. Of course, the NYT was using this as evidence of racismů Fannie and Freddie were run by Clinton appointees. Janet Reno threatened to dust off Carter's CRA to force the banks to dramatically increase sub-prime loans. Obama sued Citigroup on behalf of ACORN because they weren't giving out ENOUGH sub-prime loans. But it's all Bush's faultů Even McCain (also not known for his economic brilliance) warned about this mess. Barney Frank threw a fit. After all, Frank was being very well paid to support and defend sub-prime idiocy. To a leftard, you don't just blame Bush for HIS failings (which were many,) you have to also deflect any blame from yourself by inventing wholly fictional accounts of how Bush is responsible for all of their failings as well. Leftards live in a dream world where their every wish is truth.
  103. Leslie Malcolm from Mississauga, Canada writes: This world cannot even clean up its garbage: world-wide, soot-spewing, coal-fired plants; cities like Vancouver, Montreal & Quebec City (imagine what's going on in India, China & the developing world) putting raw sewage into rivers & oceans; non-bio-degradable 'stuff' becoming a blight on the landscape & filling up waterways and land-fills.

    So dealing with GHG's, beyond being unnecessary (I'll stop believing otherwise when planet Mars stops mimicking Earth's climate change), is going to be an absolute mug's game. The Nordic countries are starting to understand the folly of cap-'n-trade. Like Russia's democratization process, when people wake up from the hangover of the GHG-ending bender, there will be a few rich beneficiaries and a few billion economic losers. And it won't save, or condemn the life of a single great, great grandchild of the world's now-youngest generation.

    It is ironic, isn't it, that Canada's most fervent nationalists were orgiastic over the ascendency of Obama. We'll be seeing a lot of suicides (or at least much temporizing and dissembling) from this group when Obama's USA-first programs force Canada into an economic union with Uncle Sam.
  104. Gerald McIvor from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Just watch now...Canadians will start talking about the carbon tax that Harper and his crew villianized Dion for and when the Conservatives smell votes, they will embrace the carbon tax shamelessly.....this government has no vision or plan...they are putting us into a massive deficit...WHERE IS THE RECOVERY PLAN STEPHEN HARPER????? ARE YOU GONNA LEAVE US IN A PERMANENT DEFICIT?? OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL PAY FOR YOUR LUST FOR POWER!!!!
  105. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: JP, Bush earned all the scorn heaped on him and then some. But you're correct in that there's plenty of blame to go around. The problems in the US - in western economies in general - go far beyond Bush, far beyond the Republicans, and far beyond American policy. But when you try to point out that Obama and the activist Dems in Congress are merely aggravating some of those problems with even more destructive policies, well, you must be a Bush-loving neanderthal. John Ibbitson is just pointing out the obvious here. If Canadians thought Bush was bad, they haven't seen anything yet. If Obama and his enablers in Congress get their way, North America is going to take one hell of an economic hit, and Canada is going to suffer disproportionately.
  106. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: As per your headline, so was Clinton and Bush, Canadians didn't want to admit it.

    Our prosperity is tied to the US economy so we depend on policies and regulations in the US to ensure our prosperity continues, with autos as the most obvious example because nobody else in the world wants Canadian built autos. We can sell our resources elsewhere, although perhaps at lower prices.

    One of the few time that Canada had the lead was during Reagan, when the US President saw Canada's lead on air quality as a way to assist the US.
  107. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes:
    Lester M from Canada writes: 'The time has come for us to end our dependency on US trade - it was an easy market in the past, but if they add new regulations on oil imports, we should build the pipelines to the west coast and let Asia know we are OPEN for business.'

    Yeah; that will work. Crude oil is a fungible commodity. Does it occur to you that Canadian producers sell to refiners in the northern tier of the US because it's mutually beneficial? If an Albertan producer decides to sell to China via a pipeline to the BC coast he will find that the shipping/transport cost of his product has increased dramatically c/w selling to a refinery in Chicago or Montana.

    The Chinese may buy this oil; however, the American refiner will get his oil elsewhere... via the barrels that the Chinese are no longer buying so that they can buy this Canadian oil via a BC terminal.

    The Canadian has no benefit, and maybe a loss. The global economy is less efficient. Do we really believe this is desirable?

    Do people really think through any of these nonsense nationalist nostrums?
  108. J.C. Davies from Canada writes:
    'Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: JC Davies, it most certainly does exist. This isn't some phantom-possible-maybe-future threat like climate change. This is real garbage. You can scoop it out of the water and hold it in your hands. You can see it floating on the surface.'

    Where's the evidence that it exists? If it's the the size of the continental USA (as asserted in prior comment by Philospher King) it woud be visible from space and could be phtographed by satellites.
  109. Shawn Bull from Canada writes: Obama is very dangerous. The US, and sadly Canada, will be paying for his massive spending and socialist views for years to come.
  110. JP Warwick from Canada writes: J.C. Davies

    Google is your friend. This took me 15 seconds by googling 'garbage in the ocean':

    '...Eastern Garbage Patch. The patch, you see, isn’t well understood. People think it&8217;s like a solid mass of trash you&8217;d find at a dump site (I&8217;ve been asked: &8220;Can you walk on it?&8221; &8220;Can you land a plane on it?&8221;), but it&8217;s really diffuse, like &8220;plastic soup,&8221; as Moore describes it.

    But don&8217;t for a second think that its mass isn&8217;t substantial. Its sprawl may cover an area as much as one and a half times? the size of the United States, Moore says, and to a depth of 100 feet, if not deeper. But because this rubbish is in the ocean, it drifts. Fragments peel off here and there; some of it drops to the ocean floor. Even for those who do understand the makeup of the garbage patch, its effect on the marine ecosystem is as yet largely unknown.'

    Questions?
  111. F. T. from Somewhere in the Sonora, Canada writes: Sure would be nice if we had a strong and competent government of our own to tackle these issues.

    We can move along with the times or drop anchor and 'Diefenbaker' our way in to obsolescence.

    All eyes on you, Harper. Just once, make me proud... I won't hold my breath.
  112. Andres Suarez from Toronto, Canada writes: I was surprised at the tone of this article. It appears that Ibbitson and I have been reading about the same REFORMS in the U.S. that are being brought in by Obama, yet Mr. Ibbitson is somehow alarmed by these developments. Emmissions standards? Limiting a credit card company's ability to arbitrarily change interest rates without notice? These things are scary to Mr. Ibbitson? Mr. Ibbitson seems to continue to latch on to antiquated views that the free market can regulate all and should not be interfered with. This is precisely what got us into this financial mess. Mr. Obama didn't swoop in and take over GM & Chrystler in some communist nationalist grab. These companies were bankrupt. And they were bankrupted by their own folly in continuing to invest in bigger and less fuel efficient vehicles while their more sucessful competitors actually listened to consumer demand. The national emmissions standards will force the dinosaurs at the U.S. car companies to get their act together and produce the vehicles that their customers want. And since when is it 'protectionist' for a country to impose tariffs on vehicles that don't meet emissions standards? I believe that an economist could properly look at that as simply demanding that U.S. consumers pay for the full cost of their vehicles rather than pass on the costs to their neighbours. Vehicles with low emississions standards create sizable costs for society in terms of healthcare costs and environmental costs. It is sheer capitalism to demand that the consumer pay for the full costs of his/her purchase. The bottom line is this: the rest of the Western world going in this direction, whether we like it or not. We can reap the economic benefits of establishing ourselves as leaders in these areas or we can be late adopters and straggle behind the world economy.
  113. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: J.C. Davies from Canada, Alistair McLaughlin is mainly correct but it is not a continuous may but an area with a high concentration. Man, with existing technologies, could clean up the floating garbage but society is not willing to give up their collective lattes to pay for it.

    Below is the wikipedia discussion:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GreatPacificGarbage_Patch
  114. Harold K from Windsor, ON, Canada writes: I suggest folks also read Jeffrey Simpson's (much better) article on this change in public policy -- which he applauds, and does not interpret at American hegemeny per say...

    I generally like Mr. Ibbitson's columns, but he is significantly off-base this time... (perhaps because he is all over the map in terms of his political and economic views -- once portraying Obama's intervention in the banks as Soviet-style governing)

    Cheers.
  115. 4Cryin Outloud from Canada writes: Anyone that stops to think for only a few minutes can see that the future is in going back to a more self-sufficient lifestyle and a more self-sufficient country. Globalization will die as soon as oil is too costly and in my opinion that will happen within the next 5 years. We as individuals need to start taking care of ourselves (like starting 10 years ago) and if we don't have a government that is looking our for Canada the same way that Obama is looking out for the US of A then we have to admit we have no government at all.

    Aside from corporate bailouts I agree with most of what Obama is doing for the US of A. But, Harper has become a 'Me too' opportunist. He did it with the Liberals and the NDP's ideas and he'll do it with Obama's as he is bereft of any of his own. He is best at claiming victory while riding the coattails of better men than himself and at the same time spending party donations smearing those he emulates for good measure.

    The really annoying thing about having the President of the corporate ruled US of A running Canada is that it confirms our vote really is worth sh!t and our politicians likewise.
  116. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Canada exports 1/3 of its GDP; 1/3 of that is to the U.S. So we're talking about 10% of Canadian output sold to the U.S., which is marginal.

    The only reason to export something is to buy stuff with the proceeds. Canada accordingly benefits from its trade; otherwise trade wouldn't occur. So look elsewhere for problems.

    This entire discussion focuses on the U.S. Many commenters here seem unaware that Canada's domestic economy is inefficient. A concentration of ownership restricts competition and innovation. The distribution system is poorly developed.

    I'll never forget living in Ottawa and buying a CCM hockey helmet from an online warehouse in California for 35% less than I could find it from any seller in Canada. This, despite the fact that the helmet in California was manufactured in Ontario less than 200 km from my house, shipped to California and then back cross-country to my brother's house in Upstate NY. Yet it cost 50% more at Sport Mart down the street.

    Canadians pay ~ 25% more than Americans for everything they buy. This flows from poor productivity and inefficiency, which lowers wages and living standards for all Canadians.

    I lived in Canada for seven of the past 12 years until last year and worked as businessman there. Canadians have to drop this obsession with the bogeyman U.S. puppet master. Physicians refer to this malady as fixating on an 'external locus of control.' Until Canadians take responsibility and examine the tremendous institutional deficiencies that make the economy inefficient their standard of living will continue to lag.

    I'm not talking about Canada lagging the U.S., which is irrelevant. I'm talking about it lagging where it should be objectively (with no reference to any other nation) given the tremendous talent, educational attainment and natural endowments that Canadians enjoy.
  117. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Andres Suarez, precisely what aspect of the 'free market' got us into this mess? You mean the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? You mean the enormous regulatory monster called Sarbanes-Oxley? I'm not saying regulatory reform isn't necessary, because it is. And I'm not saying the 'free market' is always the answer because it isn't. In fact, the recklessness of the central banks - in allowing the money supply to be dictated by the market demand for cheap credit - is one aspect of the 'free market' we should certainly do away with. But before we start regulating, we'd better understand precisely what regulation is needed. If we simply run around regulating everything because 'the free market has proven itself a failure', or some similar platitudinous nonsense, we'll destroy the rest of the economy. Attacking credit card interest rates, for example, is about as destructive a policy as you can have. Cheap credit is largely what created this mess. And your solution is to compel lower lending rates on credit cards??? You may wish to reconsider.

    J C Davies, I never said the garbage vortex is one continuous mass. Referring to it as an 'island' is a figure of speech. Like I said, 90% is not even visible on the surface. Much of it is just chunks of plastic that are less than 1 cm squared. Much of it is stray fish netting lurking just beneath the surface. Try using Google once in awhile.
  118. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: The Detroit 3 have produced the type of vehicle that the public wanted, which is why the Asian companies have also got into half tons, cross overs and SUVs. The problems with the Detroit 3 is loss of market share due to the poor quality of their product and to the lack of foresight to conserve cash and improve distribution. All markets are cyclical but the Detroit 3 have not been able to withstand the down cycle. GM still sells a lot of cars, especially to fleets, but can no longer make money at the present costs. Toyota is also losing money, but has reduced production costs and can still borrow to survive through the downturn.

    The Detroit 3's biggest problem will be regaining sales, since most young people believe that the quality is so poor that they will pay more for the same vehicle from an Asian or European manufacturer. BMWs and Toyotas have always cost more than similar Detroit vehicles but people still buy them.

    Obama's intensity based fuel use for vehicles will not save the Detroit manufacturers. An improved economy is Detroit's only chance. I think the intensity based fuel standards are a good idea and within the rights of the US government, but only Honda, Volkswagon and Toyota can meet the standards at this time. I am disappointed that Obama did not imposed fuel use intensity targets on trucks, especially to move the transport of goods off the road and back on to rail/'water and to make SUVs and half tons more expensive and more efficient.
  119. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Andrew Gillespie, you're half right. Yes, approximately 30% of our GDP comes from trade (both imports and exports - yes imports also contribute to our economy, that's why it's called trade). But 80% of that trade is with the US. 80% of 30% means that 24% of our economy is directly derived from trade with the US. We cannot replace that overnight. In fact, we cannot replace that at all. The US also benefits enormously from trade with Canada. If Obama and Congress can't see that, just wait until they slam the door on Canadian energy exports - they'll find out soon enough just how beneficial that relationship is. Or was.
  120. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Sask Res, you're bang on with that. The Big 3 aren't in trouble because they didn't make enough fuel efficient vehicles. People didn't want fuel efficient vehicles, they wanted big trucks and SUVs. (For example, the Ford F-150 half-ton broke the all-time record for single-month vehicle sales in July of 2005; the same month that gasoline first reached $1.00 per litre in Canadian cities.) The problem was that even when the Big 3 all had record sales, they were still losing money. Their operations were so bloated, so inefficient, their costs so far out of control, their management so poor, that even in a booming economy, they couldn't make a profit. What did they expect would happen when the economy tanked? Many of the cuts and consolidations they're making now should have been made back when the economy was healthy. Had they done that, they wouldn't be needing bailouts now.
  121. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Andrew Gillespie, I agree with the rest of your post completely. We need to increase internal efficiencies. That means removing trade barriers between the provinces as an absolute starting point, and going from there.
  122. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: Harold K from Windsor, ON, Canada wrote: 'I suggest folks also read Jeffrey Simpson's (much better) article on this change in public policy'

    Good one, I almost thought you were serious. I sometimes miss obvious sarcasm.

    As you imply, Ibbitson's article is disjointed but Simpson's is just an off the dirty floor stinker. Remember, Simpson is just trying to sell his book and electioneer for his favourite party. He is clueless on anything technically related.
  123. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes:
    Alistair McLaughlin from Canada:
    You're correct. 80% of Canadian exports go to the US and this amounts to ~ 22% of GDP for 2006, which is the latest year for which scrubbed OECD data are available. 1/3 of US exports got to Canada, which is the figure I had in mind.

    However, Canadian imports from the U.S. don't figure into this discussion. Is anyone in the U.S likely to restrict exports to Canada? Of course not. That's what trade demogoguery is all about... raise barriers to keep out competitive imports while continuing to export.

    Your broader point seems to be that Canadians fear that Obama will restrict imports from Canada. I agree, that's what I told people for the past two years. It's why he is so terrible for all of us.

    However, the entire point is that trade is mutually beneficial; otherwise it wouldn't occur. I rarely heard a Canadian praise free trade when I lived in Canada. Most Canadians seemed not to realize that NAFTA was not about free trade; it was about protecting large producer interests while nominally lowering trade barriers. My CCM helmet example demonstrates what a joke free trade is for the Canadian retail sector.

    And your oft-repeated threat that if the U.S. raises trade barriers Canadian energy producers will take their ball and go home.. well, see my comment to Lester M at 1:41 p.m. It's just shifting tiles around on the board... a waste of time and energy but with no effect beyond raising prices for a few and lowering profits.

    No Canadian producer ever will benefit from that. It's just beggar-thy-neighbour idiocy of the sort that exacerbated the Great Depression.

    Perhaps you and I can agree that unrestricted trade between Canada and the US would benefit our citizens most. Unfortunately, Obama holds the opposite view. We can only hope his tenure is short and ineffective.
  124. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: No mention in the article or in the threads, that lots of voters in North America depend on the auto industry in one way or another. These voters are important to politicians since their phony baloney jobs depend on being voted in. So saving the lousy Detroit companies are about jobs and votes. Neither government is concerned about economic efficiency or the environment but being elected or staying elected, maybe getting a majority.

    A poor statement about our democracy?
  125. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Canada:

    Actually, I should qualify my final comment. I don't believe that Obama has any sort of systematic philosophy regarding economics, trade, or anything else. He seems all about the accrual and exercise of raw power, in a way that so far reminds me more of Nixon than of any other U.S president since.

    That's what concerns me. He has a stable of economists who tell him flat out that free trade promotes prosperity and peace. In fact, he has made positive steps toward a pact with Colombia that the Democratic Congress has been stonewalling for quite a while.

    However, where trade with Canada is concerned, as in other areas, he reminds me of an intimidating baseball pitcher on the mound. He's got a wicked fastball that he's capable of controlling. Unfortunately, he understands the power of making the batter in the box wonder when a wild pitch aimed at the head will occur.

    (Sorry; the apposite hockey analogy eludes me... perhaps the intermittent reinforcement that anticipating a vicious boarding provides.)

    I pity Harper, Ignatieff, or anyone else who has to deal with him.
  126. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: 'Obama may as well be PM'
    Lol, wellll , if we had government that actually wanted to do the job required.....

    We are creative people and we do have alot of recyclable materials and garbage lying around.
    and as much as Harper is going to scream and yell about teh carbon tax, we are going to need it for that is something we do have and can contribute to the overall system ,
    Combine the several methods and cushions , cap and trade, carbon tax....

    we are in this world together and we all need a bit of kick in the butt to get going and spark that light of energy, saving life.

    We need a different government, one that actually wants to do the job required. the current one (Conservative) isn't cutting it.

    I Vote we Work Together ,
    Not against each other.

    hey Liberals , what can ya do for us the People?
  127. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes:

    'So saving the lousy Detroit companies are about jobs and votes.'

    More specifically it's about preserving UNION jobs, votes and money for the Democratic party. This is largely why Obama shafted Chrysler bondholders, who owned 28% of the pre-bankruptcy debt, and gave them 10% of the new equity. Meanwhile he gave the UAW 55% of the new equity though they owned 10% of the debt. And he folded future union retirement benefits into that equity stake.

    McCain told Michigan auto workers last summer flat out that free trade was good for the nation and that economies advance and develop by concentrating on what they do efficiently. And he's a guy who knows little to nothing about economics and trade.

    Does anyone think to wonder why Toyota in Kentucky, Honda in Ohio, BMW in South Carolina, etc... haven't raised a peep about assistance? They make cars that consumers want to buy in factories with productive workers. Detroit hasn't in decades. Do Ford, GM and Chrysler in Ontario? Is the new Toyota factory in Ontario skidding into bankruptcy?

    It's all about preserving the coffers that fund politicians, campaigns and the acquisition of power.
  128. Beyazet Ilderim from Canada writes: 'Contrary to the media image oil companies fully back climate hysteria because the'carbon capture' they are involved in is very energy intensive and needs 80% extra energy to remove CO2 from coal and doubles the price of energy. This is Win-Win-Win for oil comanies. Carbon Capture and carbon trading are not policies for careful use of resources they are a Weapon of Mass Taxation and plunder of natural resources and the developing world whose advance will be held back by rising energy costs due to carbon capture, carbon trading and biofuels'.

    The Obama dream team of Lunatic Socialists is out in force for exactly this Mass Taxation. When you Lib wake-up you woudn't know what did hit you....
  129. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Peter Lucas from langley, Canada writes:
    article, I think. Canadian NDPers and left-of-center types should be happy for the next four, maybe eight years. Believers in choice, individual freedom, and free markets have to put up with it.

    Since Canada depends so much on exports and since the US is by far our largest market, it would be stupid and a waste of money for Canada or its provinces to do anything but accept US standards.
    --------------------------------------------------

    One step closer to annexation. Fooled me once shame on you,
    fooled me twice, shame on me.
    We are so close to be sucked into the abyss. I can hear the agonizing cries of those who have gone before us.
  130. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: siren call from Alberta: ' -- no one who doesn't need an SUV should have one. Period.'

    And no one who doesn't need a 3 bedroom house should have one. Period.
    Only families with more than 2 or more kids should have a 3 bedroom house. An apartment is more efficient.

    And no one that doesn't need a yard to grow food for the family should have one. Period. Grass can be found in the park.

    And no one that doesn't need to travel for business should be allow to travel. Period.

    And no one who doesn't need freedom should have one. Period.
  131. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Sask Resident from Regina, Canada (3:49 p.m.)

    Right on! lol
  132. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Beyazet Ilderim from Canada writes:
    The Obama dream team of Lunatic Socialists is out in force for exactly this Mass Taxation. When you Lib wake-up you woudn't know what did hit you....
    -----------------------------------------
    I'm glad to see that someone else out there realizes that Obama is a Socialist, but do the rest of the American people.
    It looks as though one big net is being cast around us. Swim fast.
  133. Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes: Andrew Gillespie wrote: 'More specifically it's about preserving UNION jobs, votes and money for the Democratic party.'

    In Canada, southern Ontario normally votes for the Liberals yet the Conservatives want a majority, so saving auto jobs are still vote related here. Flaherty had an auto plant in his riding.

    Iggy is talking nice about the oil sands to try to regain a seat in Edmonton (switched from Liberal to NDP) and maybe two or three seats in Sask, so the Conservatives need to subsidize the Detroit branch plant auto workers to hope for replacement seats.

    Obama has few worries for 18 months, Harper is worried about the next 4 months. None are worried about the taxpayer nor the environment.
  134. Slobodan Jankovic from Toronto, Canada writes: If Canada was folowing US in every posible war without knowing why, would not be then more logical to folow the US on reducing the gas emotion!
  135. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Sask Resident from Regina, Canada writes:

    'Obama has few worries for 18 months, Harper is worried about the next 4 months. None are worried about the taxpayer nor the environment.'

    Right on, again, though I don't think Obama will even have to worry in 18 mos. The Republicans are wandering aimlessly. As far as I can tell, the Canadian federal electoral game is still about preserving the Ontario vote (Liberal) or trying to chip away small parts of it (Conservative.)

    The CAW and UAW are cancerous on the body politic. Is the CAW in any of the non Big-3 Ontario plants? They haven't managed to get into a single one in the U.S.

    The difference I see is that here in the U.S. the UAW has always been entwined with the Democrats. In Canada, it seems that Harper is opportunistically courting the CAW. If he could build a majority without them he would, philosophically, be pleased to be rid of them. In contrast the Democrat-UAW relationship is entrenched.
  136. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: There you have it! 3 out of 4 brain donor conservatives and lobotomy patients agree.
    Every western democracy is 'socialist'.
    Where do you think all those taxes are going.
    D'uh...
  137. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes:
    Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes:
    'I'm glad to see that someone else out there realizes that Obama is a Socialist, but do the rest of the American people.'

    Yes, many of us do. I can't get my head around the fact that 52% of voters endorsed this guy. Right now, however, people are distracted. The good times rolled here from 1983 until last summer with two minor blips of recessions in 1990-1 and 2001-02. An entire generation exists aged early-30s and under that has never known a true recession.

    However, I see a lot of resistance to Obama outside of Washington. I believe he has miscalculated early. The virtue of the American system, given the size of the country and (similar to Canada) the relatively weak federal gov't c/w the states(provinces), is that the Presidency (domestically) is a fairly weak office. Obama has to try to get his way by getting two large, antagonistic committees (the House & Senate) to endorse his plans.

    That's really hard to do given the power mania of people like Pelosi and Reid.

    In the short term he's going to be bad for America and Canada. However, if not in 2010 then in 2012 the ground will shift again. My worry is that his statist, corporatist policies will entrench certain powerful lobbies and hurt us irreparably.

    I never thought I would pine for the 'enlightened' presidency of Bill Clinton...
  138. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes:
    There you have it! 3 out of 4 brain donor conservatives and lobotomy patients agree.
    Every western democracy is 'socialist'.
    Where do you think all those taxes are going.
    D'uh...
    ----------------------------------------------
    Next your going to say thatit is useless to resist. You give up far to easily
    Canada hasn't elected a Federal NDP government and the coalition failed, so there are a number of indicators working in our favour.
  139. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: Sask. Resident: I can't prevent people from flaunting their boring and limited worldly success through conspicuous consumerism. I can criticize their lifestyle, however futilely I may do so. Freedom: the freedom to flaunt one's boring and limited worldly success through conspicuous consumerism is carefully cultivated by our corporate leadership. People didn't want SUVs; they were made to want SUVs. Some freedom.

    And I am a bit curious as to why you said people wanted their lattes as part of your argument about the environmental depradation taking place. In fact, 'lattes' was your only example. Would you suggest that such depradation is the fault of latte loving Liberals? I am sure you wouldn't, but it was curious to see 'lattes' instead of pulp and paper, plastic, electronics, ad nauseam, all of which are consumed by everyone, including latte loving Liberals.
  140. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Tor Hill Sask 'People didn't want SUVs; they were made to want SUVs. Some freedom. ' What's the frequency Kenneth? I'd recommend that you adjust the setting on your tin hat mind control boy. Just how do you figure people have been 'forced' to want anything and if they were, how you so heroically resisted this thought control?
  141. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes:
    'People didn't want SUVs; they were made to want SUVs. Some freedom.'

    Oh, so sad... we are ALL victims.

    Strange, though, I've never thought of buying an SUV for nearly 20 years now. Not because they're evil (they're not) but because other cars fit my needs and tastes better.

    Fascinating how proponents of the interventionist state fancy themselves tolerant when they are obviously the most intolerant and craving of conformity.
  142. Herman Nurnmurmer from Canada writes: An arguement could also be made that Obama is bringing the US more in line with Canada, than vice versa.
  143. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: J.P. Warwick; You should add a bit more info. to your post.
  144. JP Warwick from Canada writes: Tor Hill

    What info do you need? The idea that people are somehow tricked or forced to do what they otherwise wouldn't do is ludicrous. Ads do influence choice, but not to the extent that you were previously in the market for a Suzuki Swift until the ad for that Hummer made you rush out of your house to buy one. The idea that Ads are that powerful discounts the very idea of free will and our ability to chose.

    Your assertion was just foolish.

    Is that enough intel for you to process?
  145. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes:
    Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes:
    'I'm glad to see that someone else out there realizes that Obama is a Socialist, but do the rest of the American people.'

    Yes, many of us do. I can't get my head around the fact that 52% of voters endorsed this guy.
    ----------------------------------
    I maybe have no buisness saying this but Obama was elected by the media for the media. I watched your election closely and realized that Obama was not a rising star, but a shooting star. Clinton was just a stepping stone.
    Like I said from day one he's not my President and never will be.
    And not my Prime Minister either.
    But we in North America have been sleeping at the wheel, we are being plugged into the European Union and what is ours will be theirs. Good luck.
  146. Ron McAllister from Toronto, Canada writes: JP Warwick from Canada writes: What you mean to say is that the IPCC misrepresented the work of 99% You may also mean that 99% of scientists fear repercussions to their grants and careers if they dare speak out against this contrived, false and forced 'consensus.'
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Conspiracy theories abound in your wee world JP. I guess the melting ice shields and the man made carbon found in core samples don't figure in your world view. I'm sure plenty of people disagreed with Galileo too, but time proved them wrong. I'm disappointed though that many like you are willing to gamble on the world's future with a view that is not wholly supported by the science community. If you are right we've helped put a damper on pollution if you are wrong and folks like you get their way we’ll be fooked. Are you that certain JP?
  147. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: JP Warwick: Advertising works. Negative advertising apparently works too.
  148. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: It's always good for a laugh when conservatards throw a circle jerk in one of these forums.
    Like a meeting of the flat-earth society, you can hardly believe real, live people are this stupid.
    But there they are.
    Hey dunces, tell us the one where you claim evolution is just a theory.
    That's a good one.
  149. Anyone but Ignatieff; Rae and LeBlanc. or Duceppe for the new Liberal Leader. from Canada writes: Obama is a tax and spend Liberal. It will be very interesting to see how long American voter can put up with him. So far he's been all show with no go.
  150. Marialinda Ingram from golden Lake, Canada writes: It saddens me to agree with a thought-provoking opinion column but am forced by rules of reasoning to do so in this instance. Save us poor witless victims from the double-headed Harper/Obama administration.
    Thanks Mr I. for doing the reasoning for me.
  151. Andrew Gillespie from Alexandria, VA, United States writes: Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes:
    'I maybe have no business saying this but Obama was elected by the media for the media. I watched your election closely and realized that Obama was not a rising star, but a shooting star.'

    You and I saw the same thing, sir. In my opinion, you have ample business saying it. I wish that more Canadians would speak frankly about what is obvious to you and me.

    The media continue to fawn over him and in fact as the newspaper industry is crumbling many of these reporters are going to work inside the new administration.

    Those of us who think critically view the mainstream media as a bad joke. Fortunately, the tide will turn. In the meantime we will do what we need to do. Thanks for your wishes.
  152. macdaddy 1959 from How bad is it...no, really..., Canada writes: Are leaders are totally devoid of either vision or ideas. What did we ever do to deserve them...?
  153. best west from Canada writes: the stupidity of the envirmental nut jobs is something to behold. In a short time even they will see that obama rule will create alot of problems in Canada. Not that he cares, however you think that Canadians would.
  154. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes:
    It's always good for a laugh when conservatards throw a circle jerk in one of these forums.
    Like a meeting of the flat-earth society, you can hardly believe real, live people are this stupid.
    But there they are.
    Hey dunces, tell us the one where you claim evolution is just a theory.
    That's a good one.
    --------------------------------------------------
    I think the A word applies to people like you and I'm not talking about the 3 letter word. I'm talking about ' Arrogance ', and sense of
    entitlement. There are people who can see thru thinly disguised facades.
    Haven't you heard of the ' Theory of Evolution ' Although general facts and conclusions about evolution seem clear, the subject still
    presents many unsolved problems. Hence the Theory.
  155. Randy McClure from Canada writes: Well, Canada barely has a developed economy. We are finally learning our lessons, that our industrial sector is lazy and that the current government has no plan. We need to diversify. We need to move away from fossil fuels, regardless of how much Alberta screams. Obama is taking the right approach. We will have more regulation in the future. Unfettered markets don't work right. The late 1800's had 7 recessions in 10 years, by the 1930's everyone knew Government (us) had a big role to play in managing the economy for the good of all. This lasted until the late 1970s and now we're seeing the effects of the Reagan/Thatcher era.
  156. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Marialinda Ingram from golden Lake, Canada writes:
    It saddens me to agree with a thought-provoking opinion column but am forced by rules of reasoning to do so in this instance. Save us poor witless victims from the double-headed Harper/Obama administration.
    Thanks Mr I. for doing the reasoning for me.
    ------------------------------------------
    Stephen Harper is trying to hard to be bosom buddies with Obama,
    but then again this is what Canadians were raving for. Charismatic leaders are almost always dangerous and seldom benevolent.
    Give a Prime Minister with substance. And I don't mean Iggy.
  157. Randy McClure from Canada writes: Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes:
    Haven't you heard of the ' Theory of Evolution ' Although general facts and conclusions about evolution seem clear, the subject still
    presents many unsolved problems. Hence the Theory. ------------------------------------------------------------------- You're correct about the reality of the FACT of evolution and that the best way to describe it's reality is the Theory of Evolution through Natural Selection. It is a stunningly successful theory and is backed up by our modern understanding of genetics, cell biology, taxonomy, biogeography and paleontology. But please don't think that someone corrects you that they are arrogant. The current brand of conservatives seem to have a hard time admitting that they're wrong, lock stock and barrel about most of their pet issues -- Crime? It's actually dropping. Economy was growing under the Harper/Bush approach? ... Actually the lowest unemployment and best growth -- ever -- took place between 1952 and 1970 -- a time of HEAVY government intervention in the economy and very stoutly progressive income taxes. Tax cuts never pay for themselves, increased military spending is a drain on the economy, etc. You guys have been proven wrong on all of it. Not surprising though since the entire conservative right wing edifice exists to do only one thing -- funnel more money into the pockets of the rich and powerful. There was a time when enough gullible people out there would believe the BS. Those days are over. Time to get out of the way so we can get back on track.
  158. Richard McAllister from B.C, Canada writes: Randy McClure from Canada writes:
    There was a time when enough gullible people out there would believe the BS. Those days are over. Time to get out of the way so we can get back on track.
    ------------------------------------
    So we can get back on track, who is we.
    Nice speech from the soapbox, was that a socialist rant or liberal rant, after all they both tried to form an undemocratic coalition.
    So you like taxes, I give all my money to the government and they tell me how to think in return, some might consider this a good trade off.
    I like to think for myself.

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