The Environment, Politics, and the(upcoming)Federal Election

Nothing seems to rile up the masses more than these two topics. As a result you can only talk about either in here. this forum will not be moderated, however if it gets really ugly you can report a post

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cunninglinguist
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The Environment, Politics, and the(upcoming)Federal Election

Post by cunninglinguist » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:18 pm

I has become aparent to me that we in Western society (not Western Canada, but rather the Western Industrialized Nations) have hopefully finally had the paradigm shift I have been hoping for. It seems we in society are finally realizing the impact of human activity on our environment and world, and as such "some" of our politicians are falling in line.

Thus it appears that the environment will play a big role in the upcoming Federal Election. Now I will admit that I have been, and remain (for now) a card carrying member of the Conservative Party of Canada. Living in Medicine Hat, right in the Heart of our strong hold, it has become more and more apparent to me that this shift in belief seems stagnant here in Alberta. And it seems that the leadership of the Conservatives is afraid to take a stand on the environment for fear of being punished by its supporters. Even the Western Standard has been taking shots at the PM calling him too green with his environmental heresy (something which others from the outside looking in must see as a complete joke).

So here I stand, at odds with how my views of the environment don't mesh with my parties views. Maybe it's because I studied in environmental sciences prior to becoming a pharmacist, and that little changes do seem that simple, but if the PM and the party was to offer them up they would be crucified by their supporters as doing too much, and crucified by the opposition for doing to little (including the Liberals who did little if anything themselves for the environment).

So what do Conservatives talk about to get elected... cutting taxes, fiscal responsibility...

So how about tax breaks for individuals who buy hybrid cars, or install solar panels on their homes. Or how about tax breaks for individuals who recycle enough to produce barely any trash. How about by-laws preventing people from watering their lawns between 10am and 7pm so they aren't wasting water. What if we all got tax breaks if when we bought new appliances we bought ones that had a certain energy star rating. I guess it's hard to affect change on people when their lively hood depends on them not changing (or so they have been lead to believe).

Is the environment going to cost Harper the next Election... I have a strong feeling it will. But do the Liberals deserve another shot, not really. So what are we left to do?

Thoughts
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Post by Gerry » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:27 pm

Good post.

I agree with you, c.

And I'm in the same boat. A conservative who is concerned about the environment.

I like all of your ideas about tax incentives, and punishments. Those things have worked before, and will work again.

I personally hope that Harper is serious about the global warming issue and the environment in general. I have more faith in the Tories to be effective and honest in their endeavours on any issue they tackle than the Liberals.

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Post by Catssuck » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:51 am

What slays me about the whole tax incentive thing is why???? If the environment is such a 'hot topic' and is going to decide an election shouldn't Canadians be buying hybrid cars, not watering the lawn during the day, recycling, or using energy efficient appliances? What slays me is that we need to be bribed to do anything - if you want us to do it then give us a tax break. If it is such an 'important' thing to Canadians - then let Canadians do it for themselves.
As you mentioned - the small things add up - but we as a society expect to be rewarded for any little thing we do. Canadians are so much like Pavlovs dog it makes me sick - go out and do things for yourself, for your kids - set an example in your neighbourhood and challenge your neighbours to do the same. That will achieve change, not waiting for handouts from the government for doing something we should be doing anyway.
On July 13th 2007 Cossack wrote: I agree with the Argo fan.
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Post by Bastinado » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:18 am

People are ignorant and stupid... do you really want to leave it up to them? :wink:

I mean why ticket people, if it is so important to not let people drive through red lights why just not let people figure it out after they get drilled by another car? :8)
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Post by Gerry » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:44 am

Catssuck wrote:What slays me about the whole tax incentive thing is why???? If the environment is such a 'hot topic' and is going to decide an election shouldn't Canadians be buying hybrid cars, not watering the lawn during the day, recycling, or using energy efficient appliances? What slays me is that we need to be bribed to do anything - if you want us to do it then give us a tax break. If it is such an 'important' thing to Canadians - then let Canadians do it for themselves.
As you mentioned - the small things add up - but we as a society expect to be rewarded for any little thing we do. Canadians are so much like Pavlovs dog it makes me sick - go out and do things for yourself, for your kids - set an example in your neighbourhood and challenge your neighbours to do the same. That will achieve change, not waiting for handouts from the government for doing something we should be doing anyway.
I know what you're saying, but I don't agree.

A lot of people would like to buy cleaner cars, but it's hard to do when the thing costs so much more than an equivalent non hybrid vehicle.

I'm looking for a truck this year and am considering the GM hybrid. It is not even a full hybrid, but what they call a mild hybrid. Still, it reduces fuel consumption and emissions by 15%. But it costs $2500 more than the non-hybrid. That's a lot of money. By the time I pay PST and GST on that $2500 it's actually $2825.

Personally, I would be much more inclined to buy one if the taxes were eliminated or reduced on the hybrid. And I would be less inclined to buy the regular truck if the taxes the government lost on hybrids was instead applied to dirtier vehicles.

If that were done, hybrid sales would increase. With greater production of hybrids the costs would come down as well. Everyone wins.

IMO, California legislation is primarily responsible for cars being as clean as they are today. Canada could go a long way to being cleaner if we simply made the California standards apply to all new cars sold here.

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Post by Catssuck » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:59 am

IMO, California legislation is primarily responsible for cars being as clean as they are today. Canada could go a long way to being cleaner if we simply made the California standards apply to all new cars sold here.
I agree with that - that is forcing the manufacturers to adhere to it, not the consumer. However, reduced fuel consumption of 15% should be incentive enough to pay the extra up front and save it over the life of the vehicle - not getting a kick back for buying it.

What I'm saying is that we pay lip service to the environment with our hands held out for a reward. That is wrong, if the environment is such a concern then we should all be doing something about it - regardless of who is in power or what they are asking us to do.
On July 13th 2007 Cossack wrote: I agree with the Argo fan.
Thanks for finally coming around Terry - the Ticats do suck.

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Post by hgtff » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:40 am

Catssuck wrote: What I'm saying is that we pay lip service to the environment with our hands held out for a reward. That is wrong, if the environment is such a concern then we should all be doing something about it - regardless of who is in power or what they are asking us to do.
oh everyone wants to help the environment, but noone wants to pay for it.
I was reading a poll the other day about how something like 70% of Canadians felt something shouldbe done about the environment but 60% were also not in favour of increased taxes to pay for it. So basically what people want is the liberal strategy, promise them everything but deliver nothing.

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Post by green ty » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:53 am

I don't think it is even about money. It is about changing people's attitudes. Most people don't even do the small things like turning off the lights when not using them or recycling or composting. Heck, most people don't even do things that SAVE them money like turning down the heat at night or when you are not home. People like to talk big, but have a hard time changing habits. I know, I do the same thing.

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Post by green ty » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:04 am

Personal responsibility. That is what I was trying to say. Until people stop waiting for their neighbour to clean up the environment, then nothing is ever going to change.

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Post by Al » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:23 pm

I believe that along with the environment issue, it will be calling a needless election will be his downfall..... As much as I want them out....I dont feel there is a need for an election right now.

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Post by green ty » Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:14 pm

I can't see the Conservatives calling an election any time soon. If there is an election soon, it will probably be because the opposition brings the government down.

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Post by Gerry » Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:03 pm

Catssuck wrote:
IMO, California legislation is primarily responsible for cars being as clean as they are today. Canada could go a long way to being cleaner if we simply made the California standards apply to all new cars sold here.
I agree with that - that is forcing the manufacturers to adhere to it, not the consumer. However, reduced fuel consumption of 15% should be incentive enough to pay the extra up front and save it over the life of the vehicle - not getting a kick back for buying it.

What I'm saying is that we pay lip service to the environment with our hands held out for a reward. That is wrong, if the environment is such a concern then we should all be doing something about it - regardless of who is in power or what they are asking us to do.
There are plenty of people doing just that right now. I see a lot of hybrids on the street and those little smart cars as well.

I just think we'd see a lot more of them with a few simple tax shifts. I don't think that is properly classified as a kick-back, catssuck. Or a reward. I call it an incentive.

I'm not asking for anything from government. I'm saying that they should take less than they do from whoever buys hybrids. There is a difference.

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Re: The Environment, Politics, and the(upcoming)Federal Elec

Post by HapDay » Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:11 pm

cunninglinguist wrote: So how about tax breaks for individuals who buy hybrid cars, or install solar panels on their homes.
You should be able to write off most, if not all, on your taxes. That is biggest incentive that will get people to change habits.
cunninglinguist wrote:Or how about tax breaks for individuals who recycle enough to produce barely any trash.
How about we make garbage dumps illegal across Canada and make them use alternative means (like high-efficiency incinerators that will also produce power)?

The environment will only be an issue as long as our economy is strong. It's only an issue now because the gLiberals and their media friends have made it one.
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--Stephane "Celine" Dion

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Post by cunninglinguist » Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:29 pm

My wife is in the line for a new car here, and we have decided to go ahead and get the Civic Hybrid. Happy with the decision.

Get this, cover of the Medicine Hat news (here's the Alberta perspective): Premier Stelmach concerned about Harper going green.
As LL Cool J once said "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years"

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Post by Hoof » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:00 pm

cunninglinguist wrote:My wife is in the line for a new car here, and we have decided to go ahead and get the Civic Hybrid. Happy with the decision.

Get this, cover of the Medicine Hat news (here's the Alberta perspective): Premier Stelmach concerned about Harper going green.
You know, I'm not finding Steady Eddie so steady. Sure he's new and we should give him some time but his 'Hands Off Alberta' speech was so very unconvincing. Stelmach just comes across to me like a little sqeaky 'deer in the headlights' type of guy in a kinda sorta 'Milhouse-esque' fashion. I guess I'm just still use to Ralphie as at least he was entertaining.


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