Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Monday, April 25, 2011

Miss Marprelate's Favourite Party

Miss Marprelate's official "favourite party of the election", The Peoples' Political Power Party of Canada. They appear to have some costing issues, I am at present unsure of how they are planning to pay off the deficit and create a massive budget surplus while eliminating income tax, the GST, and returning all corporate profits to the workers. Oh yes and while eliminating poverty, war, terrorism (through compassionate listening), cleaning up the planet (through love for children), emptying the prisons, making it a criminal offence for agencies (undefined) to neglect people and make the sleep on the street. Cutting healthcare by 50% as people’s immune systems improve due to the elimination of fear under their policies should help.

Unfortunately as their “father” just died they aren’t fielding any candidates this election. But his Spirit (in italics) continues to guide them and "by this Spirit that the PPP will continue…by Love, Respect, Equality and Truth until everyone is happy.” so you may be able to vote for them next election.

I mean really, what is not to love? At least for the entertainment value.

They have a very nice flip book of all their policies you can read online. The link to their downloadable policy book appears to be broken.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ottawa Events for May

(Partially written for the Prince Arthur Herald)

There are essentially two kinds of people in the world, those who would prefer to hit themselves on the head with a hammer rather than go to a political conference, and those who plan their entire lives around making sure that they will always have the time and money to go to political conferences. 

While the primary purpose of these events may appear to be listening to lectures, something most students have had quite enough of by the time school ends for the summer, for dedicated conference goers political events are about much more than just listening to fabulous speakers lecturing on such entrancing subjects as socio-economic statistics, constitutional law, political philosophy, or dead politicians, they are about networking. 

Networking is one of the most important skills that any politically-interested student can acquire. Actually, if I may amend that, that any student can acquire. In a generation that is increasingly known for its tendency to slouch against the wall texting while listening to its iPod, simply taking the time to pocket the cell phone, volunteer, mingle with other attendees, ask questions, shake hands, and dress professionally, can stand out and get noticed. Potentially by the very person who will be reviewing your internship application the next time you apply. Even student conferences, although they may be devoid of future employers, are worthy networking events, as you build contacts that can last a lifetime. While networking may be difficult, especially at first (as I can testify from personal experience, not being naturally outgoing), it does become easier as you get to know other conference regulars, and become more comfortable with the social mores of political events. 

However, with all the best will in the world, sometimes it can be difficult to find out about every interesting event that is happening. Is the Free Thinking Film Society showing a movie this month? Or perhaps more relevantly, what is the Free Thinking Film Society anyway and why would I want to go to one of their events? 

In the interest therefore, of connecting students to the events they would care about, I have collected a small sampling of such events for the month of May. If there are more that I have missed, as I am sure there are, please feel free to send them to me at and I will do my best to make this column a monthly event tracker.

May 5th: IMFC Policy Conference 2011 - Transforming the way Canadians think about family, put on by The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. Held at the Lord Elgin hotel in Ottawa,
confirmed speakers are sociologists Dr. Brad Wilcox and Dr. Mark Regnerus, Greg Fleming of New Zealand's Maxim Institute and Jonas Himmelstrand of Sweden's Mireja Institute. Conference lasts for a full day, and costs $125.

May 11-13th: The National March for Life. Beginning on the evening of the eleventh with services and a candlelight vigil at the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument, the event really gets going the next morning with the annual March for Life. With over 12,000 attendees last year, the March is an event to remember. That evening there are two separate banquets, the Rose Dinner banquet and the student banquet. On the 13th, is a youth conference, with various speakers and music. The cost for the youth banquet is $40, and the conference is $45.

May 17-19th: Canada Student Forums. Come out and experience this 3 day forum that will facilitate dialogue between young adults, aged 16-25, and Christian politicians. Network and gain valuable information about how you can achieve your career goals without compromising your faith. Tour Parliament, meet MPs, attend the National Prayer Breakfast, and more. Some of this year's speakers: Colin Mayes, MP for Okanagan-Shuswap; Hon. Jack Murta, former Member of Parliament, chaplain on Parliament Hill and President of The Ottawa Mission; Dr. Victor Ling, Vice President of Discovery BC Cancer Agency and BC Cancer Research Centre;
Pastor Lyle M. Notice, B.A. MDiv, and Special Assistant to David Anderson, MP. Cost for all events, $175.

I would like to give all of these events Miss Marprelate's personal seal of approval, as I have been to all of them in the past and found them absolutely wonderful.

The IMFC conference is undoubtedly aimed at a more mature crowd, in fact some of the material, at least in the past, may be unsuitable for younger audiences. Although their topics may appear to be slightly dry, I remember them as being very interesting, and highly recommend the event for social conservatives interested in the research behind their beliefs, and fiscal conservatives who are interested in the fiscal implications of social policies.

The National March for Life is, of course, an event for all ages, although in my personal opinion the youth conference the next day is aimed a little more towards high-school than university students. There are vendors, music, and speakers at the conference, and while as someone who is very politically interested I found some of the lectures a bit on the basic side (I really didn't need to be told that I should write to my MP), they are great for the audience, and some of them should be interesting for anyone.

The Canada Student Forums is a terrific event aimed primarily at university students. I enjoyed going to Question Period for the first time (and didn't find it half as bad as expected, although as a blogger I may just be hardened to political rhetoric. My biggest disappointment was that everything they were talking about was six week old news.), found the prayer breakfast and especially the sessions afterwords interesting, but most of all loved the speakers who specifically came to the student forum, and networking with other students who shared the same interests as me. We heard from human-trafficking activists, a panel of aboriginal youth, people from a variety of professions, had a chance to sit down and talk with Members of Parliament, and had plenty of opportunity to talk with each other in between (and even, I must admit, for a couple of us girls to sneak out and do some shopping while we were supposed to be eating lunch. For some reason none of the guys wanted to join us.).

So, if you can make it out to one or all of these events, please do so. I think a lot of political events planned for May are having some trouble with attendance etc due to the election, the Manning Centre Networking Conference for example was, sadly, canceled, so if you have been thinking about going to a conference "sometime", this would be a good year to try to make it.