Monday, December 31, 2007

10 Lessons from 2007 pt. 2

Am I the only one fed up with the national junior team? As far as I can tell there are about three guys (Tavares, Matthias, Schenn) actually playing over the last four periods. Pathetic. The so-called big line has been particularly disappointing. Brad Marchand's only contribution was giving up the puck and the game against Sweden. Brandon Sutter is clearly hurt and should not be playing. I think Craig Hartsburg should be replaced for next year. Anyway, on we go with the lessons from 2007.

5. The Environment is Actually Politically Important

The lesson we began to learn with Dion's Green victory in December of 2006 continued to be learned in 2007. Be it the rise of the Green Party of Canada in national polls or the increasing success of the Ontario Green Party in the provincial election (particularly Shane Jolley in Owen Sound), the environment is resonating with Canadians. As Mr. Jolley's result indicates its more than urban hippies who care about this issue these days. Harper's dance on the issue would be funny if the consequences of his inaction were not so dire.

4. Immigration is the Defining Issue for the West

This is more relevant for other countries with more serious immigration problems (rioting in France; panic and legal chaos in the United States) but Canada must do better by its new immigrants. We are too often failing to ensure that the newest Canadians can integrate successfully into Canadian society. Our past successes are wonderful and we should celebrate them. We need to work hard to ensure that immigrants arriving today have the same success. Canada is a leader on this issue. We must continue to lead. The West is aging and our economies are teetering. Immigration is the best path to economic and social progress, countries that fail to grasp this will be left behind.

3. The American Primary System is Beyond Broken

The state of Michigan has been disenfranchised by the Democratic party and nobody seems to have noticed. Michigan is not exactly a small insignificant state. However, they angered the DNC gods by moving their primary up so that candidates actually bother to visit their little state. As a result, the Michigan primary is little more than a straw poll. This disturbing incident combined with the insanity that is the Iowa Caucuses, leads to one conclusion. The Americans need to change their system and now. All the states should vote the second Tuesday after New Year's day. Iowans are upset at how early they have to vote this year. The second Tuesday would ensure that the holidays are not overwhelmed by elections. By having all states vote early, they would finally have equity in the primary process.

2. Pakistan is in Deep Trouble

Martial law. The assassination of an opposition leader. The opposition being taken over by a 19 year old. This country is in trouble. The tension between secular democrats, the military and militant Islamic extremists is tearing the country apart. This is scary stuff. Even if you don't care about Pakistan and its people (and as human beings we should), you must remember this country is a nuclear power. The future of Pakistan could shape all of our futures. I don't know what the outside world can do to help the Pakistani people. I do know that we are all going to be holding our breaths until this mess is sorted out one way or another.

1. The Internet is Killing Traditional Entertainment

Don't think this is as relevant as some of the other stuff? You could make the argument. I've posted on the writer's strike before, but it is worth some repetition. What this strike is about (internet revenues) is about how to slice up an increasingly small and insignificant pie. Consider this, what is the top rated live-action TV sitcom still on the air? I have no clue. Do you? The most popular comedies are probably cartoons: The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park etc. This lack of quality television combined with the download disease which has spread with technology from music to television and movies is killing Hollywood and its related affiliates north of the border. The strike by the writers may prove to be one more nail in the coffin. The collapse of an industry that has sustained North America for generations is not in any way insignificant. It has been confirmed in 2007. Enjoy your reality TV folks, its all that's profitable these days.

On that note, Happy New Year. May 2008 find you well.

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