Category Archives: Politics

Monopoly and Jail

My kids love the game Monopoly.  They play it on the computer.  The other day, one of my boys was playing against the computer.  He had the game won.  He owned every piece of property.  The computer opponents could do nothing.  My son commented how the only safe place left for his opponent was prison.

Now, I have had this feeling lately that Monopoly is a better model of our economy than we might think possible.  I mean, when the game is over, you have to put all the things back in the box.  All those houses and hotels.  All those utilities and rail roads.  All that glorious money.  It all goes back in the box.  It’s not yours any more.  It never was yours and you can’t keep it when the game is over.

When I was a child, my big sister would play Monopoly with me.  When it came to the point where I knew that I was not going to win I would try to concede.  My sister did not want the game to end so she would ‘loan’ me money to pay for my bills.  Thinking about this as an adult, as I was looking to consolidate some credit card debt, it struck me that the bank is helping me stay in the game.  At that time, I thought I had lost a game that I didn’t even know I was playing.

Now, my 10 year old made his comment about jail.  I was struck again.  For the poor people, is it getting to the point where jail the only option left to them?

I fear that we are trapped in a game of Monopoly.  We didn’t choose to sit down at this table, but it’s the only table we have.


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Filed under games, Money, Politics

Looming Provincial Election

In less than two weeks now, Ontario will be going to the polls to elect new representatives and a new Premier by extension. It seems to me that most people realize that we don’t actually elect a premier but rather an MPP — somebody to go to Queen’s Park and represent our community’s interests in provincial matters. I guess it doesn’t really matter since all the representatives belong to one party or another and do, in fact, have to vote along party lines.

Oh well.

But, that’s not why I want to write today.  I want to write today because every time an election roles around, people keep going on about wanting a majority government.  Everybody wants to see one party dominate over all the others.  This is seen as a clear mandate from the people and it gives the ruling party licence to do what they want.

Nobody seems to want a minority government.

I understand why any political party would want a majority — this way, they can push their own agenda and nobody can do anything about it until the next mandatory election.  They don’t have to worry about making anybody happy but themselves for the first couple years and then drop into damage control and pacify the people so they hopefully get elected again.

But, what about the minority government?  I have heard people complain that nothing get’s done in a minority government — the party’s are too bogged down with trying to negotiate or cut deals.  They can’t get any legislation passed that they want.

Good, says I.

Consider that we have three main parties — Liberals, PC’s and the NDP — all represent points along the political spectrum with the PC’s on Right, the NDP on the Left and the Liberals in the middle. Now, if any one party get’s a majority then that is the type of government we can expect.  This will always be the case.  There is never going to be any meaningful debate.  There is never going to be a second look at any policy or legislation because there is no threat of defeat of any motion brought up by the leading party.

The Opposition parties will complain and they will ask questions but when it comes down to it, the party with the majority does not have to listen to anybody.  They can do what they want.  Sure, lots of legislature get’s passed but is it good?  Is it benefiting all of Ontario?  Is this legislation well vetted?  Are these policies going to drive this province into the ground?

Now, if we have a minority government, then that changes.  Every peace of legislature or policy will have to get the support of two parties, at least.  If the parties can’t agree on a bit of law then that law doesn’t come to be.  Suddenly, when the opposition brings up opposition to some proposal, there is real threat that it will not be passed into law.

This strikes me as being messy and complicated but in the end makes for a government that more closely represents the will of the people.  This law represents a compromise between at least two differing political ideologies.  What could be more Canadian than that?

Anyway, whatever you believe, make sure that you get out and vote.  It’s important.


Filed under Politics