Sunday, February 1, 2009

January's Poll - The Economy Trumps All - Feb's Poll on Late Term Abortion

It doesn't come as any surprise that my blog poll about Canada's biggest issue for 2009 had the economy winning out with 30 out of 54 votes, or 55% of the total. Pick up any newspaper and financial news is frequently on the front page. Already there are fears that U.S. protectionism could lead to another depression, something Canadians will be watching closely as Barack Obama visits Ottawa on February 19th, his first official out of country journey.

Already I'm reading that Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) are offering in the neighbourhood of 8% interest in the 5th year. That should scare the bejeebers out of anyone with a significant debt load, including a mortgage. If that's what our banks expect to be paying depositors, then you can expect them to be charging borrowers even more. With interest rates at or near historic lows this should be a huge concern. Typically there's about a 2% spread between rates for depositors and borrowers, which suggests that within 5 years we'll be seeing interest rates on debt more than double.

Next up from last month's poll was Abortion, which I don't think is truly reflective...but rather the product of me posting 5 blog entries on the subject in January, mostly on the issue of Late Term Abortion or LTA for short. Being one who considers debate both healthy and progressive, I've decided to make LTA the poll question for the month of February. My own view is pretty much in line with that of President Obama, that LTAs should be legislated as to only be permitted when a woman's health is in question. I would also add to that instances where the child's health is affected to such an extent she/he might not survive in any case.

Political Unease - Election came in 3rd with 8 votes or 14% of the total. Obviously there's a ton of speculation going on with regards to our current parliament and how long it will survive. Like many I correctly predicted that Ignatieff's Liberals would support the budget, with reservations. While that was my prediction I would have preferred to see it voted down, even if the result was an election call. Ignatieff had his party endorse a thoroughly horrible budget, presented by a finance minister who couldn't forecast what he's having for breakfast tomorrow.
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The environment and the war in Afghanistan were well back with just 5 and 1 vote(s) respectively. I don't think its that people are unconcerned with the environment or our military's role in Afghanistan, but with increasing worry over unemployment and the economy in general other issues get pushed to the back burner.

I'm hopeful that Canadians will come to understand the futility of seeing our brave soldiers killed over pipeline routes for natural gas and oil. Britain is finally waking up to this reality, so hopefully we won't be far behind.

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