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Conservatism needs work 2.0

Fishbone Jones

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God bless my daughter and son in law for trying to hold things together in this age. Public or separate schools were their only choice. My grandson would just be starting kindergarten now. I've been paying his tuition, to Montessori, for two years. I will continue to pay his tuition till he's equipped to exceĺ above the public system. He is 5. He can print. He can print complete sentences. He can read every book he has(lots). He can do basic math and and knows money. In the public system he'd be playing with blocks in his first year.

I won't deny paying for private education is hard. When I look at where our country might be in 20 years, I'll be confident that he'll be equipped for whatever comes his way. I will afford him whatever I can to excel above his publically educated counterparts.
 

RocketRichard

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recceguy said:
God bless my daughter and son in law for trying to hold things together in this age. Public or separate schools were their only choice. My grandson would just be starting kindergarten now. I've been paying his tuition, to Montessori, for two years. I will continue to pay his tuition till he's equipped to exceĺ above the public system. He is 5. He can print. He can print complete sentences. He can read every book he has(lots). He can do basic math and and knows money. In the public system he'd be playing with blocks in his first year.

I won't deny paying for private education is hard. When I look at where our country might be in 20 years, I'll be confident that he'll be equipped for whatever comes his way. I will afford him whatever I can to excel above his publically educated counterparts.
Having taught in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America I can personally attest to the excellence of our publicly funded education systems in Canada. The data (both quantitative and qualitative) bear this out. Can we improve? Absolutely. My wife and I can most certainly afford to send our child to a private school but why would we when our public school are so good? 


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ballz

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pbi said:
I am with you on this. I also agree (pretty much) with the list of values you identified as being important, but isn't imposing these also a form of "government intervention"?

I don't think any of those values should be "imposed" thats why I used the words "respected/promoted."

Also, because its of personal interest to yourself, when I said "marriage" I didn't mean to promote "traditional marriage." I was talking about the ideas surrounding marriage that promote that marriage is an important commitment, divorce shouldnt be taken lightly, raising a family is a two-person job, etc. All of which should be promoted but certainly not imposed. I dont think the gov't should be in business of "licensing" marriages at all.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I'm not condemning the public system, I just don't know if it will meet our needs in 20 years. I don't like the social engineering and constant change in curriculums. My grandson is also starting to speak Mandarin, French and Spanish. Sentences, not just odd words
Will all the others stuff already mentioned, hes well on his way already. Not heading to school for the first time to sing songs in kindergarten. Hes already ahead of the curve and I will afford the opportunity for him to continue till he decides otherwise.

Given all that, we all still support the public system through our taxes. Some people think us seniors don't continue to pay our share in retirement. I'm paying both. My choice and I'm not screaming an entitlement to only pay private and not public. It's just the way it is.
 

suffolkowner

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It's one thing to learn cursive or math in school it's another to be proficient at it. I feel I would struggle greatly to write in cursive today and for what purpose? Does my pen break today, will my ink run out. Those were reasons to use cursive in the past that don't exist today. My children were taught cursive, is it a sure thing that it's not taught in school today. It's not a hill i'm going to die on just a curiosity. I doubt that the one third of students that have historically failed to complete secondary school were ever proficient at any of these tasks. I'm far more concerned with the lack of history and science being taught in high school.
 

pbi

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ballz said:
I don't think any of those values should be "imposed" thats why I used the words "respected/promoted."

Also, because its of personal interest to yourself, when I said "marriage" I didn't mean to promote "traditional marriage." I was talking about the ideas surrounding marriage that promote that marriage is an important commitment, divorce shouldnt be taken lightly, raising a family is a two-person job, etc. All of which should be promoted but certainly not imposed. I dont think the gov't should be in business of "licensing" marriages at all.

OK, seen.

I am glad to hear that you don't limit the institution of marriage to its "traditional" definition., although I have now spent 35 years in a traditional marriage.

What matters to me in describing marriage and a stable family life is the conviction, dedication and patience necessary to make a marriage work, and the endless effort to raise kids with some semblance of decency and responsibility in their characters. Not what sex the couple are.  People aren't automatically good parents because of their sexual orientation: there are excellent hetero parents and there are terrible gay parents. But there are vice versa too: "traditional" marriage (as that term is most commonly used) is not really a guarantee of anything, that I can see.

Whose business is it, really, if two people of consenting age (and sufficient maturity) love each other and want to establish a stable and lasting relationship? If no harm is done, and nobody is taken advantage of or abused, then I say it really is their business alone.

But I fear I do preach too much.
 

Loachman

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recceguy said:
My grandson would just be starting kindergarten now. I've been paying his tuition, to Montessori, for two years. I will continue to pay his tuition till he's equipped to exceĺ above the public system. He is 5. He can print. He can print complete sentences. He can read every book he has(lots). He can do basic math and and knows money. In the public system he'd be playing with blocks in his first year.

My first exposure to the Canadian/Ontarian education system was in September 1965. I was immediately underwhelmed by my classmates' inability to read smoothly (listening to their halting, broken efforts was painful), write coherently, spell with any accuracy, or do simple arithmetic.

I was put in with my age group upon arrival, but was two or three years ahead educationally.

We did not waste a whole year with half-day kindergartenish games and naps. We began spelling, reading, and basic arithmetic on our first day - and a full day, at that. Standards were high. There was a lot of rote learning (like multiplication tables), yes, and while that may not have been fun at the time (but we just did it, and I do not recall any complaints), it still serves me well. It probably got me through Aircrew Selection - there was no interweb when I did that, and no means of preparing. Everybody went into it cold, and the same went for CFAT (if it was even called that when I went Regular Force in 1978). I broke the record on the CF Staff School threshold grammar test in early 1988, and credit that to my early education in England (plus a few well-above-average teachers here, later).

My sister, four years younger, began school in Ontario and wasted that first kindergarten year. I could not understand the reason behind kindergarten at all. She, like my classmates, had great difficulty reading in the early grades. I tried to help, baffled when she stumbled over simple words. "You know that word", I'd say. "We haven't taken in yet", was her response. "Sound it out". She couldn't. "Whole word learning" was the concept; sounding words out was just not done. I considered that to be ridiculous, even at ten or eleven. Eventually, I got her reading the proper way.

I am a big believer in giving a solid foundation in basics, including history and geography, which is one of the prime reasons that I go back to my old high school for the Remembrance Day speaking programme. It is heartening to see that at least some teachers and students care, and that the unusually high standard at Stratford Northwestern has not visibly declined since the mid-seventies.

My last ex-wife was a high school teacher, and believed that it was and more important to teach kids where to find information than to actually know any. If one does not know anything, though, how does one know what information to seek?

She also had lots of complaints about the education system, but was clueless regarding corrective measures.
 

Loachman

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pbi said:
I am glad to hear that you don't limit the institution of marriage to its "traditional" definition., although I have now spent 35 years in a traditional marriage.

I view "marriage" in traditional terms, as it originally was: a religious construct, and the purview of the Church (synagogue/mosque/temple/wherever the Flying Spaghetti Monster hangs out/etcetera).

There is a contractual/legal side as well, which is the purview of applicable governments: registration/divorce laws/benefits such as pensions/etcetera. Civil, Common-Law, and Elvis-in-Las-Vegas marriages meet those requirements.

Most people seem to like some sort of ceremony on top of the contractual side, which may or may not be religious, and that is entirely up to their discretion. As long as no laws are broken in the process, the ceremonial aspect is no business of anybody beyond the Happy Couple (whatever its component parts may be).

And should that be limited to a "couple"? I find it odd that three or more people can live together in a sexual relationship completely legally as long as they are "single", but commit a crime if they all "marry". Informal polygamy is legal, but formal polygamy is not.
 

Edward Campbell

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Loachman said:
I view "marriage" in traditional terms, as it originally was: a religious construct, and the purview of the Church (synagogue/mosque/temple/wherever the Flying Spaghetti Monster hangs out/etcetera).

There is a contractual/legal side as well, which is the purview of applicable governments: registration/divorce laws/benefits such as pensions/etcetera. Civil, Common-Law, and Elvis-in-Las-Vegas marriages meet those requirements.

Most people seem to like some sort of ceremony on top of the contractual side, which may or may not be religious, and that is entirely up to their discretion. As long as no laws are broken in the process, the ceremonial aspect is no business of anybody beyond the Happy Couple (whatever its component parts may be).

And should that be limited to a "couple"? I find it odd that three or more people can live together in a sexual relationship completely legally as long as they are "single", but commit a crime if they all "marry". Informal polygamy is legal, but formal polygamy is not.

I'm too lazy to dig our citations (Diarmed MacCulloch would be one source) but in Christendom, at least (I don't know about the Jews) the church didn't take any interest in common marriages until some time around the year 1,000. The Church was very interested in the marriage contracts of the nobility and so on, but ordinary people made what were, essentially, civll contracts ... usually in front of family members, sometimes for prosperous commoners in front of the whole village.

As stone churches became more common they were the "best" place in the village and many marriages were celebrated on the church steps ~ rather like my son and daughter-in-law who chose (and paid heavily for a permit for) a site for their wedding which had the iconic Sydney Opera House as a backdrop. Some clerics began to see this as a good source of revenue and offered, for a small fee, to officiate at the ceremony ... but, in most of the Anglo-Saxon world (including in Hong Kong) we still have a formal, civil, contractual element of marriage that s required even if a marriage is officiated by a clergyman.

Maybe the "traditional," "religious construct" isn't as traditional as we believe.
 

pbi

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Loachman said:
I view "marriage" in traditional terms, as it originally was: a religious construct, and the purview of the Church (synagogue/mosque/temple/wherever the Flying Spaghetti Monster hangs out/etcetera).

I did not mean, at all, to demean traditional marriage between a man and a woman (after all, that's what I've been up to for the last good while...), nor did I want to question anybody who wants their faith to have a place in the marriage ceremony, which we also did. That is all good and I would never take that away from people.

What I don't understand at all, is why some people who enjoy the benefits of a faith-based, traditional marriage seem so vocal about denying the same happiness to people who are different. To say that gay marriage is a "threat" to traditional marriage makes no sense to me at all. The players are in two different leagues. IMHO the threat to traditional marriage (if there is one) is divorce and possibly lack of commitment. Those things end more traditional marriages than anything else: the fact that gay people might get married seems to me to pose very little threat to hetero couples who also want to tie the knot.

Hmmmm....we might have strayed off topic here a bit..... :eek:rly:
 

FJAG

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E.R. Campbell said:
I'm too lazy to dig our citations (Diarmed MacCulloch would be one source) but in Christendom, at least (I don't know about the Jews) the church didn't take any interest in common marriages until some time around the year 1,000. The Church was very interested in the marriage contracts of the nobility and so on, but ordinary people made what were, essentially, civll contracts ... usually in front of family members, sometimes for prosperous commoners in front of the whole village.

As stone churches became more common they were the "best" place in the village and many marriages were celebrated on the church steps ~ rather like my son and daughter-in-law who chose (and paid heavily for a permit for) a site for their wedding which had the iconic Sydney Opera House as a backdrop. Some clerics began to see this as a good source of revenue and offered, for a small fee, to officiate at the ceremony ... but, in most of the Anglo-Saxon world (including in Hong Kong) we still have a formal, civil, contractual element of marriage that s required even if a marriage is officiated by a clergyman.

Maybe the "traditional," "religious construct" isn't as traditional as we believe.

Interesting information that. It got me looking into things a bit further.

I specifically looked at ancient Roman marriages because after the birth of Christianity and for a while thereafter, Roman law and society were the go-to standard (if not the traditional or even prevailing standard)

Roman marriages were monogamous (one man, one woman) when much of the Mediterranean world was into the one man, multiple wives scenario.

Religious ceremonies were a very rare event used only in the highest of patrician families in the course of a confarreatio (or sharing of spelt bread) wedding ceremony. For lesser patricians the ceremony was not so much religious but merely an acknowledgement that the bride was moving from being under the power (manus or hand) of her father to that of her husband. I think that the reason we still have the father of the bride giving his daughter's hand in marriage relates back to the manus concept. Amongst plebeians, the typical marriage was either by coemptio, (purchase) or by usus (habitual cohabitation)

In general the whole thing was contractual (either between the father of the bride and the putative husband or as between the two parties themselves if they simply drifted into habitual cohabitation.) and not religious.

For anyone more interested, look here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_ancient_Rome

:cheers:
 

pbi

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Here is a very good piece by Harper's former Comms director. It goes back to a point I tried to make earlier on these pages about the need for moderate conservatives to be careful who they share a trench with, and why accuracy, truthfulness and avoiding Twitter mudslinging will gain the moral high ground much faster:[urlhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/conservatives-migrant-ad-1.4758616][/url]
 

Journeyman

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pbi said:
Here is a very good piece by Harper's former Comms director.

I feel that this point is particularly valid.
Yes, there are frothing trolls on both sides, but sadly those on the right tend to be louder (and more repellant to the tastemakers). That's why conservatives need to be ultra-mindful of the company they keep, especially online.....

The last bit counts treble in the age of Trump. Trumpism might be seen by some on the Canadian right as a route to power, but it's a highly corrosive approach for Canadian soil. It also happens to be the best route back to power for Trudeau
 

Xylric

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Given my academic background (Bachelor of Religious Education), I will proudly admit to being a conservative, though with a very specific definition I suspect to be unique to myself. After all, in the recent Ontario provincial election, I did the pragmatic thing and voted for the NDP because one element of their platform directly applied to me. I agree with my late grandfather that the best possible outcome for Canada is a government which is fiscally conservative, but is socially adaptive. My definition of Conservatism is quite simple, as it adheres to three core assumptions which I've spent the better part of my life trying to disprove. They are as follows:

1. Civilization is a polite fiction which exists only because of the mutual trust between its adherents. (When's the last time you checked to see if the water you were given at a restaurant was poisoned?)

2. Core societal ideals should not be tampered with unless one has a thorough understanding not only of how they came into existence, but also what, if any, practical function they may possess. (My go-to example for this is, rather unsurprisingly, religion itself - bad things happen when it gets completely banned from a society)

3. Humans are an inherently predatory species whose core social structure is that of small packs, nearly functionally indistinguishable from that of wolves. (Tribalism is inescapable. Accept it, adapt to it, and take advantage from it)

The net result of the interaction of these core assumptions (which should be continually challenged, because the moment one of those is demonstrated as untenable, the entire assembled structure must collapse) can be summed up in a two word pithy principle of "Ruthless Kindness." Basically, so far as it is possible, do not seek to cause harm to those around you so long as those around you do not seek to cause harm to you or others (AKA the Golden Rule). With kindness, trust naturally follows. While it is not uncommon for acts of kindness to be treated with suspicion and distrust, a continued practice leaves little doubt that one has no wish to cause harm.

A tribe which ruthlessly adheres to its internal rules is a known quantity, and thus predictable. There's a peculiar quirk that occurs between a married couple (to my knowledge is known in heterosexual parings, I do not know the equivalent neurology in alternative pairings, and see little reason to presume either difference or similarity) in which the two member's brains rewire themselves in order to become more appealing and more complementary to their partner. One could extrapolate this symbiotic quirk from a coupling to the interactions on the level of tribes. Continual iteration makes it fairly easy to extrapolate the organism we refer to as a nation state, and reveals just precisely how frail a being it is.

Thus, to my eyes, both what is generally known as conservatism is equally critical to the health of a nation as liberalism - and it's not at all uncommon for one person to be both liberal and conservative on the same issue in particular circumstances - there's a reason why I believe that for the health of a society, the capacity for disagreement must be held sacrosanct. If we lack a framework in which we can voice disagreement, we lack a framework to have any sort of productive rational discussion.
 

Journeyman

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Xylric said:
Thus, to my eyes, both what is generally known as conservatism is equally critical to the health of a nation as liberalism - and it's not at all uncommon for one person to be both liberal and conservative on the same issue in particular circumstances - there's a reason why I believe that for the health of a society, the capacity for disagreement must be held sacrosanct. If we lack a framework in which we can voice disagreement, we lack a framework to have any sort of productive rational discussion.
You were doing well until your last three words, "productive rational discussion."

This site, for example, has a framework in which people can voice disagreement -- you hit respond or quote -- while theoretically, Moderators will weigh in to keep discourse civil.

Yet how rarely have the politics threads produced 'productive, rational discussion' versus simply devolving into merely repeating ones' views ad infinitum, or name-calling, or throwing ones' teddy bear and stomping off?  How often does someone start a post with, "I think...."  when it's painfully obvious that they have not.... nor are they likely to;  that would require questioning their comfortably-established beliefs and reading (with an attempt to understand) other sources and perspectives.

As an example, pick any one of the growing number of Trump/US vs everything  threads currently running.  They have all settled into a pattern of 2-3 people posting useful, informative details/links,  a few bleating "Trump is awesome" in response to the same number mindlessly bellyaching "everything Trump is Satanic," with an overwhelming majority of content simply repeating  " 'I think I'm correct'...  'I'm sure you do'."

So, while not one of your "core values," I suspect one could add:

Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.


And with that, yet again, I'll dismount my hobbyhorse and back away from Politics.
 

pbi

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Yet how rarely have the politics threads produced 'productive, rational discussion' versus simply devolving into merely repeating ones' views ad infinitum, or name-calling, or throwing ones' teddy bear and stomping off?  How often does someone start a post with, "I think...."  when it's painfully obvious that they have not.... nor are they likely to;  that would require questioning their comfortably-established beliefs and reading (with an attempt to understand) other sources and perspectives.

I see your point of frustration that posters don't always (or maybe, ever...) behave in a civil manner. Yes-they do the stuff you refer to (I may be one of those sinners), but that doesn't discount the fact that most behave themselves. Nor does it (in my opinion) mean that we should give up on civil discourse and rational argument. We need it more than ever, surrounded as we are by social media that instantly propagates all sorts of vile, stupid and poisonous trash along with the good stuff.

I don't agree that there is anything automatically wrong in starting a post with "I think", or "in my opinion". I do it all the time. If this site is not a place to express opinions and beliefs, then what is it? I hope it's not just about seeing how many links or long article extracts we can post. Hopefully we aren't saying that our own thoughts have no value unless buttressed by somebody else's?

Our current political belief system is broken. The tenets of liberalism and conservativism have a significant amount overlap;  in order to provide a different marketable brand, both sides increasingly seek out the more extreme elements who are less informed or constrained by reality.  As the edges become more shrill, it makes for 'better,' but more shallow, headlines and Twitter posts.  This inevitably disillusions the majority within that central overlap, most of whom will eventually walk away in disgust, forsaking political thinking and action to the more radicalized, often irrational, individuals.

I'm with you here. This is what scares me: that reasonable people of all persuasion will quit the field, leaving it to the screamers. I fear we're seeing it now.
 

Journeyman

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pbi said:
I don't agree that there is anything automatically wrong in starting a post with "I think", or "in my opinion".
I'm perfectly content with "I think," if they have... and "in my opinion," if it's an informed opinion.  :nod:
(Neither of which requires a piece of paper or course certificate on a wall, by the way). 

We've seen no shortage of rapid-fire  'yes..no...yes'  "discussions," where neither poster is actually reading and considering what the other person has just posted;  they simply have to say the same thing over again to get in the last word.... accomplishing nothing.  :not-again:

 

Good2Golf

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Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the *practical embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

*edited for spelling*
 

pbi

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Good2Golf said:
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the paractocal embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G
It will, if the Tories want to get in again. I would vote for that in a heartbeat.
 

FJAG

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Good2Golf said:
Just thinking (as in recalling, but with sentient re-consideration, JM ;) ) back to when a fiscally conservative, socially progressive group existed in Canada that seemed like a decent touch-point on the development timeline of democratic liberalism in the West.

...and then Stephen Harper reneged on his deal with Peter MacKay, and the paractocal embodiment of the fiscally conservative, socially progressive ideology was no more in Canada. :(

Not sure if it will ever be back?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

I think that much of the problem with the party is the problem that was discussed above about folks that post on forums.

There's a group of us/them that are much more invested in the more extreme end of the arguments and with typical "squeaky wheel gets the grease" results end up controlling the nomination and election process within local ridings and national platforms.

It seems to me that the people who are more radical, or have a specific ax to grind (and in the last ON election much of that seemed to focus on, of all things, sex education) get much more involved in the process and as such take charge of it.

I think that we won't get back to where you and I think we need to be until a lot more of us moderates get off our collective butts and get more involved.

:cheers:
 
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