Monday, July 27, 2009

If I was in charge (4 years later)

I originally put up a list of things that would change if I had the power in June 2005. Nobody commented on anything. What's up with that? I felt it was time to redo the list. Note: These are just my thoughts - I don't profess to be right (I'm a little more left, truth be told).
  • Do whatever it takes to overhaul our health care system to bring it back to the quality of service that existed 30 years ago. Private service requiring extra payment from patients should not be allowed and it should not be necessary. Some of us stopped paying health care premiums. Why - if our system is not even working?
  • Outlaw speed bumps. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. They're only good for wrecking suspensions. Based on my observations, they do not slow people down - they're a nuisance, not a deterrent.
  • Free transit for anyone over 65 ( I upped the age by 5 years).
  • Here's a concept - the more a vehicle pollutes - the more it should cost to buy.
  • The lowest emission vehicles get to use HOV lanes.
  • We need a wholesale upgrade of the electrical grid to be ready for the onslaught of electric vehicles due in the next decade.
  • Financial incentives to add renewable electric generation capability at your home (wind / solar / geothermal). Utilities should provide the necessary equipment to enable excess energy to be sold back to grid.
  • Stop the security charade at airports. X-ray our bags, make us walk through detectors, but stop acting like lip balm should be spelled lip bomb.
  • Let's stop playing partisan politics regarding the carbon tax concept. It's an idea whose time has come. Anyone who doesn't like it has too much vested interest in the carbon industry.
  • The government in Canada needs a voting system overhaul. Consider this as well: If you win with a majority, you get to determine national policy unopposed for 4 years. If you win with a minority, you try to govern with a virtual gun to your head until the opposition finally pulls the trigger and forces another election. Is that productive?
  • Day care is way too expensive. Yet even with families paying $800+ per month per child, there are waiting lists of two years to get in. Can't we fix this?
  • Speed cameras belong mostly in school zones and playground zones and at pedestrian crosswalks when they're in use. Speaking of crosswalks - let's make them more visible - and teach pedestrians to put their arm out to indicate their intent to cross. I've seen this in action in Toronto and it works wonders. No more trying to guess if someone is crossing.
  • Hide the GST back into the price of all products - we don't need to see it. This will make it more realistic to:
  • Abolish the penny. Everything ending in 1 or 2 is rounded to 0; 3 or 4 rounded to 5; 6 or 7 is rounded to 5; 8 or 9 rounded to 0. Bye-bye penny! [Everyone wave bye-bye]
  • Canada should not succumb to pressure from the entertainment industry or the US government to make copyright law more restrictive. Heck - down with copyright altogether. Up with Creative Commons Licensing.
  • While we're on the subject, governments and industry alike need to understand that business models need to change with the technology, the culture and the times. If a model is failing - and this applies to so many industries right now - then the model must adapt or die. Tax dollars are not meant for saving the skins of stubborn CEOs and board members.
  • Free trade is a joke. Scrap all duties. If you can't compete... you're doing it wrong. Sounds like 'failing business model syndrome' again.
  • Offer financial incentives to companies that capitalize on telecommuting at least 50% of the work week (reduces traffic / pollution).
  • Abolish the CRTC. Or at least its mandate of legislating Canadian content. Canadian programming that's any good will stand on its own.
  • Consumers are the most qualified and capable to distribute artistic content using the internet. So let them do it. Charge a levy in addition to ISP connection fees that allows everyone to download anything at anytime. The entertainment industry can use file-sharing analysis software to tabulate who the fees should go to. Problem solved.
  • Twin the Trans Canada Highway from coast to coast. Find a way. It's embarrassing that this hasn't been done yet.
  • Make all speciality cable TV channels a-la-carte. There are too many crap channels riding the coat-tails of viable ones. The ones that have low demand must be tossed.
  • The penalty for drinking and driving is loss of license. Forever. No exceptions. Not even for work. Then you go to jail.
  • There should be a sophisticated RFID-type device that you get from the vehicle registry that enables you to operate a vehicle. If you've lost your license, you lose this device as well. This would prevent those who are penalized from driving illegally.
  • Abolish the gun registry. Crimes are rarely committed with registered weapons.
  • Legalize marijuana. Regulate it to make it safe. Do it now. I need to get my Mr. Munchie (mobile munchie truck) business on the road before I retire.
  • Find a way, maybe through corporate sponsorship or something - to make university and college free. There are just too many benefits for this not to work.
  • If someone emigrates to Canada with a professional skill - for heaven's sake let them at least challenge an exam to earn the right to practise that skill here.
  • If the government really cared about our health, they would heavily tax junk and processed food and pay us to quit smoking.
  • It's time to inject new life into our national passenger rail system. High speed trains between Quebec and Windsor, Edmonton / Calgary / Regina / Winnipeg would be a good start.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Abolish the penny, right on.