“Culture of Blame”

“Provinces blame the federal government. Municipalities blame the provinces. Provinces blame other provinces. The Conservatives blame the Liberals. The Martin Liberals blame the Chretien Liberals and the NDP blame everybody.”
Jim Harris, Green Party of Canada Leader

God that’s true. I guess the only reason the people of Canada don’t look at the Green Party more seriously is because of trust. We like the smell of dusty rooms and old wood when it comes to politics – no matter how much we need to stop and really examine the political system and it’s desperate need for change.

Being in China, both I and the Green Party have been mercifully saved from me running again. I hear rumours they might have a lawyer running for them in the Welland riding, which would be fantastic. Those lawyers, sharp as whips they are.

My big hope is the Greens get the disenchanted vote this year. They’ve got some momentum, having secured a respectable 4.3% of the popular vote 17 months ago and also now have some bucks coming from the feds (so expect to possibly see some advertising this year!). All of this might help to legitimize a party that has long had to battle the public’s misconception that it just stands on an environmental policy.

Alright, enough about politics… lets move to a more intelligent topic – kids. Does anyone else receive those e-mails that are a collection of goofy (darndest) things kids have uttered to their grade 2 teacher or whomever. Does anyone else think this is a sham? I mean really. Did you ever see your Grade 2 teacher making notes on what you said in class… and exactly what federally funded agency is collecting these? Is there some, unknown to me, group that allows teachers to submit these? More likely it’s just some bored, middle-aged woman whose cats have started to ignore her cooking these things up.

Well in continuing with my no-mention-of-China (crap I just did) entry… a possible big change is on the horizon for me. I might be going back to school, atleast in a highly 21st Century sense — Distance Ed. I learned last year (and recently confirmed again) that Athabasca University has an agreement with Niagara College whereby I can apply my Journalism-Print diploma towards the first 2 years (60 credits) of a Bachelor’s of Professional Arts degree. An added bonus is I can do it all from anywhere in the world, including China (damn, mentioned it again).

But like all things, there’s a negative side; it’s f’in’ expensive. From what I hear, an average year’s university tuition in a traditional institution is about $5,000, but through Athabasca I’ll be paying $820/course X 20 courses (over 2 years) = $16,400 or $8,200 a year. This is where I get all pissed off at perceived value…

Logically, you look at the distance education concept and you’d think.. ‘hmm.. must be cheaper. There’s no big expensive campus to pay for, no full-time staff of professors in tenure…’ but of course, this isn’t how it’s looked at. See, distance education is designed for people with jobs and little time. Evidently, people making money (no matter how little) and strapped for time because of it apparently have to smile and take it in the rear because of the “convenience” provided is “worth” the cost. 操他们妈的! Not only that, but best I can figure that $820/course I have to pay is simply because I’m in China – if I lived in Canada I could pay $200 less per course (a $4,000 savings). Sorry, didn’t I pay taxes my entire adult life in Canada? Or does that money just go into the same slush fund that my EI payments went to? The magical pot o’ gold that’s going to pay for all the GM workers to get a nice long vacation and then get re-educated in gardening or something.

Well, I guess if getting an education was simple EVERYONE would want one, and what kind of country would Canada be then.

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