Tag Archives: EU

Fiscally conservative Canada campaigns against global bank tax

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Story from Breitbart.

Excerpt:

Canada will “resist” a bank tax, Industry Minister Tony Clement said Tuesday as ministers fanned out across the world to raise opposition to the proposal for avoiding another financial crisis.

“Canada is, and will remain, opposed to a tax that would penalize financial institutions that remained strong and prosperous while many of the world’s banks failed,” Clement told a press conference with Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon.

“We will resist the bank tax here at home and we seek to convince other heads of government of the virtue of our position,” he said as senior ministers echoed his message in Mumbai, Beijing and Washington.

Attempts to reach international agreement on coordinated bank taxes at last month’s G20 and IMF meetings ran aground.

Nations including Canada and Brazil, whose banking sectors emerged largely unscathed from the financial crisis, objected to the plan, favoring higher capital reserve requirements instead.

[…]Clement said the bank tax would “encourage risky behavior” if it is used to create a bank bailout fund and “reward bad behavior” of those institutions responsible for the recent financial crisis in the first place.

As well, it would “unduly burden” Canadian banks and put them at a “competitive disadvantage” to other financial institutions.

“This tax would reach into consumers’ pockets and punish our financial institutions which have taken precautions to avoid the very turmoil that is afflicting other parts of the globe,” Clement lamented.

Stephen Harper is a fiscal conservative. He knows that low interest rates are bad, so he created tax-free savings accounts to get people to work and save their money. And he knows that people who buy houses need to be able to pay for them, and his banking policies reflect that. There is no Democrat-sponsored “Community Reinvestment Act” in Canada to allow the socialist mafia (ACORN) to pressure private banks into making risky loans. And there are no Democrats taking political contributions while blocking attempts to investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And there are no bank bailouts!

The Conservative Party of Canada keeps its banking sector squeaky clean. They even plan to cut spending! And the Canadian people support fiscal conservatism. That’s why they aren’t facing the mess we are facing. And they have lower unemployment, too – 8.1% compared to our 9.9%. Canada is kicking our tails! How can this be? How did they manage to elect an economist, while we are stuck with this perpetually-bowing flibbertigibbet and his legions of bloviating boffins, each more corrupt and incompetent than the last? Democrats have no real-life experience! They just had rich parents!

Look at this article from the Financial Post.

Excerpt:

“In Canada, there were no taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions, so we believe there is no justification for levies on banks and financial institutions,” Harper said at a news conference following meetings with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

[…]Canada and the EU are in the midst of negotiating an ambitious trade deal. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was launched at the 2009 Canada-EU summit and to date, three rounds of negotiations have taken place. There are at least two more to go over the next year.

The deal will give Canada greater access to the markets of the EU’s member countries and will strengthen an economic relationship that is already worth $75-billion in trade. The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States and is also Canada’s second-largest source of direct foreign investment, putting $162-billion into Canada in 2009.

This is grown-up fiscal policy. Government should stay out of the mortgage-lending industry, and sign as many free-trade deals as possible. The exact opposite of what the Obama administration is doing.

France passes law to jail spouses who commit psychological violence

Here is an article from the UK Daily Mail. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Married couples in France could end up with criminal records for insulting each other during arguments.

Under a new law, France is to become the first country in the world to ban ‘ psychological violence’ within marriage.

The law would apply to cohabiting couples and to both men and women.

It would cover men who shout at their wives and women who hurl abuse at their husbands – although it was not clear last night if nagging would be viewed as breaking the law.

The law is expected to cover every kind of insult including repeated rude remarks about a partner’s appearance, false allegations of infidelity and threats of physical violence.

Police are being urged to issue a caution in the first instance, but repeat offenders could face a fine, a restraining order or even jail.

Feminists don’t like long-term, stable male-female relationships, because they think that it creates unequal “husband” and “wife” roles.

This law will dissuade men from marrying. Men are not going to be happy about going to jail just because they tell their wives to spend less money, etc. And women need to start to do something to prevent such laws. Women are going to have decide whether they want to substitute courts, police and government-run social programs for husbands and fathers. They can’t have socialism and a family.

Until I see proof that women intend to crusade against these anti-male, anti-family laws, I am not going to be favorably disposed toward marriage. This is where we are going in the West, towards greater and greater feminism, higher taxes, more social programs, and greater regulation of the family by the courts. A man cannot be the head of a family when he has no power and no respect.

Massive changes needed to avert demographic catastrophe in European Union

Story from LifeSiteNews.

Excerpt:

According to the report by Norway’s Institute for Family Policies abortion rates in Britain have leaped by a third among unmarried teenage girls and abortion is helping to age the population of Europe. Without a massive shift to family-friendly policies, the pattern of increased abortion and increasingly aging population will inevitably lead to the collapse of social welfare benefits, and, ultimately, to the bankruptcy of Europe’s cradle-to-grave socialist welfare state.

Presented to the European Parliament on Wednesday, the report said that the situation of the family in Europe is “a desolate panorama.”

“Europe is plunged in an unprecedented demographic winter and has become an elderly continent, with a large birth deficit, fewer marriages and more of them broken, homes emptying.”

“The aging population, critical birth-rate, escalating abortions, the collapse of marriage, the explosion in family breakups and the emptying of homes are the main problems of Europeans,” the 2009 Report on the Evolution of the Family in Europe said.

[…]The dropping European birth rate, the report says, with its concomitant increasing health and pension costs, will lead to increases in public expenditure to care for the aging population and the eventual collapse of public revenues, leading finally to the bankruptcy of the welfare state. The average birth rate of EU countries is now 1.38 per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman, even in relatively fertile countries like France.

Without a significant shift in family policies in all EU countries, the report predicts the result will be “catastrophic.” Starting in 2010, the population of Europe overall will begin to fall from 499 million to 472 million by 2050 and every third inhabitant will be over 65.

[…]Other indicators show the number of marriages, especially first marriages, is down and divorce rates are up. There are 1 in 4 fewer marriages than in 1980 and the marriage rate has fallen in 9 out 10 countries. One out of every 3 children (36.5 per cent) is born outside marriage. In some countries the fall in marriage rate has been around 50 per cent since 1983 and there are over one million divorces a year, the equivalent to one marital breakdown every 30 seconds.

You can take a look at the actual numbers here. It’s a mess. This should convince fiscal conservatives to support social conservatism. Abortion and the destruction of two-parent families imposes massive social costs on society, and it grows government to deal with the fallout. Government pay for all the social programs, welfare, police, jails, etc. But it also has to regulate broken families via the courts. It makes no sense to abandon morality and expect government to stay the same – it will have to grow.

Maybe we shouldn’t have let the secular socialist elites run things? Could it be that believers in traditional morality and small government were in the right? Could it be that there is a price to pay for believing in materialism and naturalism, and jettisoning morality for hedonism?

Germany leans to the right as Angela Merkel sweeps election

Story from the Globe and Mail. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

The collapse of Europe’s left-leaning political consensus continued Sunday night as Germany’s Social Democrats ended 11 years in coalition governments with a crushing defeat at the hands of a conservative coalition that re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The vote makes Ms. Merkel the latest in a succession of conservative leaders to win strong support in formerly centre-left countries. Her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have governed Germany since 2005 in an awkward power-sharing coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD).

But last night’s vote allows her to form a broadly right-wing government with the libertarian Free Democrats (FDP), who campaigned on a tax-cutting platform.

[…]The risk is palpable. Similar centre-left parties in Italy and France have been driven to near-extinction by conservative votes in recent years, and European parliament elections this year saw nearly every country support a majority of centre-right candidates.

As if to drive the point home, last night also saw Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, a stalwart of the moderate left, lose his parliamentary majority in a humiliating vote.

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are hawks on foreign policy. But what about Obama? Does he understand the dangerous world we live in, or is his mind still stuck in the ivory tower?

The Washington Times reports: (H/T Hot Air)

The military general credited for capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq says he has only spoken to President Obama once since taking command of Afghanistan.

“I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC ,” General Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.

“You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?” Mr. Martin followed up.

“That is correct,” the general replied.

Maybe he should spend less time meeting with dictators, and more time with his own generals?

GREAT NEWS! Center-right parties win EU election!

Story is here at the BBC, entitled “European voters punish the left”. (H/T Gateway Pundit via Commenter ECM)

Excerpt:

Centre-right parties have done well in elections to the European Parliament at the expense of the left, according to exit polls and initial results.

…Centre-left parties are projected to have lost almost a quarter of their seats, while the centre-right is only slightly down.…The BBC’s Jonny Dymond in Brussels says it looks as if the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) will continue to hold power in the parliament.

Some specifics:

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP trounced socialist opponents, while greens from the Europe-Ecologie party also made gains
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing centre-right grouping lost ground but finished ahead of its rivals. The Social Democrats, Ms Merkel’s partners in the grand coalition, saw their worst election showing since World War II with just 20.8%
  • In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition is ahead of the socialist opposition, with between 39% and 43% of the vote, exit polls suggested. The Italian group may be the largest within the EPP
  • In the UK, the governing Labour Party is expecting a serious defeat, slipping to third place
  • Spain’s governing Socialists were slightly behind the opposition Popular Party, according to partial results
  • Poland’s governing centre-right Civic Platform has gained ground at the expense of the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party
  • Early results show Portugal’s ruling Socialists dropped a massive 18 percentage points, losing out mainly to Greens and far-left parties

In the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown’s left-wing Labour Party lost badly:

Labour is facing an historic defeat in European elections which have seen the BNP gain its first seat in Brussels.

Labour may dip below 20% of the popular vote in what deputy leader Harriet Harman called a “very dismal” night.

The party lost 12% of its vote in Wales, where they were beaten by the Tories for the first time since 1918.

The BNP win in Yorkshire and Humberside was branded a “sad day” by the Tories and Labour but the party said it was a blow against EU “dictatorship”.

With results starting to flow in, Labour looks on course to finish behind the UK Independence Party, which is currently on 17%, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is facing calls from leading figures within his own party to stand down.

Labour has been beaten into fifth place behind the Greens in two English regions – the South-East and South-West.

The Conservatives on course to repeat their victory of 2004 with 27% of the vote, but without significantly increasing their share of the vote.

The Lib Dems are neck-and-neck with Labour on 16%.

And there are also local level elections in the UK, where the Conservatives gained over 10% from their already impressive showing in 2004.

In the English local elections held on Thursday the Conservatives got a projected 38% of the vote, the Lib Dems 28% and Labour 23%.

In the 2004 European elections the Conservatives won 26.7% of votes, Labour 22.6%, UKIP 16.1%, the Lib Dems 14.9%, the Greens 6.3% and the BNP 4.9%.

The BBC also has a country-by-country breakdown here in text, and an animated version showing seat counts by country.

I blogged before about the good news from the Lebanon and India election results as well.

UPDATE: Western Experience links to a more recent overview from the Wall Street Journal.