Tag Archives: Parliament

What UK Prime Minister David Cameron will do, and an extra thing that he should do

CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22
CON = 331 (+24), LAB = 232 (-26), SNP = 56 (+50), LIB = 8 (-47), UKP = 1 (+1), OTH = 22

Here’s an article from the radically leftist UK Independent, which is furious with the Conservative Party victory in Thursday’s national elections.

In it, they explain what Cameron intends to do:

David Cameron will use the Conservative Party’s first majority in the House of Commons for nearly 20 years to “deliver” on a radical agenda to cut welfare, shrink the size of the state and re-define Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Conservative insiders said Mr Cameron would move to the right to consolidate support among his backbench MPs after five years of compromise with the Liberal Democrats.

Among Mr Cameron’s first legislative priorities will be to enshrine an EU referendum into law, bring in the so-called ‘snoopers charter’ to give police greater powers to monitor internet communications and give English MPs a veto over legislation only affecting England.  The Tories also intend to publish plans to scrap the Human Rights Act within their first 100 days. All proposals had been previously blocked by the Lib Dems.

I always think of the UK as the biggest dupes when it comes to global warming, especially after the Climategate e-mails came out showing that that there was a concerted effort to falsify data and persecute global warming skeptics. But, like Canada’s Conservative Party, the UK Conservative Party is taking a stand against the pseudo-science.

Look:

As well as deep welfare cuts The Independent understands that the Department of Business and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, previously run by the Lib Dems, will be among the biggest casualties in terms of spending reductions.

Oliver Letwin, the Tories’ policy chief, has spent the campaign in Whitehall drawing up proposals to merge quangos and slash Government regulation. These are likely to form a key part of the spending review. The review has been made more difficult by Mr Cameron’s late and unexpected election pledge to find an extra £8bn for the NHS. This has yet to be funded and if the Tories stick to their other tax and spending commitments could require further cuts. Most senior Tories had expected to be negotiating another coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats, giving them the flexibility to raise taxes to fund their additional spending commitments. As it is they are now bound to implement legislation binding the Government not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT rates for the next five years.

Quangos are “quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations”. Abolishing or merging these will put a serious dent in government over-spending – and overreach.

The Democratic Unionist Party factor

Cameron would do well to add the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members to his coalition. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan says that “On immigration, on constitutional reform, on defence, on Europe, on rural issues, on education, on law and order, the DUP is, well, conservative.”The Conservatives need 323 seats to govern. They have 331 by themselves, and 8 more would help them in case there are any rebellions from within their own ranks. If he can get the lone UKIP member on board, that would help too, giving him a majority of 340.

More about the DUP:

The DUP bills itself as “right-wing in the sense of being strong on the constitution”, but “to the left on social policy”. The party’s members show a strong leaning towards the Conservatives, Professor Jonathan Tonge notes, backing them by a ratio of seven to one over Labour. The DUP also back the Conservatives on areas like Europe, with Nigel Dodds insisting that any coalition they are involved in would need to offer an EU referendum.

[…]The DUP, which has close links to the Dr Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, has frequently sparked controversy for how it discusses homosexuality. This has led to David Cameron facing tough questions earlier this month during a Q&A when one audience member wanted him to vow not to go into coalition with the DUP because of its views on LGBT rights, something he refused to rule out.

[…]The DUP also oppose the right of women to an abortion, with Jim Wells saying it should be ruled out for rape victims. The party has also called for a parliamentary debate on resinstating the death penalty.

It sounds like they are even further right than Cameron, which is good, because Cameron is what Americans would call a RINO.

Give Scotland enough rope to hang itself

But the most important thing for Cameron to do is to give Scotland full fiscal autonomy.

This is even something that the SNP leader wants:

Nicola Sturgeon was forced to admit in the second Scottish leaders’ debate that her MPs would be prepared to vote next year for full fiscal autonomy, which according to experts would make Scotland £7.6 billion worse off.

[…]In March, she suggested it might not happen straightaway as she faced claims it would cost almost 140,000 jobs and leave Scotland with a higher deficit than Spain.

[…]It would mean Scotland opting out of the Barnett Formula which currently sets Scotland’s public spending block grant, and gives Scots around £1,200 extra per head.

[…]In March, Ms Sturgeon dismissed warnings from the impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that her general election demand for full fiscal autonomy would create a multi-billion pound financial black hole in Scotland’s finances.

Daniel Hannan thinks this would be a great idea:

Commentators struggle to explain the rise of the SNP: why, seven months after rejecting separation, should Scots turn to the separatist party? Those commentators miss the point. The SNP knows fine well (as Scots say) that opinion has not moved on the independence issue. Nicola Sturgeon had to keep promising that there’d be no re-run of the vote.

No, the SNP is better understood as Scotland’s version of Greece’s Syriza or Spain’s Podemos – a far-Left, populist insurgency. Like those parties, it has a touching belief in its ability to conjure wealth through alchemy.

[…]There is a very weak link in Scotland between taxation, representation and expenditure. Because of the Barnett Formula, Scottish politicians get to spend money that has been raised through taxation elsewhere. This incentivises their constituents to vote for high-spending parties. Over time, that tendency has become self-reinforcing to the extent that the very act of calling for fiscal restraint is seen as alien, un-Scottish.

Not all Scots are on the Left, obviously. There are some free-marketeers in the land of Adam Smith. But the prevailing assumption among Holyrood politicians and pundits is that higher spending is a defining national characteristic. They don’t use those words, of course. They say, “We’re a compassionate, fair-minded people”. But it’s what they mean.

What can be done about it? Well, the SNP demands full fiscal autonomy, and David Cameron should hurry to meet that demand. Partly because linking taxation to expenditure north of the border might allow a revival, over time, of Right-of-Centre politics in Scotland. Partly because the measure will also be popular with English taxpayers. Partly, too, because, without such a reform, separatism will revive. And partly because greater autonomy for Scotland could bring about a new, devolved settlement for the entire United Kingdom, something that is long overdue. Mainly, though, because most Scots say they want it, and the SNP has won an unarguable mandate. What are we waiting for?

The Scottish electorate – by and large – make Greek socialists like Tsipras / Syriza appear fiscally prudent. They need to find out how economics works the hard way. Let them make their own decisions, and maybe when they are picking leaves off of trees to feed themselves in a few years, they will come to their senses and be ready to deal. It’s very important for people who are led by their feelings and who pursue dreams against reality to crash and burn, so that they understand the value of practical people who have worked hard, saved and played by the rules.

The Scots are voting for slogans like “stop austerity” without any idea of how difficult working and saving really is for taxpayers, of which there are precious few in Scotland. Let them face the consequences of their own folly, and then come back to the negotiating table with a weaker hand, just as Greece is doing now. Maybe if Cameron does this in the UK, it will inspire Harper to do the same with Quebec in Canada. Just give Quebec full fiscal autonomy and then cut off the equalization payments that allow them to live far beyond their means. Make them grow up.

One thing is for sure. The UK electorate (aside from Scotland and Wales) has impressed me. This is the beginning of a period of liberty, prosperity and security for the UK, and I for one am envious that they are getting a head start on it, while we have to wait another year and a half before we join them by electing a Republican president, and holding the House and Senate.

Should it be illegal to coerce a woman to have an abortion?

Rod Bruinooge
Rod Bruinooge

Story from Life Site News. (H/T Mary)

Excerpt:

The vote on the Canadian bill seeking to criminalize abortion coercion, which was initially pushed back to February, is now set for December 15th.

The bill, called “Roxanne’s Law,” is named after Roxanne Fernando, a Manitoba woman whose boyfriend attempted to coerce her to have an abortion after she became pregnant in 2007.  After refusing to have the unborn child killed, Roxanne was beaten and left to die in a snow bank.

It was introduced in April as a private members bill by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South), who serves as chair of the parliamentary pro-life caucus.  It is opposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who says he “will oppose any attempt to create a new abortion law.”

The bill, also known as C-510, received its first hour of debate on November 1st.  “No pregnant woman should ever have to choose between protecting herself and protecting her baby,” Bruinooge told the House of Commons.

It will receive a second hour of debate on December 13th.

The bill has gained wide support among religious and pro-life organizations, including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Canadian Bishops’ Catholic Organization for Life and Family, and Priests for Life, among numerous others.

Conservative prime minister (Stephen Harper) has committed to not changing abortion law at all while he has a minority government, probably because he feels he doesn’t have a mandate to do that since he never campaigned to do that. However, this law is so sensible and moderate, I have to think that he should allow a free vote on the issue, and let the social conservatives see that they have a home in the federal Conservative Party. This measure is so moderate that it would be difficult to see how anyone could be against it.

The latest poll has the Conservatives at 33.3% support, and the socialist Liberals at 27.1% support, and the communist NDP at 16.6%. To get a majority, the Conservatives have to be north of 40%. Canada is still a very liberal country.

UPDATE: Mary writes:

I agree that they should allow a free vote on the issue. It’s something that even the pro-choice side should support – provided they’re really pro-choice…

This is actually really important. There need to be repercussions to coercing a woman into abortion. It could save a lot of lives. Most abortions are not wanted and many are coerced. Read this to see just how bad it is: http://www.theunchoice.com/pdf/FactSheets/ForcedAbortions.pdf

And:

In the US context, listen to this recording of the testimony of a woman was coerced into an abortion by Planned Parenthood and hear how they try to shut her up when she wants to tell them why PP is not worthy of taxpayer funding:

India lowers income taxes and increases deductions for savings

The story is here from the Times of India, sent to me by Shalini.

Changes to tax rates

Here are the current tax rates:

Now 10 per cent is levied on incomes of Rs 1.6-3 lakh, 20 per cent on Rs 3-5 lakh and 30 per cent above Rs 5 lakh.

Here are the new rates:

The government on Wednesday initiated radical tax reforms through a draft code that aims at moderating income tax rates, abolishing Securities Transaction Tax and increasing deduction for savings up to Rs three lakh. The new Direct Taxes Code has suggested a significant expansion of personal income-tax slabs, with levels of relief going up with incomes.

Releasing the Direct Taxes Code that will ultimately replace the over four-decades old Income Tax Act and bring all other direct taxes like wealth tax under its purview, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said if reasonable level of discussion happens on the code, a bill could be placed in the winter session of Parliament.

The Code said that the 10 per cent tax rate should apply to an annual income of Rs 1.6-10 lakh per annum and the 20 per cent rate to Rs 10-25 lakh.

The maximum rate of 30 per cent, it added, should apply to income above Rs 25 lakh per annum.

The new rates, it said, “are expected to yield the existing level of revenues with the revised comprehensive tax base proposed in this code”.

Indian tax brackets

Here are my calculations… are they wrong?

First bracket (10%): 1.6 to 10 lakh = 10 x 100,000 rupees = 1,000,000 rupees = up to 20,000 USD.

Second bracket (20%): 10 to  25 lakh = 10 x 100,000 rupees = 1,000,000 rupees = up to 50,000 USD.

Third bracket (30%): over 25 lakh = 10 x 100,000 rupees = 1,000,000 rupees = over 50,000 USD.

Changes to encourage more saving

Not only are they slashing income tax rates but they are increasing the deductions for savings.

I can’t believe this. India is doing everything RIGHT and we are doing everything WRONG. Even Canada is signing free trade deals, while Inspector Clouseau is trying to make us into North Korea. India is buying arms, we’re cutting the F-22 and missile defense.

Indian government says sex education promotes promiscuity

Story from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

The Indian government has rejected western-style sex education programs, saying they do nothing to solve the problem of teenage pregnancy but only exacerbate the problem by promoting sexual promiscuity.

A government report on the matter was issued in response to a citizen-launched petition against a decision by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) to start sex-education in schools. The program had been touted as a means of preventing the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Materials for teachers and facilitators in India included explicit details about “alternative methods” of sex, including anal and oral sex, presented as a means of avoiding AIDS.

According to the government, the curriculum prepared with material from UNICEF, had “shocked the consciences” of the country and was described as “quite frightening.” If implemented, the report said, it would “promote promiscuity of the worst kind.” The report was issued in March by a committee of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, and says that the introduction of sex education in India’s schools should at least be delayed until the issue has been fully debated in public.

Here is my post regarding homosexual sex education for kindergarten students in the USA. Here is another post about Alberta’s proposed Bill 44 which allows parents to opt their children out of sex education.

Indian Christians cheer election results

In September of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported on anti-Christian violence in India:

In the past week in Karnataka, the southern Indian state that is home to India’s high-technology capital of Bangalore, at least 17 attacks have been reported on churches and prayer halls, according to local Christian groups, independent monitors and police….Christians, who make up roughly 2% of India’s 1.1 billion population, have periodically been the targets of violence by Hindu-extremist groups who oppose Christian missionaries and the conversion of Hindus. Christianity has proven popular among those on the lowest rungs of Hinduism’s caste hierarchy, in part because Christian groups often offer education and health care.

Christians and churches also have been targeted in Kerala in southern India, Madhya Pradesh in central India and Uttar Pradesh in the north.

The incidents follow attacks on Christians in the eastern state of Orissa starting last month that have left about 25 dead. The Orissa attacks were sparked after a Hindu-fundamentalist leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, was found dead in a temple. Orissa police have said they suspect Maoist rebels for the deaths, but Hindu-extremist groups blame Christian missionaries.

The violence has taken on a political tinge as India prepares for national elections that must be held before May.

The article talks about the two main parties in the May elections:

The opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is viewed as ideologically aligned with the extremist Hindu groups, such as the Bajrang Dal, that minority groups and some other parties blame for stoking the violence.

The BJP and the Congress Party are India’s two main national parties. The current government is a Congress-led coalition.

…”The BJP has always fallen back on a strategy that polarizes people on communal lines to get what they imagine will be electoral gains,” said Jayanti Natarajan, a Congress spokeswoman.

Check out these comments by the BJP, it’s scary:

Kalyan Singh, BJP national vice president, said the party doesn’t believe in sectarian agitation. “We condemn the violence in Orissa, but the main and deep root is the mass conversions by the Christian missionaries,” which the BJP opposes, he said.

Bajrang Dal is a militant youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a Hindu-nationalist organization. Prakash Sharma, Bajrang Dal’s national head, said in an interview that the death of Mr. Saraswati in Orissa was “under the inspiration of the Christian missionaries and converts.” He said that as a result, “people all over India are responding spontaneously against them.” Asked if he could cite evidence of Christian culpability for the death, he failed to do so.

He denied any involvement of Bajrang Dal in the riots against Christians in Orissa and Karnataka.

CNS reported on the anti-Christian campaign waged by the BJP:

Orissa is one of five Indian states where BJP authorities have passed anti-conversion laws which the U.S. State Department says infringe upon an individual’s right to change religion.

…Christians say those who have become believers do so willingly, and in the process escape the discriminatory caste system.

The Christian ministry Open Doors, which maintains a watchlist of countries where Christians face the worst persecution, this year moved India to 22nd place, up from 30th last year.

The May elections are now completed! And here are the election results so far, from the BBC: (H/T Dr. Roy)

State television says Congress’s alliance has won or is ahead in 263 seats, compared with the BJP’s (154), the Third Front (60) and others (66).

…Prakash Karat, the leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the key mover in the Third Front, accepted Congress had won.

“The CPM and the Left parties have suffered a major setback,” he said.

It’s a Parliamentary system with 543 seats, you need a governing coalition with the majority of seats to govern.

Dr. Roy says:

…There will no need for commies to be part of the governing coalition. There was 60% turnout. Unfortunately 60 people died in attacks by maoist terorrists. Congress and its allies have won in Tamil Nadu. Probably not very good news for the ltte. The Prime minister will be ManMohan Singh for now, but it is likely a Gandhi will be PM in the not too distant future.

Great news for Christians in India!

UPDATE: The Competitive Enterprise Institute says that it’s a victory for free market capitalism, as well! Bonus!