Agree or Disagree: @calgarydreamer’s decision.


As I have been writing this, it has been 11 days since my last post. This is due to travel and illness.

But I’m back. It’s good too be back. And, it appears we have some catching up too do.

Now, last week, you may have seen this face on your newspaper, or your newsfeed.

terrance-lo

This is Terry Lo, or @calgarydreamer. He tweets a lot on the yyc food scene. He organized YYC Burger Week and YYC Pizza Week. You also heard him on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

Last week, he made some waves this week with this post. He resigned his position as VP Communications for the Calgary Glenmore Wildrose Constituency Association.   Here is a portion of his post that I would like to highlight.

This past weekend at the AGM, the party, either in the misguided misunderstanding that nothing LESS than the statement of equality would do after the Lake of Fire event, or out of genuine desire to swing far right, actually BACKTRACKED and voted out the 2013 statement that affirmed and protected HUMAN RIGHTS.

In that moment, the party actually went against their leader and the recommendation of the MLAs, and basically said “screw you” to groups that have never felt included, or protected adequately compared to the white, christian majority. And the sad part, the membership seems to be falling on the argument that the more generic “ALL” statement supported is more than adequate. It’s far from that. In an ideal world, where peace reigns and harmony rises upon the streets, then it would be. But not a single member can comprehend ever the fear of a LGBT or minority kid who’s been beat up by another kid who belongs to that majority. As this vote proves to many outside of the party, “All” in the context of a Wild “Lake of Fire” Rose means the same as the famous statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

This vote confirmed to me that the misguided angry beliefs of a minority of the rank and file holds actual sway in party policy. I’ve since spoken to another notable ethnic member who confirmed a similar experience as well over years. Ideologically, I believe now that the party is swinging far right again on social issues, and as such, totally in opposition to my own beliefs. And ANY party that visibly does not protect my son, is one that has lost my support, and in fact, earned my opposition.

To specify what happened, and I imagine you know this part, the Wildrose Party voted 148-109 against adopting as policy a statement approved last year that affirmed the rights for everyone regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This led to a wave of criticism towards the Wildrose Party. Some of course questioned the leadership of Danielle Smith. Some wondered who’s voices are being listened too within the party. Some used terms like bigot and homophobic.

Today, things got worse for the Wildrose. Two MLAS, Kerry Towie and Ian Donovan announced they have crossed the floor to the PC Party. This, along with Joe Anglin who left earlier this month, knocks them down to 14 seats in the Alberta  Legislature. With rumours of more planning to cross the floor.

Now, I wasn’t at the convention or voted on this policy. I don’t know the debate or the discussion those that were at this convention had. What we do have however is a perspective from someone who was there.  But first, let’s read the statement up for discussion.

Wildrose will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freedom of belief, public expression, practice, and association. These rights and freedoms shall be protected, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”

This is the perspective of Jane Morgan who’s blog is called Up Close and Personal. You can read her perspective here.

Now, Terry will be coming on the Podcast to discuss his perspective. It is fair to say that while Terry has received tremendous support for his decision, he has faced some criticism too.  Some have questioned his motivations. Was this his so called 15 minutes of fame? Was he really a member of the Wildrose Party? We will talk to Terry about both.

Of course, we will welcome you into the conversation as well. What questions do you have for Terry? Do you Agree or Disagree with his decisions? Do you admire his decision? Or, do you question his motivation?

Agree or Disagree: Women Love Bad Boys and Dump Nice Guys


We have actually done this topic before,

It was in April of 2013.

However, I thought it would be an interesting conversation to unpack again. Especially with an individual who is advertising an idiotic, seriously  idiotic dating style. I’m not advertising or posting what it is. You know what it is. It doesn’t need my advertisement.

Rather, let’s look at this here. This article looks is titled Why Women Love Bad Boys and Dump Nice Guys.

Then, we will get your thoughts. Do women love bad boys and dump nice guys?

Agree or Disagree: Sweden’s Prostitution Solution would work in Canada


This article has been going around Facebook a little bit.

There are some people that have been very impressed by how Sweden has dealt with prostitution.  As an example, within the last five years Stockholm, the number of women in prostitution  have been reduced by two thirds.  And the number of johns has been reduced by 80%.

How?

Well according to this article, two things.

1)  Criminalizes the buying of sex.

2) Decriminalizes  the selling of sex.

As well as something in their law which says this; This according to the article.

“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”

I’m going to let you read the article, which outlines what has happened quite comprehensively why this works. Then, I will ask you this question.

Can this concept work here in Canada? Or, is this too simplistic of an idea for a complex problem?

Agree or Disagree: Stores should be closed on Remembrance Day


Lest-we-forgets-300x268

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. A time when hopefully we will all take at least a moment to reflect on those who lost their lives defending our freedoms.

Some of us will have the day off from work tomorrow. Some of us will work tomorrow and have another day off in lieu. Others will work tomorrow.

For us who have the day off tomorrow, we have the option to go to a store and shop.  Most stores will be open regular hours.

But is that right? Is it time for stores to be closed on Remembrance Day?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-The Roundtable


Steven Britton, Agatha Smykot, Tina Dawson join me on the Roundtable. The Roundtable is where we discuss a variety of topics.

The topics we discuss include:

The incident in Ottawa.

-Defining Terrorism

-Did Canada really change?

-The media coverage

- The reaction to Harper “in the closet” during the incident

Jian Ghomeshi;

-The reaction online and off

-The struggles that victims have coming forward.

-Is there a way we can be more supportive to victims?

Selling of Poppies and Christmas Shopping;

-Is it fair to expect stores to start advertising Christmas shopping on November 12?

-Is is disrespectful to Veterans that people don’t?

Should jobless University Grads work for free?

-The current job market

-The importance of selecting a degree that has a high chance of employment

-Why it’s not always bad to work a “McJob?

Listen to the Podcast here.

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Agree or Disagree: Religion could be gone within a generation.


This is the thought of Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss.

He argues that Religion could be gone within a generation. Here’s a quote from him.

“Change is always one generation away… so if we can plant the seeds of doubt in our children, religion will go away in a generation, or at least largely go away. And that’s what I think we have an obligation to do.”

You can read more here.

My question, or questions, are this.

There are 19 major world religions divided into a total of 270 large or small religious groups. Is this idea possible?

And, if possible, do you see this as a benefit? Why or why not?

If you are interested, you can also listen to this discussion between Peter Rollins and Krauss from the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in 2013.

Agree or Disagree: It’s time to reopen the “Right to Die” debate.


In the midst of the other news going around the last couple of weeks, you might have missed the story of Brittany Maynard.

Brittany Maynard was a 29 year old woman who suffered from a stage 4 malignant brain cancer. She announced on YouTube that on Saturday November 1 she will end her life.

This is a really simplistic statement in of itself. So, let’s give some clarity here. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in January. She was told by doctors in April that she had six months to live.  And that six months would be very painful.

Throughout this process, Maynard became an advocate for terminally ill patients  to receive medication that will allow then to die on their own terms.You can see her video above.

Maynard’s story got lots of attention. It included a website which you can see here. And her name was mentioned over 105,000 times on Twitter according to Topsy.com

Considering Maynard’s story, and the many more that will not get this type of attention, is it time for us to consider reopening the “Right to Die” debate?  Before, you answer, I hope you have a look at this article. This is comprehensive look at the issues around the topic from USA Today.

I hope when you discuss this, you give the respect and dignity of all perspectives that will be shared.