- Dr. Robert Ing
Where I Stand on the Issues
I don't subscribe to any one political (party) line although many people aren't happy until they try to put me into one of those little boxes. I am a firm believer in "responsibility to the responsible." I believe many people who run for public office do so to simply get elected for the connections and notoriety rather than to establish a firm mandate in the public interest; to actually stand for something they believe in.
The original and sole purpose of those elected and an elected government is not to be a benefactor of the people. Its purpose is to be a steward and administrator of public infrastructure; to maintain these with monies belonging to the citizenry collected via a tax system. In doing this, the elected government creates a safe, secure environment where the citizenry may realize opportunity and prosper.
Regrettably, today the majority of the citizenry want a benefactor and a lesser qualified government that will enact laws to force a handful of their special interest agendas on their fellow citizens. All the while infrastructure decays and opportunity is neglected in place of legislated privilege without responsibility.
So, at the risk of being unpopular but standing firmly on what I believe and accepting full responsibility for this stand, here are the top 19 issues I feel strongly about and my abridged perspective on them.
1. I stand for Capital Punishment (the death sentence) for individuals who knowingly take the life of another human being, and for those who commit physical sexual assault (rape); in situations where the allegations of such an offense are clearly substantiated by scientific and direct evidence. As well, I believe those who directly commit capital crimes must be tried equitably regardless of age. Anyone capable of such heinous acts regardless of age have clearly demonstrated their capacity and capability to commit (and commit again) such an act. However, it must be established beyond doubt that the accused was indeed directly responsible for the alleged act; something our current judicial system is incapable of doing.
2. I stand for a Work Fair Program; a program where those completely supported by welfare or social assistance must earn their stipend by volunteer work in the community of not less than 20 hours per week. The only exception to this would be those recipients that are certified as medically unfit by a physician. Single mothers who live alone with their children would be required to either do 8 hours of out-of-home volunteer work or do equivalent work at home (telephoning or stuffing envelopes for a charity from home) per week. No community work, no monetary social assistance.
3. I stand for effective immigration policies that would provide zero tolerance of persons entering or residing in our country illegally. Immigration, as is citizenship in our country is a privilege unless provided by birth, and I would disqualify any immigration applicant that has a violent or sexual offender criminal record; the barring of organized crime, gang or member of a terrorist organization and sympathizers; economic refugees; and those who cannot obtain a legitimate offer of employment or full time enrollment in a recognized educational institution. All persons applying to immigrate must speak the official language of our country at a functional level assessed by a formal test prior to being admitted to the country. People of legal age sponsored as spouses, children or parents must be required to contribute to the community by providing a minimum of 8 hours community service per week for not less than 5 years after landing legally in this country. This would ensure that they become acclimatized to our culture, their community and make them a contributing member of our nation.
4. I stand for effective law enforcement and public safety. I believe that additional funding must be provided for the safety and security of our current front line law enforcement officers in the way of personal protective equipment and training. I believe public law enforcement resources must be directed towards the protection, prevention and apprehension of violent and sexual offenders, organized crime, gangs and terrorist organizations. I believe in the empowerment of law abiding citizens in our communities and would mandate official cooperation and reciprocity between all law enforcement agencies and those community stakeholders such as private security agencies, organized volunteer street patrol and neighborhood watch groups in order to deter and report crime in their neighborhood. Furthermore, we must not entertain nor negotiate with terrorists regardless of the cost. We must never surrender to terror but be active to eradicate it without mercy in our society.
5. I stand for a strong military capable of defending our country on our own soil. Our sons and daughters should be defending our soil not that of a foreign nation. The only role that our military has on another's soil with the exception of responding to a direct attack on our nation; is to provide humanitarian relief, not that of an aggressor or invader. We must support our service people and after they have served their country whether it be for a minimum term or as a career service person it is our duty in both the public and private sector, and the community to offer the courtesy and respect required to help them integrate back into the community. We must ensure the people in our military are trained to safely and effectively execute the tasks required of them with the best equipment and support available.
EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT
6. I stand for the right to work and education for all legal residents of our country. I believe that mandatory partnerships between government, colleges, universities and the private and public business sector must be established. In order for colleges or universities to receive any form of government funding, subsidy or their students to do so; the institution must have valid agreements with government, the private and public business sectors offering a willingness to employ graduates of their programs. Business will be required to create and join with other business in their industry, an employee resource network where if one company downsizes, those employees may be accessible on a priority basis to another firm in the same industry requiring experienced employees. For people that find themselves unemployed and want to work, despite best efforts on their part to secure employment, I believe that a government funded Employment Corps program should be established that will utilize the skills and experience of these individuals regardless of age at fair market value, so they may contribute to their community and our country. While we have a public school system, subsidized through tax dollars, I feel that this does not go far enough. I believe any student who is a citizen of our country, from a middle to low income family who receives an 80% average upon Secondary School graduation should receive a one time, first year 100% "citizenship" scholarship towards any full time academic or vocational program of their choice.
REMUNERATION OF ELECTED/APPOINTED POLITICIANS
7. I stand for elected and appointed public figures regardless of what level of government, to be in the service of the public and be remunerated as such. All too often elected and appointed officials vote themselves raises using the reasoning they must be on par with their corporate counterparts, while telling the citizens that elected them to "tighten their belts" because we have a deficit. I say no more. All too many citizens are robbed of time with their families because they must work two or more jobs just to survive. Elected and appointed officials should not be paid any more than 25% above the average wage of the people they serve. Any monies saved by this single budgetary action should be divided up equally and applied towards the public debt, healthcare, education and employment. Furthermore, if any public leader proposes in their budget any cuts to healthcare, education or public safety, it should be made illegal for any politicians to propose, enact or receive an increase in wages or benefits for their service during that budget year.
8. I do not agree with the concept of minimum wage unless it is for those who are either just starting out in, or re-entering the workforce. The minimum wage ensures that more people remain in poverty and those who excel in their job are equally compensated as those who do the bare minimum. Thus it offers little opportunity for the individual and ensures there will always be a pool of low paid workers contributing to the GDP/GNP of the nation, politically speaking. Furthermore, in order to afford legislated increases in minimum wage, many small to medium sized businesses, primarily family owned, must increase their prices to consumers to be able to afford this wage increase and to pay the increase in employer portions of employee remittances required by the government. This means added costs for consumers, including those who have received an increase in minimum wage in the long run. However, be rest assured this increase will cost your government nothing and will increase their tax revenue off of all wage earners and consumers across the board, and increase voter preference. Minimum wage is not a tool of empowerment but of enslavement to a work ghetto. Many of the working poor drift from minimum wage job to minimum wage job with the only hope of a raise when legislators throw them a bone in the form of an increase in minimum wage. Legislation or societal standards should work towards a table of percentages with regard to wage increases using time, experience, performance and training as the determining factor as to what percentage of increase a person may earn at preset review periods established legislatively. This would empower an individual, provide real opportunity to build a life not be a work slave, and reward a person for their skills and talents while encouraging them to use those skills and talents to improve the community and nation.
ADULT SEX INDUSTRY
9. I stand for the legalization and regulation of the adult sex trade industry for the protection of adult sex trade workers and the public. To affirm their rights without prejudice under the law, to ensure public health standards and to reduce the incidence of the under age or exploited in this industry.
10. I stand for the right to personal privacy for all law abiding citizens. Many people in government and in authority have used all forms of equivoque with the cliche "if you have nothing to hide, you should not feel threatened" when they attempt to legislatively rob the law abiding citizen of their privacy. Even law abiding citizens do have things they do not wish shared with others or the state; from the things two consenting adults may do legally in the privacy of their own home to their personal social opinions discussed with a close associate. The government, law enforcement, private and public security agencies should not be conducting surveillance, data mining or intelligence gathering on law abiding citizens.
11. I stand for equal legal taxation of individuals and business. Regardless of what personal income level an individual may have, every citizen should be taxed at the same rate with no exceptions. I also believe that this same rule should apply to business. As well, churches and any other religious or not-for-profit organizations deemed as tax exempt that actively partake in lobbying government or activities involving shaping political issues must surrender their tax exempt status and contribute to the system as every other citizen does who has a stake in the government and political system of this country. If you do not contribute to the government or political system of our country as a taxpayer stakeholder, you should not expect the privilege to lobby for, or to be an agent of political or legislative change or reformation.
12. I stand for charity beginning at home. I believe that charity does begin at home and that our government, cannot with clear conscience, send millions of (taxpayer) aid dollars outside of our country when any of our citizens struggle with poverty on a daily basis, our children go hungry, we have working poor, health care deficits, and our First Nations people continue to live in third world conditions in parts of our country. Nor should we provide sanctuary for those of foreign citizenship when we as a nation cannot provide sanctuary for our own impoverished and homeless. If a foreign country requires assistance, direct financial support must come from that particular ethnic community and the private sector as a free will donation. The government will, if deemed necessary, commit tax relief for contributions, coordinate delivery of the contributed resources to legitimate representatives and if severe enough, provide a contingent of military personnel for humanitarian relief work if invited by the foreign nation to do so. However, no taxpayer dollars should be directly sent to sustain a foreign nation or its nationals.
OUR FIRST NATIONS
13. I stand for better representation and participation of our First Nations peoples throughout all levels of government. The original and true people of this continent have long been neglected and not afforded the courtesy and respect they deserve. I stand for increasing understanding and dialogue on Native issues and soliciting their active participation in shaping the future of our nation as equal stakeholders with all citizens of our country. I believe the time has been long overdue for First Nations federal and provincial political parties to be established and accredited in the pursuit of equal representation and government of this land. I also believe that our government needs to aggressively address the issues of sub-standard living conditions on reserves and take a proactive partnership role with First Nations leaders in improving education and health care on reservations.
PROTECTION OF CULTURE
14. I stand for respect of the beliefs and cultures of all the people that make up our world. However, I also stand for the protection of our culture, while being respectful to others of different cultures within our nation. We cannot and should not compromise our cultural heritage under the guise of political correctness or an attempt at being optically accommodating to other cultures. We must preserve our cultural heritage, as we expect peoples of other cultures to do the same within their own nation and home. Our nation is our house, and when guests come over, we ask them to respect our house rules (culture) and we in turn respect theirs when in their house (nation). Unfortunately, our cultural heritage has been traded for political correctness. I embrace, respect and welcome cultural diversity in our country. However, we should not have a debate over the correctness of Christmas Trees in public places or using the phrase "Merry or Happy Christmas", the removal of playing of the National Anthem in schools and at all public events, and we should not have the introduction of non-North American centric religious or secular laws and judiciary as part of our legal system. Our Western (North American) culture was built on a foundation of Native and European values; specifically Indigenous, English and French culture. We must respect, uphold and safeguard our cultural heritage as this was and is the bedrock on which our nation was built. We must preserve this for future generations.
SECOND CHANCE FOR NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS
15. I stand for Second Chance legislation for first time non-violent, non-sexual offenders. In our society we have individuals that for whatever the reason, call it plain stupidity, find themselves with a criminal record for a single, one time non-violent criminal conviction that will follow them for life. As a result they meet with great disadvantage when it comes to employment, education, housing and even financial services. Now, let me point out that I am talking about one time offenders of crimes that do not involve any form of violence, rape, abuse against women or children, sex crimes, firearms, weapons, or explosives. It is my belief that if such an individual has served their sentence and has only a single conviction they should not be discriminated against for a stupid mistake in their past. If we want to curb the tide of criminal repeat offenders, we must make it easier for one time non-violent offenders to reintegrate into society. The quickest way to create a repeat offender is to set them loose in public with limited employment and housing prospects based on a past mistake. Non-violent one time offenders deserve a one time second chance. I believe in non-discriminatory legislation that would ensure a non-violent first time offender who has completed the requirements of their sentence be afforded the courtesy of re-entering society as an equal stakeholder in the community.
16. I stand for environmental and ecological responsibility. I believe in practical legislated energy conservation standards for all public and private building owners and operators. Standards such as the mandatory use of energy conserving illumination, automatic switches that turn off lights and regulate environmental systems when areas are vacant, the limiting of illuminated outdoor signage with the goal of reducing energy consumption and light pollution and the mandatory installation of water efficient fixtures. I believe we must promote the development and utilization of passive renewable energy and recycling programs. We must focus on a practical strategy of emissions control whether that source be from automobiles or industry. When it comes to reducing automobile emissions in cities, our goal should not be to centralize commerce in one area, where vehicles are grid locked burning fuel and then penalize citizens unless they use an over-extended or inadequate public transit system. Rather, in the interest of the environment, we must offer incentives to decentralize development, so commute times whether by automobile or public transit are reduced, thus reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Highway and road maintenance or utility work involving the closing of a single traffic lane with the exception of emergency repairs must be executed during off peak hours in order to reduce grid lock and unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions. Taxes or tolls levied on transportation systems should and must be applied directly towards the maintenance, upgrading and increasing the environmental efficiency of these systems. We must protect our green spaces that are inhabited by wildlife in our urban areas. There are many environmental and ecological concerns that must be addressed that for years have been neglected and it is my position we must address these directly by action not by forming committees or study groups. The studies are in, it is now time for action.
17. I stand for elections at all levels of government to be by paper ballot and manual hand count. While electronic voting systems may offer advantages, the integrity of such systems cannot be easily validated by lay observers, and as such lack the necessary authentication required to ensure security or confidence, much less the trust of the electorate.
18. I stand for increased funding and deployment of preventative medicine programs. Programs that provide the education and equipment for early diagnosis and detection of disease. Programs that ensure timely access to this equipment and professionals. Mandatory programs that teach in our high schools and in first year community/vocational colleges and university programs; nutrition, CPR and first aid, healthy lifestyle choices and accident prevention. Programs that increase public awareness on nutrition, CPR and first aid, healthy lifestyle choices and accident prevention.
19. I stand for government accountability. A government that tells the people who elected it, the facts, not hyperbole. A government that doesn't try to please everybody but one that gets things done, and at the end of the day is clear where it stands on the issues in word and deed.
I have presented my position on these issues in the hope that people everywhere in our country will discuss and consider these issues. These represent only one man's view, mine and no one else's.
- Dr. Robert Ing
The Failure of Politicians
and Why I will never be on the list to be a Canadian Senator
This is a totally politically incorrect rant of mine. Scary thing is people who I have met all across Canada through the years during my shows,
lectures, book tours and television appearances tell me that I should run for political office. Of course, the reality is that I am very politically
incorrect, I don't tell people what they want to hear but the way it really is, I don't claim to have a squeaky clean "teflon" past
(something "child" politicians would love to poke at rather than address the issues) and I am from a very "non-trad" background so no "boot licking"
political party would want me. I am mixed race, I am proud to be Canadian born, I am protectionist when it comes to the preserving of Canadian Culture
and Values, I was not born into a home of wealth or political influence and I don't kneel before anyone - and I mean anyone. This is the truth.
The concept of either an elected or appointed leader, or political party to represent the "will of the people" sounds like a reasonable concept.
The elected or appointed entity is the focal and single contact point in the affairs of the people it represents. The idea of course is that the entity
acts in the best interest of the people it represents and oversees the administration of a city, a state or province and ultimately a sovereign nation.
However, this is not the case anywhere in our world. The concept has given way to special interest groups, childlike behaviour of politicians, and a
political correctness that makes everyone right and no one to blame while robbing, pillaging and compromising the unique, historical culture that built
each nation. Furthermore, politicians at all levels of government are more concerned about "empire building" and pleasing those who can cry the loudest,
or can flex financial influence rather than deal with the real issues that affect our standard of living.
Consider the fact in 2009 the world consisted of 195 sovereign nations (countries) with approximately 6.7 billion people. Over the past 100 years
advancements in science, technology and medicine have more than equalled those advancements made over the previous 1000 years of our civilization.
However, despite these great advances, a large percentage of our world population is lucky if they live past the age of 40 because with all these advances,
science, medicine and technology that could be used to keep these people from death by starvation, infection and disease are withheld because those
that have these vital resources will not share them but would rather sell them than commit to saving the lives of women, children and those who may
very well become intellectual and cultural contributors to the future of our civilization. Of course, those who hold these life saving resources,
being that these people are good, moral religious people will sell them at cost or wholesale but if you don't have the cash, don't come calling.
It is better that you just die silently because you have no money, your country has no resources and you are not of the correct ethnicity,
religion or politics, so no one will miss you. At least that is how this appears to me. We have come so far, yet as a civilization have done so
little but to build empires and fences so we don't have to deal with such "ugliness."
Of course governments can't force these capitalistic private corporations (read pharmaceutical and food companies among others) to give their wares away
to the less fortunate because their unionized and non-unionized employees still need to be paid, the facilities contractors and logistics people need to
be paid and the cost of the empire goes on and on. The band-aid solution for years has been where some non-profit, non-government organization
(known as an NGO) has to go out begging money from people like you and I, and from some corporations to raise the money to buy and send medicines,
food and other life saving consumables to these countries. Unfortunately, although well intentioned and admirable, very often the money raised is
too little and in the long term only prolongs the cycle of suffering as a continued effort is required but cannot be financially sustained.
Perhaps sometime soon we as individuals should really consider the reality of this issue and how it got this way.
There was, so history writes, a great political leader who committed his country to putting a man on the moon before the decade was out.
This man is quoted in motivational seminars, a great leader for all humankind. Eight years after he spoke this commitment, a man had landed on the moon.
A wondrous thing, but just like another great leader centuries before him who played a violin while his city burned to the ground, a percentage of this
leader's people were starving and homeless, and eight years later man on the moon or not, even more of his people were starving and homeless.
It cost approximately $32 billion to put that man on the moon. Through it all, putting a man on the moon proved that with the political will
and relentless dedication of resources the impossible is possible. Consider if as opposed to the testosterone high of beating one's chest to show
superiority over an adversary (which putting a man on the moon was, in political retrospect) to making a commitment, "to ending child poverty and
homelessness in our nation before this decade is out." Doesn't sound as sexy does it. Besides who would buy into it? Of course, $32 billion towards
this goal could have meant a stronger economy, not to mention countless lives lived and personal dreams fulfilled versus lives lost with only one dream
Politicians have repeatedly failed and conned their constituents. The political parties and politicians have lost sight of why they exist.
Politics in Canada is nothing more than a fickle popularity game amongst, for the most part, lawyers who couldn't cut it in a law practice, who turn to
politics so their name can get household "brand" recognition. After their successful or failed political career they then get appointed to a board or
retained as a senior partner at a large law firm to get clients whose work will ultimately be done by a senior underpaid "nameless" law clerk or paralegal
while the ex-politico - legal luminary rubber stamps the work and bills for it. Nice work if you can get it, but for most of us, we can't get it.
So whatever happened to this representation by the people for the people thing?
If you really want a proper working model on how a politician should run and conduct the business of government, you should look no further than any small,
preferably family run small business anywhere in Canada. The business owner literally takes ownership and responsibility for all that they do, and will
only act in the best interest of that business. They are in it for the long term and to build a legacy, a monument to their good stewardship of their
enterprise. No deficit running here, no time wasted on trivial pursuits because if the enterprise does not pay for itself and make a profit,
the business owner doesn't get paid. Now imagine if a politician were only given a proper working person's salary. By the way, the average annual wage in
Canada in 2008 was $49,920.00. Now how many federal or provincial politicians do you think earn this much! I think this would be a perfect annual
salary for a politician with the only added benefit of extended health care and an annual travel allowance (for business only) not to exceed 25% .
On the matter of what a political mandate must be, as far as I am concerned it must address the elimination of poverty in our city,
province and country and the deficit. Nothing more, nothing less. Here is how I would do it. First of all poverty to me includes those who are
impoverished children, single parents, the working poor and those who have skills and experience that are not employed to full potential.
It does not include people who knowingly decide not to have goals or ambitions, choose not to seek employment or a home yet are able-bodied to do so,
choose not to participate in or contribute as members of our community.
In order to eliminate poverty we must look at creating and administering programs that foster affordable, clean and safe housing; access to and
improved education (K-12 and accredited vocational schools / job re-training); accessible and affordable daycare/child care facilities; accessible
and improved healthcare (hospitals, preventative medicine and nutrition programs, mental health/counselling programs); a subsidized and accessible basic
food and clothing program; and access to a universal employment placement program.
In tackling poverty as the first and primary order of business, I believe that in the long term, we can realize a sizeable reduction in crime,
a reduction in judicial and penal system costs, a reduction in substance abuse, a reduction in social assistance subsidies to individuals (welfare),
an improved overall economy and an increase in tax revenues to be put towards deficit reduction and program operating expenses.
The reduction of the deficit could be managed if politicians and the associated administration would stop or reduce superfluous spending
(as identified in years of Auditor's reports, yet to be acted upon vs. sent to committees for discussion - spending more dollars)
and the cut back of ALL Politicians salaries and expense accounts in line with national average wages vs. those of so-called "big" corporate equivalent
positions. This must apply to every position from Prime Minister, Senator, Premier, and Mayor down to School Trustee. There is a reason why
it is called "Public Service" . . . get it? Anyone who shakes their head and thinks these measures would not put a dent in the standing and
currently accumulating deficit is completely without a clue on how much the people they allegedly vote in make, their expense accounts and the wasteful
spending that happens as a matter of routine. Read the Auditor's reports for a few years, read how much your local, provincial and federal politicians
are making. Add this all up and add your calculation of interest to come up with how much of a bite this would take out of our deficit.
I believe in the stratification of society. I do not believe that all people are created equal because we do not all have the same skills, experiences,
or share the same passions. However, I do believe that it is the responsibility of any government, clan or tribe to provide the basics for all of those
it is charged with. These specific basics are housing, education, food, clothing, healthcare, protection and opportunity.
It is the responsibility of the individual whether they choose to pursue opportunity or not. Whether they excel in their life or waste their life.
We are not our brothers keeper. Responsibility must always be to the responsible. If you are responsible, you will be rewarded with a responsible
place in society. If you are responsible for a deed against society or yourself, you are responsible to face the consequences, no matter how harsh
they may be.
If I ever had the chance to officially champion these things apart from my blogs and remarks at my public events and on air, I would.
But alas, it is for these same reasons that I will never be a Canadian Senator.
- Dr. Robert Ing