Tidbits
News you may have missed

web posted September 1997

Opposition to socialists forms in Saskatchewan

Early August saw a new political party form in Saskatchewan. Formed of four Liberal MLAs and four Progressive Conservative MLAs, the new Saskatchewan Party instantly became the second largest party in the Legislature.

The party hopes to form a strong, clear alternative to the governing New Democrats who captured less than half the popular vote in the last Saskatchewan election.

The new party grew out of aborted talks for the Tories and Liberals to merge - and in the face of news that the Reform party will consider a provincial party in Saskatchewan. The new party is expected to have a Reform-like platform. It has no official ties to Reform yet, but supporters include Reform members.

The move was hardly surprising since the Liberal Party was basically disintegrating leaving the New Democrats only forming government because the opposition vote was split.

And even less surprising is the party's platform. It is expected that platform of the party will include a push for smaller government, reduced taxation, balanced budgets, high-quality health care and a strong social safety net. How exactly smaller government, less taxation, high quality health care and a strong social safety net can be reconciled together is a question yet to be answered, but it does bare the marks of two parties with largely incompatible visions joining together.

Ken Krawetz will lead the party while Dan D'Autremont will serve as deputy leader. A leadership convention will be held next year. Krawetz said he would not be a candidate. Krawetz also stated that party members will begin travelling the province to get input from voters before a proposed fall policy convention.

Alexa McDonough, leader of the federal NDP, not surprisingly called the formation of the Saskatchewan Party an "act of desperation."

Even more interesting is the fact that the Reform Party is attempting to make inroads into Saskatchewan with its first provincial wing. Many believe that the new party could be this provincial Reform wing. But again, one must ask if the Reform Party and these Progressive Conservatives and Liberals could sit together as a cohesive unit.

Well if you thought the Liberals were sitting through this all weepy eyed, you'd be wrong. Saskatchewan's Liberal leader wrote to 16 000 party supporters in an attempt to keep them from shifting allegiances to what he called an alliance of two-faced Liberals, corrupt Tories, and sinister Reformers that make up a new provincial party.

The letter, signed by Jim Melenchuk, federal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale, and Liberal Party president Anita Bergman, marked the beginning of a counter-offensive aimed at preventing the new Saskatchewan party from stealing any more Liberal MLAs, key organizers and grassroots supporters.

Said the letter, "The involvement of the Reform party signals a right-wing agenda that includes two-tiered health care, benefits for the wealthy and "questionable attitudes toward minorities. (Reformers) feed off the dark underside of human nature, practicing the politics of greed, fear and division."

Is Reform moving into Saskatchewan?

The notion of a provincial Reform Party was approved just the weekend before the announced Tory-Liberal Party.

Party Leader Preston Manning said Saskatchewan - birthplace of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, forerunner of the federal New Democratic Party - might be the best site to found Reform's first provincial wing.

"It's got a history on the one hand of supporting new movements, but on the other hand it's had a history of doing it in a very stable, constructive way, not a reactionary, overly exuberant way as Alberta or B.C. might do sometimes."

So why does Reform want to begin in Saskatchewan?

  1. Fears that its resources would be diluted from federal politics have subsided since the June federal election, when the party solidified its political base in the West.
  2. Reform won eight of 14 federal seats in Saskatchewan, leading the party to believe the soil is fertile for success at the provincial level.
  3. The Saskatchewan Progressive Conservatives have been devastated by a scandal that has seen nine former members of the legislature convicted in a fraud scheme, leaving a void on the political right.

Just days before the merger, the deputy leader of the province's Tories, Dan D'Autremont stated he would welcome discussions to merge his party with Reform. Then days later, D'Autremont left the Tories to join the new party.

Manning has always been opposed of moving into provincial politics so that he could concentrate the party's resources on building a federal party, but since Reform wasn't able to move past the Western provinces in the recent federal election it he probably feels its the right time.

The question remains what this new Saskatchewan Party will end up becoming -- and if there is room for Reform afterwards.

Ontario government spurns notion of privatizing Workers' Compensation

If you already read ESR's piece on privatizing pensions you would think that a conservative government which has cut spending and taxes and is in our good graces, would run to privatize a troubled system like the Workers' Compensation Board, right?

Wrong.

The Progressive Group for Independent Business (see item below this one) is urging Ontario's government to allow private business to insure workers. The Ontario government, in the midst of a controversial campaign to get the wasteful WCB back into the black, is rejecting the call.

"There is an immediate crisis at the board," said Bob Wood, a Tory backbencher who headed a committee that reviewed operations at government agencies including the WCB. "We've got to get the thing on sound financial footing. Once we do, we can look at ideas for better service."

Under the current rules, many Ontario employers already seek insurance against worker injuries from private firms.

Not only does the WCB do a bad job covering the employees its responsible for now (although if you listen to the unionists it does a smashing job), it only covers 70 per cent of workers in Ontario, compared with almost 98 per cent in British Columbia, 77 per cent in Alberta and 92 per cent in Newfoundland. The majority of companies are required to pay into the system, others, such as law firms and doctors' offices, are not. Still others, including legal aid offices and funeral parlors, must seek permission to join the program.

Some groups, such as the Toronto-based Injured Workers' Union, are pushing for a "universal" system that would require every employer, regardless of the type of industry they represent, to cover their employees under WCB.  "We recommend more automatic coverage for everyone," says spokesman Phil Biggin. "It's better for the employees and the studies show a private system isn't cheaper for employers."

We can skip Biggin's collectivist idea, but the Ontario government should recognize that while it's fixing a badly flawed program, it should go all the way and make it a voluntary and privatized system. Band-aid solutions do not work.

Conference on uniting Canadian Conservatives

Roots of Change Conference Update

"The Roots of Change Conference is growing like a prairie grassfire except that this prairie initiative is not being slowed down by the Canadian Shield at the Manitoba-Ontario Boundary," stated Jim Hinter, National Communications Director of the Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB) "Our speakers list has come together very quickly," Hinter continued. "We planned for four speakers, one from each level of government and one from the School Board" Hinter said. "With the confirmation yesterday of Alberta Treasurer Stockwell Day, the confirmation this morning by Link Byfield, of Alberta Report and earlier confirmations from Calgary Sun Associate Editor Paul Jackson to speak at the Roots of Change Dinner planned for October 16 and Toronto Sun Money Editor Linda Leatherdale to be the closing speaker, the list of formal speakers is now all confirmed," Hinter stated.

The format for the conference will be as follows:

Thursday, October 16, 1997

Roots of Change Dinner at Osteria de Medici
Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Lou Schizas, Vantage Securities
Key Note Speaker: Mr. Paul Jackson, Associate Editor The Calgary Sun

Mr. Jackson will be speaking on his extensive experiences as one of Canada's leading political observers.

Friday, October 17, 1997:

Opening Ceremonies:
There will be a speaker from each level of government and the school board.

Municipal Politics: Mr. Jon Lord, Calgary Ward 8 Alderman.
School Board: Mr. Robb McLeod, Halton Public School Board Trustee, and former Governor of Rotary International.
Provincial Politics: Mr. Stockwell Day MLA; Alberta Treasurer and Deputy Premier.
Federal Politics: Mr. Link Byfield, Editor & Publisher of Alberta Report Magazine.

After these keynote speakers,

The conference will be opened up to the delegates to speak on the issues that they feel should be worked on by Canadian Conservatives.

Closing Speaker:
Craig Chandler, National President PGIB

Saturday, October 18, 1997

Conference delegates will break into workshops for the morning session on the topics raised on Friday.

The Afternoon session will consist of reports from each workshop to the conference as a whole.

Closing Speaker: Linda Leatherdale, Money Editor, The Toronto Sun.

Conference Closes:

Saturday Evening:
It's Calgary and after the conference, we are convening to Calgary's World Famous Ranchmans to enjoy some 'down home' Alberta Culture!

Conference Chairman: Jim Hinter
President of the Progressive Group for Independent Business: Craig B. Chandler

For more information on the Roots of Change Conference, please contact The Progressive Group for Independent Business at (403) 720-2143.

It's got to be the fault of the white male patriarchal system which holds women down by their throats...

Everyone agrees that spousal abuse is a problem that must be stamped out, so it was good news when Statistics Canada released numbers which showed a "substantial drop in wife assaults reported to police", right? Wrong-o!

Statistics Canada, in its annual report on crime, said incidents in which women were assaulted by their spouses or ex-spouses had declined by 18 per cent in 1996, compared with 1993. The finding was based on police reports from 61 communities across the country.

In Toronto and Montreal, the trend was even more dramatic, with drops of 30.9 per cent and 22.5 per cent respectively, while in Vancouver the number was down by 7.2 per cent since 1993.

Stats Canada has had its problems, but rather than admit that perhaps the problem may be going away, Canada's women's abuse industry attacked the findings...without releasing any of their own numbers.

"Our experience is certainly not that the amount of woman abuse is going down," said Vivien Green, co-ordinator of the Toronto-based Metro Woman Abuse Council. "In fact, if anything, it is increasing."

One explanation for the finding is that abusers are deterred by the get-tough policies implemented by an increasing number of police departments. Psychologist Peter Jaffe, director of Ontario's London Family Court Clinic, a children's mental health centre that studies family violence, said studies in London show such a policy can work. "What we found . . . was that when the police did lay charges, new incidents of violence were reduced in half," he said.

Now I'm not saying that the numbers are right or wrong, but I would like to know if the women's abuse industry is capable of anything besides hysteria combined with no facts.

The real cost of doing business

According to Statistics Canada, income taxes paid by financial corporations rose dramatically between 1988 and 1994. This increase was mainly driven by the introduction of a federal tax on capital in 1990. In comparison, the amount of income taxes paid by companies in the non-financial sector remained relatively stagnant.

In 1994, the latest year for which figures are available, financial industries paid $4.9 billion in corporate income taxes, more than a 104 per cent increase in their tax load of $2.4 billion in 1988.

On the other hand, taxes paid by corporations in the non-financial sector, while much higher overall, increased a moderate 4.6 per cent over the same period to $15.1 billion.

The financial sector's share of corporate taxes experienced almost uninterrupted growth between 1988 and 1994. The financial sector accounted for 25 per cent of all corporate taxes paid in 1994, compared with only 14 per cent in 1988. In contrast, non-financial industries accounted for about 75 per cent of all corporate taxes in 1994, compared with 86 per cent in 1988.

In total, Canadian corporations paid $20.1 billion in income taxes in 1994, surpassing the pre-recession peak of $17.8 billion in 1989.

(Sarcasm alert) The New Democrats and their leftist ilk are right, business pays no tax what-so-ever...

Boston to business: We'll run the show

Boston became the latest U.S. city in mid-August to require companies with big contracts or subsidies from the city to pay employees a "living wage" - in this case, more than $2 US above the hourly minimum.
 
"In these prosperous times for our city, our state and our nation, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the rising tide does in fact raise all boats, not just the yachts," Mayor Thomas Menino said in signing the ordinance.
 
Companies that receive city contracts or subsidies worth more than $100 000 must pay employees a minimum hourly wage of $7.49, the minimum for city workers, starting July 1. The amount is $2.34 more than the federal minimum of $5.15 an hour.
 
Similar to requirements adopted by other U.S. cities, including Baltimore, Denver and Portland, Ore., the Boston law has raised objections from business leaders who said it will put the city at a competitive disadvantage and force businesses to reveal confidential payroll information.
 
Food-service workers in public schools, housekeeping staff at hotels that receive tax breaks from the city, construction workers and cleaning crews will likely see their pay cheques increase.
 
Summer workers, businesses employing fewer than 25 workers and non-profit organizations with fewer than 100 employees are exempt.

"Am I going to kill the economy of the city with this legislation? I dare say not," Menino said.
 
Samuel Tyler, president of the Municipal Research Bureau of Boston, a watchdog group funded by local businesses, opposed the measure. "We feel it's vague, poorly written and subject to interpretation and may have unintended economic consequences," he said.
 
Tyler said the ordinance could hinder the creation of new jobs. He said he is also concerned with the security of payroll information that could be examined by the city.  

Boston real-estate developer Robert Beal, co-owner of the Beal Companies, said a coalition of opponents are considering working to change the law, or even sue the city.

The controversy may seem more of a tempest in a teapot than anything else, the measure affects only 1 000 to 1 500, but it portends a day in the future when a government can impose anything that it feels is a "fair wage" on business. Just one more city opposed capitalism and the free market determining a job's worth I guess...and what's more terrifying is that Menino, buoyed by the fact that he hasn't destroyed the economy, will likely want to go further in the future.

Reform tries moving in Ontario...again...and succeeding?

"We're going to be launching a pretty serious effort in Ontario to bring together voters who are looking for a fiscally responsible, democratically accountable alternative to the (federal) Liberals,'' said Rick Anderson, the Reform Party's key strategist.

The party's executive council met in Calgary recently and approved a reorganization of Reform's full-time staff in Ontario, complete with the creation of a new position aimed at co-ordinating the efforts of right-wing voters at the constituency level to support Tories provincially and Reform federally.

The plan? Reform wants the support of Progressive Conservatives federally in return the Reform Party will back the Harris provincial conservatives.

"We are going to be more explicitly reaching out to people, and encouraging riding associations and members to look at ways of consolidating those voters. Quite a few of our card carrying Reformers are card-carrying (provincial) conservatives, including right up to being campaign managers and so on."

"We ended up splitting the vote in Ontario in quite a lot of ridings," said Anderson. "There were 28 ridings, I think, where the combined Reform-Conservative vote would have beat the Liberal."

Nancy Branscombe, the party's former eastern Ontario organizer and defeated candidate in Peterborough, has been named executive director of the initiative.

It seems though, that neither party is waiting for any formal move. A unite-the-right movement spurred by frustrated small-c conservatives in Ontario has mushroomed and progressed farther than either the Reform or Tory parties has previously admitted.

A dozen clandestine meetings between failed candidates and riding executives of the two rival federal parties have been held in different parts of Ontario since the June federal election.

What will happen? The next by-election will tell us where conservatism in Ontario stands.

Ontario lends hand to anti-gun registration fight

Solicitor General and Minister of Correctional Services, Robert Runciman, announced in August that Ontario will present oral submissions to the Alberta Court of Appeal on September 8 through 12, 1997, challenging the federal government's Firearms Act (Bill C-68). Ontario is challenging the registration provisions of the Firearms Act.

"Ontario strongly supports real and effective gun control. We recognize the need to keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals. That's why we fully support those measures of Bill C-68 that enhance public safety, such as limiting access to certain kinds of weapons and severely punishing those who use a firearm to commit an offence," Runciman said. "However, the imposition of a universal firearms registration system won't get guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. It will only divert police resources from where they're needed most - front-line law enforcement.

Canadian experience with firearms registration is not new. Since 1978, all handguns have been required to be registered with the RCMP. However, statistics have shown that this registration system has been ineffective in controlling the flow of illegal guns or their use.

"In 1995, police in Ontario seized 437 handguns of which only 12.5 per cent were registered, and in 1994, only 10.6 per cent of 752 handguns seized were identifiable through the RCMP database," said Runciman. "These statistics show that the overall majority of handguns seized are not registered. This strongly suggests that the registration of ordinary firearms will be similarly ineffective in controlling the criminal use or trade in firearms."

According to Runciman, the most effective way to reduce violent crime involving the use of firearms is to reduce the availability of guns for criminals. As a result, the province has concentrated its efforts on fighting organized crime and targeting illegal weapons distribution networks. In addition, in April of this year, the Solicitor General convened a national anti-smuggling conference which was attended by representatives from the federal government and law enforcement agencies from several jurisdictions. Participants discussed ways in which resources could be used more effectively to reduce the smuggling of illegal weapons and other contraband.

Until the challenge is resolved in court and the matter assessed, Ontario says it will continue to cite its views directly to the federal government and will not participate in the further development of the registration program.

Group demands lower EI premiums

The Alliance of Manufacturers and Exporters Canada is tired of the Canadian government paying off the deficit off their backs.

The Alliance sent letters last month to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Finance Minister Paul Martin and Human Resources Minister Pierre Pettigrew asking for a cut in the employment insurance premium rate. The alliance wants the rate cut to $2.20 per $100 of earnings for employees and to $3.08 per $100 for employers, effective January 1998. That would be down from the current $2.95 for employees and $4.13 for employers.

"We object to the unreasonably high premiums that both employers and employees are required to pay," said alliance president Steve Van Houten.

As of December 31, 1996, the federal government's employment insurance account had a surplus of $5.7 billion. It is widely estimated the surplus has now reached almost $9 billion and will hit $12 billion by the end of the year. Business groups have been complaining for months that Ottawa is using the fund as an extra payroll tax to pay off the deficit.

And Paul Martin's response? The fact that the government has managed to cut the deficit (that the current Prime Minister has helped create), has led to lower interest rates and more jobs. I guess that means the government does have the right to steal from you after all.

Can private Medicare be far away?

A federal report revealed last month that for the first time since the birth of Medicare in 1968 annual government spending on health care has fallen.

Provinces put the brakes on health-care spending several years ago, but additional money continued to trickle into the system until 1996 when total public funding for Medicare dropped by $262 million, federal figures based on recent provincial estimates show.

By contrast, Canadians and their private insurers were forced to pay $1.2 billion more for a variety of medical services last year - ranging from prescription drugs to physiotherapy.

These so-called private-sector health expenditures represented 30.1 per cent of the country's health bill in 1996, compared with 26.9 per cent when Jean Chrétien's government came to power three years earlier.

In the same period, governments' share of the health tab fell to 69.9 from 73.1 per cent.

The Health Canada report - which annually tracks how federal, provincial and municipal governments spend their health care dollars - says the total Canadian health bill for 1996 grew to $75.2 billion, a slight jump of 1.2 per cent.

Of that total bill, $52.5 billion came from the public purse to pay for things like hospital operations, physicians fees, nursing homes and drugs. That's $262 million less than the previous year, a 0.5 per cent decrease.

Reform MP asks for investigation into fraud, waste and nepotism at Revenue Canada

Reform Party National Revenue Critic Jason Kenney wasn't surprised mid-August when the RCMP laid 21 charges -- including sexual assault, criminal harassment, breach of trust and fraud -- against the former Assistant Director of the Ottawa Taxation Centre, Donald Regimbal. Just two weeks before Kenney wrote a letter to Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of National Revenue, asking him for an investigation into the activities of senior Revenue Canada officials.

"These charges demonstrate that all is not well at Revenue Canada. How could a senior official like this get away with the criminal abuse of his public position for so long?" asked Kenney.

Kenney wrote Dhaliwal on August 1 asking for a full, impartial investigation into fraud and negligence surrounding the department. Dhaliwal has not responded to the letter. In that letter, Kenney asked that the RCMP investigation underway may not be complete since they are limited to "probing matters of a criminal nature, their investigation will presumably will not deal with the troubling reports of unethical practices, such as managerial incompetence, wasteful spending, and nepotism."

Boy, one should be shocked that Dhaliwal didn't respond to that letter. Why fix a problem before it goes out of control?

Critics cry, "How dare you make sure people can actually pay for what they purchase!"

Can you imagine a society that would actually allow someone to find out if person attempting  to purchase something actually has the money to do so? How evil.

In mid-August Ontario's government introduced its proposed changes to the Rent Control law, including a "controversial" provision allowing landlords to reject tenants based on their income. Housing Minister Al Leach said it only makes sense to allow landlords to turn down prospective tenants because their income is too low.

Well, everyone but those who are opposed to the right of private property.

Advocates for the poor say the provision discriminates against the poor and will force many into homeless shelters. "If landlords are looking for a convenient cover for discrimination, this is it," said Bruce Porter, spokesman for the Toronto-based Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation.

"This is the first province in Canadian history to explicitly legalize discrimination against poor people."

Even the vanguard of leftist action, Ontario's Human Rights Commission, attacked the bill earlier in the year, calling it demeaning.

"It's based upon, I suspect assumptions that are often made about people who are on assistance or low-income people - that they more frequently default in the payment of rent, that they are less responsible in the management of money, that they have more children," said HRC head Keith Norton

Norton should realize that property owners have rights too, except their rights are logically validated. The right to private property is a basic right, and right to do what one wishes with that property is an area that the government should not be allowed in. You do not have the right to demand a property owner rent to you.

China stamps out election rights

Hong Kong's  government introduced a bill in August that would sharply curb voter power and urged legislators to pass it quickly or risk delaying elections planned for May. The bill would slash the number of voters allowed to cast ballots for 30 legislative seats from 1.1 million to 180 000. Twenty other seats in the 60-member chamber would be chosen by universal suffrage and 10 by a committee.

The bill would override rules that were in place for legislative elections in 1995. That year, 30 seats were selected by rank-and-file members of various professional groups. Under the new system, far fewer would have a vote.

In the 1995 vote, the Democratic party captured 29 seats, easily eclipsing pro-China candidates. The party and independent democrats criticized the proposed changes, saying they would entrench the power of Hong Kong's pro-China élites.

China's puppets in Hong Kong defended the changes saying that universal suffrage was promised for 2007 and that these "expediencies" would not last for long.

Neither apparently do Chinese promises.

Canada's Marxist-Lennist king dies

Hardial Bains, the national leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), died in late August of cancer. He was 58. His partner, Sandra, and several close friends were at his side.

From his earliest days in India, and then in Canada from 1959, Bains devoted his life to the cause of communism and founded the party that is known as the Marxist-Leninists.  It ran 65 candidates in the last federal election.

"(Bains) reserved his greatest love and attention for the younger generation whom he never failed to encourage to rely on their own convictions and abilities with utmost confidence and to kow-tow to no one," the party's 'central committee' said in a press release.

"Bains' selfless and unwavering revolutionary leadership in the struggle to humanize the social and natural environment, the essence of his life and work, has inspired thousands."

Bains had been on my radar screen for quite a while, but his "sovereignty of the individual" theory frankly left me too bored to ever respond to his work. Be that as it may, it seems that Bains finally lost more than those chains that his ilk rant about.

Manning disappoints...again

Reform Leader Preston Manning's decision to move into Stornoway will wind up costing
taxpayers an extra $166 000 a year, according to federal government officials. And, what's more, Manning has said he won't let taxpayers off the hook for his annual $6 000 housing allowance even though he is living rent-free in Stornoway, the $2 million, 34-room mansion reserved for the leader of the official Opposition in Rockcliffe, Ottawa's toniest neighborhood.

Manning also said that he will still accept an annual $21 300 tax-free expense allowance paid to MPs to help cover the cost of commuting from their ridings.

Besides all of this, Stornoway got $68 000 worth of fresh new paint, buffed-up furniture and fine china to make it livable.

Like I said before. Manning made a big show of giving back the keys to his government car when he was first elected to prove how much he didn't want the little perks that come with office...because what he really wanted were the big ones.

Young Tories get Manning at convention

Reform Leader Preston Manning is looking forward to lunch but Jean Charest may risk indigestion when the youth wing of the Progressive Conservative Party wrap up their annual convention this month.
 
Manning has accepted an invitation to address young Tories at a luncheon following their convention in Brantford, Ontario on the weekend of September 13-14.

Conservative Leader Charest, who will address the convention September 13, has made no secret of his contempt for Manning. During the last election campaign he called Manning a racist for his approach to the Quebec issue.
 
Manning is expected to use his meeting with young Tories to promote some form of Reform Conservative alliance, a notion which Charest has rejected emphatically. When initially asked about the matter, Charest denied that the young Conservatives had extended an invitation to Manning. "That's not the information I have," he said.

Ron Johnson, a Tory member of the Ontario legislature who is co-chairman of the young Tory meeting, said Manning will speak after the convention has technically ended.
 
"The luncheon is not part of the convention package. I will be hosting the lunch after the convention for Mr. Manning. Those that wish to attend will pay the additional cost and attend."
 
Johnson said the executives of the youth wing agreed to the arrangement.

For those hoping to see a link between the Reform and the Progressive Conservatives, this may be the beginning. Based on my experience in politics, the youth of the party are always prepared to go further then the "adults".

To lighten things up

A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair.  He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science related to environmental issues.  In his project, the young student urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide."

And for plenty of good reasons, since it can:

1. cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. it is a major component in acid rain
3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. accidental inhalation can kill you
5. it contributes to erosion
6. it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
7. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical. Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that dihydrogen monoxide was water.

The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?"




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