Fundraising note from the Conservatives…
Here are my feelings on travel pieces like this. Both sides put them out and if they don’t journalists basically do the same thing. They used to do these all of the time whenever Stephen Harper went to watch a hockey game and a piece would be written about the costs for the flight, security, and even what he paid for out of his own pocket. It was like it was un-Canadian for a Prime Minister to watch a hockey game.
Now we see it done with the Liberals and it’s just as ridiculous. It’s almost as if no Canadian Prime Minister should ever travel again for any purpose and it is the most Canadian mindset ever. It is almost as if we should be ashamed that our Prime Minister travels and takes in meetings or is asked to events.
Since the editor of the site is the same as the publisher, I am given tremendous latitude in who I endorse around here.
In Saskatoon West where I live, I have a choice between:
- Randy Donauer: Conservative
- Lisa Abbott: Liberal
- Sheri Benson: NDP
Of the three, the NDP were the only ones that knocked on my door. A gaggle of Conservatives walked by my door, looked at the address, checked their database and kept walking. Apparently they were not interested in either Wendy or my vote in this election. I wasn’t even robo-called called by the Conservatives or the Liberals. So yeah, thanks for the effort teams.
For me the decision comes down to the Liberals and the NDP, both parties are outside of my federal comfort levels. I have serious problems with both of their platforms but nothing compared to the problems I had with the Conservative campaign.
I also have been poorly served by Kelly Block’s office. When I used to contact Carol Skelton’s office, I always got a personal follow up from Skelton, even when she was a minister. The one time I contacted Kelly Block’s about a serious issue, I was sent Conservative Party talking points by an assistant.
I have watched Randy Donauer as a city councillor and I was greatly disappointed in the change I saw from the time he announced his candidacy until now. He was always a fiscal conservative which is needed but to see him pander that almost exclusively in council meetings was frustrating. From the time that he announced his candidacy, I called on him to resign his seat on council (just as I did when Councillors Paulsen and Hill did when the ran for the Liberals) which is the same as other some other cities require.
As for the Conservative record.
- Bill C-51 when the United States has proven that local police will abuse powers.
- Elimination of the Mandatory Long Form Census
- Botched military procurement (which to be honest, isn’t all their fault)
- Seeing military procurement as a job builder rather than equipping the Canadian Forces with the best gear possible.
- The Mike Duffy debacle
- The Pamela Wallin debacle
- The decision to shut down the senate without making a serious effort at reforming it.
- Lack of participation with the Premiers
- Cutting funding to the Homelessness Partnering Program
- The feud with the Supreme Court of Canada
- The lack of desire to fix unsafe water conditions on Canadian reserves.
- Muzzling of scientists then lying about it.
I grew up in a Conservative household. I was part of PC Youth. I still defend Grant Divine when push comes to shove but I can’t defend this record. Part of me thinks that if another Conservative government had acted like this, Stephen Harper would start his own party… oh right, that is exactly what he did do.
I thought Lisa Abbott has run a great campaign. So great that it may cause an unfavourable vote split between the Liberals and the NDP but that it the first past the post system. She has run the best Liberal campaign I have ever seen in Saskatoon West since I moved here in 1984. Her candidacy (and the Justin Trudeau campaign) have made Liberals relevant in Saskatoon West for the first time ever. I can’t speak highly enough of how she carries herself in this campaign.
As for Sheri Benson, she has been working on issues that political parties ignored during this campaign. Poverty and homelessness for years through the Saskatoon United Way. She has brought different social agencies together (it’s like herding cats but harder) and brought focus to issues that few care about. If Lisa Abbott has been helped by the Trudeau campaign, Benson has probably been hurt by the mediocre NDP campaign (the phrase “You NDP’d that up” for when you should win but don’t is now entering our lexicon).
If I lived in Saskatoon Grasswords, I would vote for Tracy Muggli and in Saskatoon University I’d vote for Cynthia Block. Both are excellent candidates that deserve to be in Ottawa.
Living in Saskatoon West, I am going to endorse Sheri Benson. She has shown the ability to move local issues that few cared about forward and that is what we will need in Ottawa. In a minority government, all parties will need people who can bring people together. Sheri will do that for the NDP.
That being said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lisa Abbott for her campaign. She would also make a great MP from what I have seen and if either one of them are unsuccessful, I hope they run again either provincially or federally.
Trudel needed 24 paragraphs to dismiss that request. Nearer the end was a sentence that could be used to summarize the whole affair. “I find,” she wrote, “that the appellant has not demonstrated that refusing his application for stay would result in irreparable harm to the public interest.”
Here is some of the background of the decision from Maclean’s Magazine
That finding is based, in part, on the government’s own convoluted defence of its actions. What might otherwise be considered a ban on the wearing of the niqab during the citizenship oath has been presented to the court as an expression of “a desire in the strongest possible language.” So the ban is not quite a ban, insofar as citizenship judges have the discretion to allow someone to wear a niqab during the oath; despite the policy’s use of the term “must,” the government has been arguing that there is some room for a judge to decide that a woman need not remove her niqab.
The trouble here is that the minister, Jason Kenney, in this situation, does not have the power to unilaterally fetter the discretion of citizenship judges. Thus, if the ban were said to be mandatory, the government’s case would be moot.
The Federal Court’s Justice Keith Boswell found that the policy was mandatory in nature—and also in contradiction with legislation that allows for the greatest possible religious freedom in swearing the oath—and the Federal Court of Appeal found no reason to differ with Justice Boswell on that point. But the argument that the policy is optional has now been used by Trudel to dismiss the government’s request for a stay.
“Presuming that the appellant is right that the policy at issue is not mandatory and citizenship judges can apply it or not . . . how can one raise a claim of irreparable harm?” Trudel writes—irreparable harm being the standard for a stay. “It is simply inconsistent to claim, on the one hand, that a policy has no binding effect on decision-makers, but that irreparable harm would result if that policy was to be declared unlawful on the other.”
Furthermore, Trudel notes, “Citizenship and Immigration Canada had valid guidelines and procedures to ensure that citizenship candidates take the oath prior to the adoption of the policy. These guidelines and procedures are undisturbed by the finding that the policy is unlawful. There is no legislative or regulatory void.”
That is, procedures already exist to ensure an oath is duly sworn.
As I am at most times early in a campaign, I am struggling with who to vote for. Here are my thoughts so far after watching the Maclean’s Leader’s Debate and the first week of the campaign.
- Stephen Harper lies a lot. An incredible amount. I actually can’t think of a Prime Minister that lies has much as he does about his record. My only comparison might be Tony Blair (who lied over crazy things). Is what they mean by “absolute power corrupts absolutely”?
- C-51 really bothers me. I don’t believe it makes Canadians even safer and it takes away important oversight over our CSIS and the RCMP. It also creates silos which is the kind of organizational mess that allowed the attacks of 9-11 to begin. What is even worse, is that this isn’t just my thoughts on security but have been written about extensively but top US intelligence leaders. Harper could have learned from others but chose not to.
- The shenanigans over the campaign stops. I need to be invited to a campaign event to attend? It’s weird. I like to take the kids out to see leaders as they pass through town but now I have to be a committed Conservative supporter to see the Prime Minister in an election campaign? And I can’t post photos on social media? What kind of thinking leads to that.
- Stephen Harper’s big promise today? A travel ban on travelling to tourist areas! So what happens if I want to do humanitarian work there (I had friends working in Afghanistan long before 9/11 and they were doing good work with local farmers). What happens if I have friends and family there that are not terrorists? Since when has any Canadian government told it’s citizens where they can travel. How does that make Canada safer? Also since when does where I travel decide if I am innocent or guilty. This is going down a dark path.
- Whoever gave Harper the advice that he could just not appoint senators is an idiot. Again, is he being serious or is he going after uneducated voters that this appeals to. I just don’t know.
- Okay, I’ll just call this now, Stephen Harper is a deeply paranoid Prime Minister.
- Of course his promise to never have a Netflix tax. Also, anyone else find it a little weird that a law and order Prime Minister likes Breaking Bad. Anyone think that he actually watches or knows what Breaking Bad is? I thought so.
New Democratic Party
- The Sherbrook Declaration which says that the country can be broken up with a vote of 50% plus one goes against my core beliefs and the Supreme Court of Canada.
- The NDP plan to abolish the senate sounds great (well actually it sounds stupid) when said on a campaign trail but why are we making, “re-opening the constitution” a campaign platform. Did we have so much fun at Meech Lake, Charlottetown and the subsequent Quebec referendum that we want to do this again?
- I am not impressed with the $15 an hour national wage. I think it is poorly thought out policy. Actually it was the kind of poorly thought out but populist policies that the NDP were known for and I had hoped they had left behind.
- Tom Mulcair talking about climate change is a little like hearing Stephen Harper talk about the economy. A lot of bravado but not much of a plan.
- I have always been disgusted that the NDP opened those satellite offices across the country in clear violation of the rules and won’t pay back the money. Apparently the Liberal Party and the Conservatives aren’t the only one that feel entitled to imaginary entitlements.
- Linda McQuaig’s comments on the oilsands. Really the NDP are going to shut down the oilsands and plunge Alberta and probably Saskatchewan into a depression for years? This is why it is hard to take the NDP seriously most elections. I don’t trust them to manage the economy. Of course it’s hard to beat Harper’s economic record but the NDP seem to be trying.
- I hate the NDP stance of deferring to the United Nations on military actions. In theory that sounds great but in practice it gives Russia a veto on whether or not you act. In case the NDP haven’t noticed, there is a madman in charge of Russia and that seat on the UN Security Council.
- Hate that Trudeau voted for C-51. Just hate it. Either Liberal Party advisors are playing politics with an important issue or are idiots. Or both.
- I know I am the outlier on this but I thought Trudeau was poor in the debates. I thought it was weird he didn’t tell me what he believed, only what the Liberal Party believed. It’s not a big thing but I thought it was strange. According to the polls, I was wrong about this anyways, most thought he won.
- Trudeau’s faith in the ability of the senate to be restored is noble. For all of the NDP and the Conservatives rhetoric that it can not, in truth, no one has ever tried. At least Trudeau is going to try.
- Trudeau’s foreign policy isn’t so much a thought out foreign policy but just plain naïve. While Harper’s doesn’t make sense, doing the opposite of craziness doesn’t make it sane. It is just stupid in another direction. His views on Syria and ISIS are naïve and goes against any form of common sense. Of course the US and Harper’s plan aren’t that effective right now either.
This is separate from all three parties but in the U.S. in both the GOP and the Democratic party, they have adults who spend their lives on making careful and well thought out policy decisions. In Canada, we seem to leave those decisions to political hacks which is why we get these half baked policy ideas that make no sense to anyone other than pollsters. When talking about foreign policy, defense, or the economy, those wise voices creating policy, tend to be important and we really lack that here.
I don’t know how I am going to vote but none of the three campaigns get me that excited and to be honest, seem to be doing what Allan Gregg said after the 1988 campaign. The Tories went after the really stupid voters. Sadly that worked and it seems like all three parties are targeting that demographic right now.
Hey, I am pretty much sitting out this campaign. I’ll wait to see how the campaign platforms come together to decide if I will write a local endorsement but until then, it won’t be that political around here. I have friends who are candidates for different parties and I respect them for making the effort of going to Ottawa to do what the PMO tells them what to do and when to do it.
I did great a quick election guide for all candidates in Saskatoon. You can find it here. It lists all of the campaign contact information for all of the campaigns, except for Kevin Waugh (and I can’t find his yet). So if you want to check out a campaign in Saskatoon, it’s all there for you.
Regardless of your politics, this is a really good attack ad. Also, I think Illegal Campaign Contributions would be an amazing name for a band.
The Conservative government’s tough rhetoric over Russiaâ€™s actions in Ukraine may play well to some voters domestically, but analysts doubt it will have any impact on curtailing Moscow’s policies in the region.
“I think the only people Putinâ€™s going to pay any attention to, if he pays any attention at all, are going to be the United States and the European Union, above all Germany,” said Randall Hansen, director of the University of Toronto’s Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies.
“The United States, because itâ€™s the global super power, and Germany because itâ€™s a major importer of Russian gas, which on the one hand gives Putin leverage, and on the other hand, he’s also dependent on Germany.
“Canada doesnâ€™t matter in this in the slightest. We can rant and yell and threaten. It will make no difference.â€
Heâ€™s not alone
Piotr Dutkiewicz, a political science professor at Carleton and the former director of the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, said it’s relatively easy for the government to criticize because Canada doesn’t have extensive economic relations with Russia and there are no large Russian investments in Canada.
However, he notes that Canadian companies do have $3-billion worth of investment in Russia and the government should take that into consideration when speaking out.
“I think we should take a more balanced, Iâ€™m not saying uncritical, Iâ€™m saying more balanced position, taking into the equation Canadian interests in Russia,” Dutkiewicz said.
“If the Canadian government decides to be critical it should be critical, but at the same time we should watch what others are doing and how, by our criticisms, weâ€™re really helping Ukraine.”
Dutkiewicz said that Canada is losing its reputation as a negotiator and instead is engaging in rhetoric stronger than that of the U.S., Germany or France.
â€œWith their very heated rhetoric and no action weâ€™re becoming a paper tiger in this process,” he said. “I really donâ€™t like Canada to be seen as a paper tiger who is roaring without having any tools to implement its outrage.”
But the experts agreed that the government’s words have little to do with foreign policy.
“Harper and Baird, I think, are both principled democrats and have a principled commitment to liberal democracies such as Israel and a principled opposition to autocratic governments,” Hansen said. “But this is really about domestic politics. So they’re making a play to the Ukrainian community in Canada.
As part of their severance, those who serve 20 years or more are offered a last move, at government expense, after they retire. Soldiers are asked to live in many places; the policy recognizes that the house you occupy at the end of your career may not be where you want to remain.
Leslie served 35 years at home and abroad and moved 18 times. When he left the military in 2011, he wanted to simplify things. He moved from a bigger house to a small one, in the same neighbourhood. The move cost some $72,000, of which the real estate fees could have come to perhaps $60,000. The rest went to packing and moving.
All expenses were covered by government.
So, whatâ€™s wrong here? Whatâ€™s the offence? A distinguished soldier does his duty, retires honourably and sells his house. The bills are settled by the government, because thatâ€™s the arrangement.
But thatâ€™s not really the story, is it? The story here has less to do with General Leslie than Citizen Leslie, or perhaps, in the future, Minister Leslie. Itâ€™s about politics.
While Rob Nicholson asks his officials to explain this long-standing government policy â€” one he could have changed but hasnâ€™t â€” here are a few questions for him.
Why is Andrew Leslie the first veteran to come under this kind of public scrutiny? Is $72,000 egregious? If so, what is the average figure for moves involving such neighbourhoods?
And how is it that Leslieâ€™s expenses found their way to CTV News, which first reported this on the weekend? Is there a breach of privacy in your department, Minister? Your office suggested the document was acquired under the Access to Information Act, but CTV did not.
We know what is going on here. Andy Leslie is a Liberal. His father was a Liberal. His service notwithstanding, that displeases the government. Tell us, Minister Nicholson, would you have ordered an inquiry if Leslie had been running as a Conservative? Would your question have been as sharp, your anger as hot?
Could it be that Leslieâ€™s expenses would never have found their way into the media at all? And could it be that the Conservatives wanted Leslie to join them, when they learned that he was going to the Liberals? Let us see this for what it is: a drive-by smear.
Argue, if you want, that after years of dislocation and adjustment, that Leslie and his wife had no right to move to a smaller house. Make it another great moral failing of another public servant, as we like to do these days in a country filled with accountants of envy.
If you do, though, remember that soldiers spend their lives disrupting their families, often with little notice and at great cost. Ask yourself why soldiers are committing suicide. Ask yourself about divorce, domestic violence, addiction and other consequences of military life.
As we disparage a decorated general, seeing scandal that isnâ€™t there, consider the greater affront of a government that tolerates a minister, Julian Fantino, who insults veterans as he cuts their services. Now thereâ€™s gratitude.
Then ask yourself why Andrew Leslie and other good people would even contemplate entering our soiled, sorry public life.
Almost all you need to know about Canadian politics in the next two years can be summarized in one simple number â€“ 10 per cent.
Ten per cent is the share of the electorate that has deserted Stephen Harperâ€™s Conservatives since the last election. In that contest, the Conservatives captured a shade less than 40 per cent of the votes. For months now, polls have given the Conservatives about 30 per cent.
At 40 per cent, the Conservatives would win again, likely with another majority; at 30 per cent, they would lose power. Their aim â€“ and it will drive almost everything they do in the next two years â€“ will be to recapture all or most of the difference.
What about the other 60 per cent of the voting public? The Conservatives could care less about them. The overwhelming majority of those people arenâ€™t going to vote Conservative, period.
Nik Nanos, the pollster, asks this interesting question on an ongoing basis: Could you imagine voting for a given party? He consistently finds that 60 per cent of voters reply that they could not imagine voting Conservative. The partyâ€™s ceiling, therefore, is 40 per cent.
No matter what the Conservatives have successfully done in office, no matter how hard they have tried and how much money they have spent, no matter how favourable the economic circumstances, no matter how inept the other parties, the Conservatives have never shattered that 40-per-cent ceiling. But if they donâ€™t crawl back close to it by the time of the next election, they will struggle to be re-elected, let alone to win another majority.
Given this strategic imperative, you might think that midway through a majority governmentâ€™s term, a party mired at 30 per cent would be rethinking its strategy. That would be to misunderstand the Harper government.
Instead of rethinking, the Prime Minister has doubled down on his long-term strategy, which depends on polarizing the electorate and identifying and mobilizing the Conservative vote. He reshuffled his cabinet to add younger ministers of the same type as the more experienced ones: hard-edged communicators and sharp-elbowed partisans. He regrouped people in his office and at party headquarters who are unreserved loyalists. There are no even mildly discordant voices, let alone fresh faces or new views, in Mr. Harperâ€™s inner political circle.
Finance Minister Jim Flahertyâ€™s appearance at a meeting of Canadaâ€™s finance ministers this week has renewed backroom speculation about whether his health will allow him to continue in his job.
As meetings at Meech Lake began on Monday, Flaherty was seen to struggle to get out of his car, and his voice was painfully weak as he addressed reporters later.
In the hours-long meeting with his provincial counterparts, he sat in silence most of the time, sometimes with his eyes closed, allowing minister of state, Kevin Sorenson, to chair the meeting.
â€œHe did not seem like a well man,â€ said a person who was in the room. â€œHe kind of closed his eyes a number of times, but whether that was just him sitting there listening or not, I donâ€™t know.â€
Tuesday on Parliament Hill, Flaherty was seen by a reporter walking with great difficulty.
In January, Flaherty went public with news about his health condition, bullous pemphigoid, a rare skin condition that produces painful blisters. He is taking the steroid prednisone, which can cause weight gain and, in large doses, can spur severe mood swings.
His staff did say that Flaherty was suffering from a cold at Meech Lake which could explain his mood there but he does seem to be suffering. Â I can’t imagine the requirements of the job make it any easier to deal with his health condition.
This is why Mike Duffy was named to the Canadian senate
Which leads us back to this: Be it resolved, there is now a single homogeneous Canadian political culture, expressed via the three main party shadings. How long until platforms themselves become irrelevant? Partisans will argue their own beloved expression of Canadian liberal democracy is not only best, but distinct â€“ as the Tories, Grits and NDP were a generation or two ago, when they disagreed about country-changing issues such as North American free trade, in 1988, or membership in NATO, in 1968.
But tick through the list of assumptions at the heart of the state today â€“ from socialized health care to capital punishment, abortion or free trade, deficits or tax rates â€“ and you find unanimity. The Conservatives must be for gay rights, or be written off as reactionary by the majority. The New Democrats must be for industry and thrift, or be written off as loopy dreamers by that same majority.
This convergence can create a mash-up, as political parties struggle to create differentiation amid their essential drab sameness. Thus, John Bairdâ€™s defence of gay rights in Russia doesnâ€™t go far enough, says the NDPâ€™s Paul Dewar. He must crank it up to 11, like the guitar amplifier in Rob Reinerâ€™s Spinal Tap. The Liberals, meantime, are beginning a two-year effort to implant the idea, by every means other than saying it, that they can be more conservative than the Conservatives when it comes to economics, and more new and democratic than the New Democrats when it comes to sex, drugs and rock â€˜nâ€™ roll. â€œTough on crimeâ€ is still exclusive Conservative territory â€“ but only because itâ€™s one of the few old planks they havenâ€™t ditched in the hunt for centrist votes. And, to be frank, itâ€™s not popular enough for the other parties to bother to steal.
Taken together, this still-unfolding spectrum collapse sets up a contest of almost pure personality in 2015. Through the next 24 months, Harper will seek to recast himself as more constructive; Mulcair, happier; and Trudeau, more solid. The ad war will be personal as never before, culminating in televised debates understood by all to be winner-take-all. And the pollsters, perhaps as never before, will be flying blind. Interesting times.
Even among Ottawa insiders, few would be aware that two officials running a tiny agency Flaherty set up to try to create a national securities regulator beat them all. Douglas Hyndman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Canadian Securities Transition Office (CSTO), makes $534,043, and Lawrence Ritchie, the CSTOâ€™s executive vice-president and senior policy adviser, $537,469. Their salaries are public because Hyndman is on long-term loan to the feds from the British Columbia Securities Commission, while Ritchie is similarly seconded from the Ontario Securities Commission, and both B.C. and Ontario publish â€œsunshine listsâ€ of salaries over $100,000. They are still technically on the provincial payrollsâ€”even though theyâ€™ve been working for Flaherty since 2009â€”with Ottawa compensating their home provinces. (The Harper governmentâ€™s refusal to support Alberta MP Brent Rathgeberâ€™s private memberâ€™s bill to publicly disclose federal salaries over $188,000 led to Rathgeber quitting the Tory caucus last spring; the government wanted to reveal only a handful of salaries over $444,661.)
At a glance, their pay seems out of whack by federal standards. After all, Hyndman and Ritchie together oversee only about 20 employees. Poloz, by comparison, commands about 1,240 at the central bank. But Flaherty has staked more on his high-priced ringers than the size of their shop might indicate. In an email exchange with Macleanâ€™s, Hyndman said his â€œrelatively small staffâ€ belies the complexity and importance of what the CSTO is trying to accomplish. â€œWe are using the expertise of a core group drawn from provincial securities regulators, plus some additional staff, to develop critical improvements to Canadaâ€™s system of capital markets regulation,â€ he said. â€œWe also need to maintain the flexibility to move forward on either federal legislation or a co-operative scheme with the provinces.â€
That last part about being ready to pursue either of two very different policy options is key. Flaherty set up the CSTO back in 2009 to bring about his goal of establishing a common Canadian securities regulator, replacing a hodge-podge of provincial stock market commissions. But some provinces challenged his plan in court. In late 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Ottawa was overstepping its jurisdiction. Despite that severe setback, Flaherty kept trying to coax provinces to come onside voluntarilyâ€”thatâ€™s the â€œco-operative schemeâ€ Hyndman mentions. But if those overtures to the provinces fail, the court ruling left the federal government room to regulate in limited areas on its ownâ€”thatâ€™s Hyndmanâ€™s â€œmove forward with federal legislationâ€ option.
In fact, indications from federal officials suggest they are not optimistic that enough provinces will sign on to salvage Flahertyâ€™s original grand plan. For instance, Hyndman said the CSTOâ€™s â€œprimary focus right now is developing proposed legislation and implementation plans that will be needed if no agreement is reached with provinces on a common regulator.â€ But exactly what parts of the financial marketplace the federal government will set out to regulate on its own has not yet been announced. Itâ€™s the subject of considerable speculation among private-sector experts. Flahertyâ€™s office says the aim would be â€œpreventing and responding to systemic risks, such as those posed by over-the-counter derivatives.â€
Figuring out ways to regulate trading by sophisticated investors in derivatives, which go by exotic names such as â€œcurrency forwardsâ€ and â€œcredit default swaps,â€ is a hot topic in international policy circles, largely because failures on this murky side of the market are blamed for the 2008 global credit meltdown and the recession that followed. Hyndman even suggests that losing the Supreme Court case focused the federal governmentâ€™s attention â€œprecisely where Canada needs to do a better job to get regulation right.â€
Whatever slice of the market Flaherty decides to tackle, settling on that approach shouldnâ€™t take much longer. â€œOur planning horizon is in months, not years,â€ Hyndman said. On whether he and Ritchie will go back then to their provincial jobs, or stay on to run an agency set up to bring new regulations into force, he said only, â€œWe have not sought, nor been offered, permanent federal positions.â€
Before you get all that upset, that is probably a deal for two guys of that talent who would make much more in the private sector. Â That being said, it probably won’t get enough provinces to sign on and in the end, will be a lot of money down the drain.
Read the third paragraph carefully.