With everything that’s currently going on in the Canadian political scene I really feel the need to say a few words. I really wish I could reach more people, because let’s face it, do any of us really have faith in the collective good sense of society as a whole? In any case, I can’t hold back any longer, and that’s what I made this blog for, so here goes.
I Hate Stephen Harper… (as a political leader, not as a person).
1. He doesn’t make sense
I think the thing I hate most about him is that he manages (like some other right leaning politician we all know and love) to convince people that he’s making sense. Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin he had many a Canadian starry-eyed with his promises to increase spending by BILLIONS and cut taxes. I had to shake many a loved one out of their stupor with the cold hard reliable slap of logic. Ahh logic, so coy and shy, you slip through the grasp of so many who try to possess you… but please, stay with me for a while, I promise I’ll be gentle.
This is the thing most people don’t do. They ask themselves which promises they like, but they don’t stop and think about the likelihood of these promises being fulfilled. We do not need to know one smattering about the budget to decide whether this is a promise that could be kept, we just need to know the one thing that motivates politicians – getting elected. The party that could give Canadians more services and tax them less would be heralded as a party of gods. If that money was there the Liberals would have been all over it… in an election year I might add, and all they’d have had to do is run on a “get more pay less!” campaign and win on a clean sweep. The money isn’t there.
2. He’s also hypocritical as all get out.
Here are his thoughts after the budget and ammendment (aka confidence motions) were passed:
“Tonight, Parliament has voted by the slimmest of margins to keep the Liberal party in office for the time being,” he said. “I regret this decision deeply.”
This really got me going. Ok so look at the numbers from before Belinda Stronach crossed the floor. Together the Liberals and the NDP had 150 seats. Together the Conservatives and the Bloq had 153 seats. That’s a margin of 3. The most the government could have been taken down by was a margin of 6. Tell me Mr. Harper, is that an acceptable margin to make government changing decisions with? And of course if we look at the numbers at today’s vote the possible margin becomes 1. So 1 vote is not enough of an acceptable margin to leave a parliament sitting, but it’s enough to cause another election? *sigh* just *sigh*
3. He’s in bed with the Bloq but Stronach’s the prostitute?
With seemingly no regard to the consequences, Harper has formed an alliance with the separatists to bring down his opponents. Any argument he could make about this being for the good of Canada goes out the window when he enlists the help of people who would like nothing more than to not be Canadians (but who would still want to use our dollar and depend on us for trade, etc.). I don’t know how many Conservatives have thought this through, but if another election is called the Bloq will sweep Quebec. They’ve already got 54 seats. Which brings me to the next thing I wanted to talk about.
Your Enemy’s Enemy is Only Your Friend Until Your Enemy is Dead – Or You Are
They’ve already got enough damn seats to conspire to bring down the government. Perhaps the “R” word hasn’t been thrown around enough lately? It’s a fairly timely issue as well. What seems to be lost in all this ado around the sponsorship inquiry is that this money was going towards promoting nationalism, which is code for getting Quebec to stay in Canada. It barely worked. Whatever is in this deal for the Bloq is NOT in it for the rest of us. The Bloq has no vested interest in seeing a Conservative government, except to further separatism. At least not if Harper keeps his promises to do more for Western Canada and less for Ontario and Quebec. Out of all the parties the Liberals will do the most to make Quebec happy. Maybe that’s what happened last time. The Liberals did just enough to make Quebeccers want to stay. Maybe now the Bloq is hoping the Conservatives will make Quebeccers unhappy enough to separate. In any case I really don’t get the feeling Mr. Harper has thought about it, or if he has he doesn’t care. He certainly hasn’t said anything about it. Maybe we should ask.
Belinda Stronach: Loyalty to Your Party vs. Loyalty to Your Principles
Wow, that was great news for anyone that wanted to see this government try and do it’s job. I was rooting for her to win the Conservative nod, actually. Through the campaign she seemed very level-headed, very down to business and her resume had me reassured that any government she had a part in would be fiscally responsible. Now I am even more impressed. Not because she joined my side of the house, but because she is a person of principle.
Too often in our North American view of politics we forget what the party system is actually about. We all have principles that we wish our region to be governed by. To make it easier to find out what someone stands for, and to find someone that stands for the same thing we do, parties and party platforms evolved. Each election we are supposed to examine the platforms of the individual parties and find out what they stand for. What issues are close to their hearts, what will they go to bat for? While the general political positioning of these parties tend not to change (left/center/right) what these positions mean do evolve over time. Just as standards in clothing change, what is conservative now might have been liberal years ago. While we might find that all our lives the party that most closely represents our beliefs stays the same, that does not mean our beliefs stay the same. The party may have changed with us. Each election it is our responsibility to vote to our principles, not our party. Party names and lines are only labels. Our morals and are values are concrete. We must find them where they lie, not where they used to lie.
The Mandate Was Clear
Lately a lot of politicians have been tossing around the term “Clear Mandate.” Mostly saying that we don’t have one. I disagree. I think we already knew about the sponsorship scandal, we already knew Paul Martin was probably involved, especially in Ontario we knew we couldn’t trust politicians, even Liberals to keep promises. Our mandate was clear. Our mandate was this:
We don’t trust any of you right now. We do not want to give any of you control. We want you to sit down and hash it out and let the bills that are for the good of the country stand and the ones that are partisan fall. We want you to get along like adults and work together and we’ll send you to your room if you don’t. You think you can just pander to us during an election year and ignore us the rest of the term? Well guess what, every god damn freaking day is an election year, now start pandering.
Works for me.