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Harper's Folly

Warning: Canadian content (so, relatively polite language), immature subject matter (politics), no nudity, and anti-violence.

2006/01/31

Leaders? Hardly!



I started this blog as an outlet for my frustrations over the obnoxious antics of a particular party during Question Period.

Two particular individuals – mentioning no names – behaved in a vocal and adolescent manner that obstructed parliament and forever destroyed their credibility as party leaders worthy of respect.

Any who watched the obnoxious, hypocritical antics of the RCs ought to have understood exactly why Belinda Stronach made the personally-politically-risky move of crossing the floor to join an embattled government. Harper's interpretation that Stronach deserted the (Regressive) Conservatives because she would "never be leader" said nothing about Stronach and volumes about Harper's psychology and ambitions.

I'll explain. Had Stronach truly been so puerile as to wish to desert the RCs purely because she had not been elected leader, she would have done so much sooner. Harper and the RCs will assuredly manage things so badly that the RCs must ultimately choose a different leader, and, had Stronach stayed she should have had a far greater chance of attaining the leadership of the RCs than she will of the attaining leadership of the Liberals, let alone retaining her seat in a conservative riding.

However, when Harper was illogical and inaccurate in his accusations against Stronach, he revealed why HE would have acted as she did. He would have decamped in a fit of pique over not attaining all of his ambitions. Harper does not care about Canada, Harper only cares about Harper, Harper, Harper, and about becoming PM. The smug debate smirk and his antics declare this to be the case over and over again.

A question of ideology

When choosing where to place our votes, whether we intend this or not, we vote for the collective ideology, the Weltschauen, or world-view of a party.

Both fascist and communist political failures – governments that can only retain power only through dictatorship – demonstrate the dangers of the extreme right and the extreme left. Historically, the middle-of-the-road has proved to be the best fiscal and democratic policy in free states. Both fascist and communist political agendas have ultimately proved themselves painful for the majority of the population.

Are the Regressive Conservatives fascist? No. The RC's do, however, favour the wealthy over the poor, and the RC's overt and covert platforms will erode our surpluses and our social liberties and supports. The poor will suffer most. The already-wealthy will benefit most.

Why? Consider the proferred reduction in the GST versus income tax reductions for the poorest Canadians. The wealthy have higher discretionary incomes – more pocket money compared to money for necessities – and the wealthy spend more on taxable items. This means that a reduction in the GST will most benefit those who spend most on large-ticket items.

Those who spend comparatively less on taxable items and services – the poor – will derive very little benefit from a 1 - 2% reduction in the GST. Similarly, when Harper reduces corporate taxes, the working population's share of the tax burden will increase OR we must again incur a deficit as we did under Mulroney's PCs. Stephen Harper is well enough trained in economics to understand all of the above - he is merely counting on the fact that the average voter does not understand economics.

Paul Martin, as Liberal finance minister, turned the Conservative-created deficit into a surplus, yet many Canadian voters seem bent on punishing Paul Martin for the egregious AdScam behaviour of Liberal party hangers-on. Not elected Liberals, but civil servants such as work under any government.

At the leftist extreme, we cannot afford NDP support of over-generous social programs OR the discrepancy of support only for those workers who belong to a union. Generosity is one of the good aspects of the Canadian, as opposed to American Republican, collective psyche. It is just that we cannot afford to be over-generous. This is one good reason for having the NDP as a minority party when Liberals are in power – the balance tends toward generous. An NDP minority would be powerless against a Regressive Conservative majority, and under-generous will take the day – for 5 years! – while the already-rich will grow richer.

Under the Liberals, we have achieved the lowest unemployment rate in decades. However, the majority of Canadians of working age have worked even when unemployment is at its highest. In other words, most of us, whether single or part of a nuclear family, are working people, and most of us do not belong to trade unions.

At the inception of trade unions, these tools for collective bargaining for the oppressed were essential to redress inequities. In the modern economy, most trade unions operate as tools of cooperative blackmail in industries whose workers are not oppressed, but whose products or services are essential in some way – for example, public transit and mail delivery (before the electronic-communication revolution).

Similarly, collective blackmail has been a potent tool for inequality in large consumer-product industries – auto workers are a prime example, and it is no accident that Ed Broadbent hailed from Oshawa.

Of course, the day-to-day operations of modern trade unions is not staging strikes, rather it often seems to be anti-meritocracy. That is, most trade unions seem to oppose dismissal of fellow unionists who would otherwise be dismissed for incompetence. This explains why standards of service are often lower in industries or services with large unions – merit does not matter, "brotherhood" does.

The ultimate result of decades of large trade unions is comparatively excessive salaries in certain sectors of the economy. Left-leaning political parties support such inequities and do not represent the majority of working people and working families.

What constitutes an equitable salary scale? This is a complex question, but most would probably agree that remuneration ought to reward special skills, talents, and advanced training, and ought to compensate for highly unpleasant or dangerous working conditions.

2006/01/23

Do Canadians hate Americans?


Most Canadians cannot abide George Bush and his administration. Most Canadians did not believe the lies that Bush told to get America into the Iraq war. Most Canadians applauded the Liberal stand against joining the invasion of Iraq. In that most Americans did not vote for Bush in either election and most Americans have come to realize that they were duped, most Canadians agree with most Americans about Bush and his administration. Given the inhumanity and debacle of the Iraq war, most Canadians were absolutely correct in applauding the Liberal stand against joining the invasion of Iraq.

Canadians appear to have short memories on this, as though keeping us out of an unjust and futile war pales in comparison to the antics of some party-hangers-on.

Janice Stein claims that most Canadians "cannot tell the difference" between the Bush administration and Americans. I believe that we can, in that we recognize the difference between the individual American and the national hubris. I believe that most Canadians recognize that the political administration elected (or not elected) by any nation is distinct from an individual within that nation.

However, Canadians do personally object to the vocal America-the-greatest arrogance of some Americans. We have long despised the way some Americans have treated slaves and their descendents – we were the last whistle stop on the underground railroad, after all. We are not happy about a nation that imposes illegal tariffs on our softwood lumber, and then refuses to pay the legal compensation ordered by the NAFTA panel. We are not happy with a nation that closes its borders to our beef while hiding its own several cases of Mad Cow.

Has anti-American dislike of some aspects of America risen only since Bush took office? My personal observation has been that many Canadians have long disliked the American political ethos – we were simply too polite to say so. However, anti-USian sentiment has risen dramatically since Giorgio Dubaya Borgio took office. (By "took" office, I indicate that I believe that the outcome of both elections that placed such an incompetent in power were rigged. First, by the deliberate mis-alingned printing of ballots in brother Jed Bush's home state, and next, by tampering with electronic ballots in the swing states.)

Do we define ourselves in terms of not being American? No. Most of us hold "Canadian" values because of the intrinsic merit of certain moral principles. As a friend said, "we prefer to spend our money on social programs rather than bombs". (Obviously, we too have our share of rednecks, bigots, and self-serving individuals.) We compare much of the American ethos with Canadian values, and find the American political and social scene desperately wanting in some areas. We thus declare ourselves proud that we do not share the more egregious aspects of the American Weltenschauen. In other words, we decry some American attitudes in terms of their not being the more liberal of Canadian values.

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2006/01/22

The Worst of All Evils

On January 23rd, Canadians will have the opportunity to choose the least of four evils or the worst of four evils. One must never underestimate the average voter's short memory, gullibility, greed, or lack of understanding of the true character of the candidates. If Canadians choose the worst evil, we will have a majority Regressive Conservative government, and Canada will lose Quebec and be handed piecemeal to the United States.

Time prevents listing all the evils of the political administration to the south whose abominable president was never voted into power by a majority of Americans. Giorgio Dubaya Borgia is without doubt the worst of the political leadership evils in North America, but Harpy runs a close second. Scary? You betcha.

From whence come party funds?

Scandals aside, the Liberal party has historically delivered the Canada that fits the values and aspirations of the non-USian majority.

As for AdScam, I have known for a long time, on good authority, that the government in Ottawa expects that any private business that receives a government contract is expected to contribute back 10% of that contract to the party. My good authority informed me of this practice under the Progressive Conservatives. That's right, the PCs, not the Liberals, at the time.

My good authority also informed me that this is not general knowledge. Why not? To blow the whistle would be bad for business, and those who run businesses are not naive and idealistic about how politics work.

When I heard about the Sponsorship scandal, my reaction was, "So, what else is new?" I write this not because I approve – or disapprove – of such 10% -back-scratching, but because the Bloc, RCs, and NDP who cry "punish the Liberals" for corruption are merely attempting to gain political power through an activity that they, if in power, might be equally likely to employ.

Do the politicos really care about a mere $100 million of our tax dollars? I doubt it, because they definitely do not care enough that an election costs us/them considerably more. No, they merely hope that AdScam will provide them an opportunity to grab more power for his party (Layton), for his province/would-be-country (Duceppe), or for himself (Harper).

Why is Harper not revealing the sources of his campaign funds? I suspect – and I'd prove it if I could – that aside from the usual corporate support of any right-wing party, some of Harper's funds ultimately derived from those Ultra-Conservatives whom Harper met with in the US. Why else would the leader of a minority Canadian party visit American special-interest political lobbyists, and why else would said leader attempt to keep that meeting secret? The answer to secrecy is obvious – it is illegal to accept out-of-country campaign donations. If such campaign donations have found their way into Harper's pockets, then a go-between will have been employed. Sound like AdScam?

Best for Canada



Why best for Canada? Read the other posts.

Stand Up for Canada = Do NOT vote for Harper


Stand Up for Harper's Ambition. Stand Up for the Rich. Sit Down for Canada.

If you wish to keep that smug smirk on Stevie's face, vote Regressive.

Remember how the infamous "Alliance" happened? The Progressive Conservatives governed so poorly that Conservative fortunes were on the wane across the nation. Westerners of Extreme Right tendencies embraced the entrenched bigotry of the Reform party. Most Canadians, particularly those in ethnically diverse Ontario, would not dream of voting Reform. Harper's best chance for apparent respectability and real power to promote his "ideas" lay in an Alliance with the PCs. Canadians were wise to the ploy, so the (Reform) Alliance party became the (Regressive) Conservative party. We could say that at least they were not hypocritical enough to call themselves Progressive Conservatives – except that they could not do so because that party ceased to exist when the Reform party took over. Of course, the RC's will not admit to being Regressive Conservatives until they are elected. Once elected, the disguise will be shed and regressive social policies – damage minority rights, eliminate the right-to-choose – will rear their ugly heads.

Nice Decent Party?


Sure, we have the choice of sending more NDP candidates to parliament. Under any other circumstances, this would probably be a good idea. After all, Jack Layton wants to represent the working family, working family, working family, working family .... working family.

Ed Broadbent claims that only the NDP could balance an RC win. Either Ed has never comprehended math or logic, or, more likely, Ed believes that none of his prospective voters could recognize the illogic of this claim. The last election demonstrated that Canadians can do the math. I can only hope that they are able to think logically when it comes to the crunch.

To chose NDP in order to balance a possible Regressive Conservative tide means not to vote Liberal, and AdScam or not, the Liberals retain a higher percentage of the popular vote. So, a vote for Layton could translate to a vote for Harper's Regressive Conservatives and their not very well hidden agenda – hardly a choice that someone with a middle or left-of-middle social conscience would want. Equally, for someone with a social conscience to vote Green – even though those appear to be well-meaning candidates – would be to throw away a vote against Reform agendas.

How can a vote truly protect the working family? Choose whatever party is not blatantly trying to buy your vote with fiscally irresponsible promises, and don't waste a vote intended to avoid Reform policies by voting for a cannot-win candidate.

Sovereigntists agendas


Throughout the Leadership debates, Duceppe repeatedly asserted that his party votes for Quebec and not for Canada. Martin pointed out that to align with the government on some issues would decrease anti-federalist discontent in Quebec, and that the Bloc had voted against some Liberal proposals in order to keep the flames of separatism burning. Given Duceppe's vehement declarations of separatist ambitions, this seems quite plausible.

I suspect that may Quebec-Canadians do not realize that to vote Conservative rather than Liberal will not ultimately favour anti-separatist feelings in Quebec. Harper cares only about his own ambitions and used the Bloc for his own political ends. Duceppe, of course, despite being left of Liberal, used Harper right back. If – shudder the thought – Harper attains a majority government, the people of Quebec, federalist and separatist will be cast aside for Western and Corporate interests.

As for Liberal corruption during AdScam – surely I'm not the only Canadian to have noticed that the majority of participants were Quebecers or of French-Canadian descent. Unless I'm mistaken, Guité is not an Anglo name. I am not accusing Quebecers of being any more corruption-prone than other Canadians – people like Grewal, for example – I am saying that it struck me as hypocritical for Duceppe to crow about Liberal corruption in AdScam, when Quebecers were the main participants. Ah, but what politician cares about hypocricy at election time?

One big question. How did the Bloq, which clearly represents the interests of only one province, attain federal party status? Does the Bloq support candidates in a majority of ridings across Canada? No, it doesn't - see for yourself at the official Bloq website or Bloc Qu�b�cois. If a province-biased separatist party is allowed federal status, what is to prevent a "federal" Bigot West party with candidates confined to Alberta? Yes, yes, we've already had the Reform party, but what if Harper's Regressives are not sufficiently "right wing", euphemistically speaking, for Albertans?

2006/01/01

Bloc Qu�b�cois

Bloc Qu�b�cois: "

André, Guy
Berthier--Maskinongé

Asselin, Gérard
Manicouagan

Bachand, Claude
Saint-Jean

Barbot, Vivian
Papineau

Bellavance, André
Richmond--Arthabaska

Bigras, Bernard
Rosemont--La Petite-Patrie

Blais, Raynald
Gaspésie--Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Bonsant, France
Compton--Stanstead

Bouchard, Robert
Chicoutimi--Le Fjord

Boulianne, Marc
Mégantic--L'Érable

Bourgeois, Diane
Terrebonne--Blainville

Brunelle, Paule
Trois-Rivières

Cardin, Serge
Sherbrooke

Carrier, Robert
Alfred-Pellan

Charette, Alain
Hull--Aylmer

Charlemagne, Justine
Saint-Léonard--Saint-Michel

Chiu, May
LaSalle--Émard

Clavet, Roger
Louis-Hébert

Cleary, Bernard
Louis-Saint-Laurent

Côté , Guy
Portneuf--Jacques-Cartier

Crête, Paul
Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup

DeBellefeuille, Claude
Beauharnois--Salaberry

Demers, Nicole
Laval

Deschamps, Johanne
Laurentides--Labelle

Desrochers, Odina
Lotbinière--Chutes-de-la-Chaudière

Duceppe, Gilles
Laurier--Sainte-Marie

Dussault, Guillaume
Mont-Royal

Émond-Lapointe, Christine
Pontiac

Faille, Meili
Vaudreuil--Soulanges

Fayad, William
Saint-Laurent--Cartierville

Fréchette, Sophie
Westmount--Ville-Marie

Freeman, Carole
Châteauguay--Saint-Constant

Gagnon, Christiane
Québec

Gagnon, Sébastien
Jonquière--Alma

Gaudet, Roger
Montcalm

Gauthier, Michel
Roberval--Lac-Saint-Jean

Guay, Monique
Rivière-du-Nord

Guertin, Anne-Marie
Lac-Saint-Louis

Guimond, Michel
Montmorency--Charlevoix--Haute-Côte-Nord

Kotto, Maka
Saint-Lambert

Labelle, Gérard
Honoré-Mercier

Laforest , Jean-yves
Saint-Maurice--Champlain

Laframboise, Mario
Argenteuil--Papineau--Mirabel

Lalonde, Francine
La Pointe-de-l'Île

Lambert, Alexandre
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine

Lapierre, Réal
Lévis--Bellechasse

Lavallée, Carole
Saint-Bruno--Saint-Hubert

Lemay, Marc
Abitibi--Témiscamingue

Léonard, Jacques
Outremont

Lessard, Yves
Chambly--Borduas

Lévesque, Yvon
Abitibi--Baie-James--Nunavik--Eeyou

Loubier, Yvan
Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot

Lussier, Marcel
Brossard--La Prairie

Malo, Luc
Verchères--Les Patriotes

Marceau, Richard
Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-Charles

Martel, Denis
Pierrefonds--Dollard

Ménard, Réal
Hochelaga

Ménard, Serge
Marc-Aurèle Fortin

Moore, Patrice
Beauce

Mourani, Maria
Ahuntsic

Nadeau, Richard
Gatineau

Niziblian , Apraham
Bourassa

Ouellet, Christian
Brome--Missisquoi

Paquette, Pierre
Joliette

Perron, Gilles
Rivière-des-Mille-Îles

Picard, Pauline
Drummond

Pichette, Christiane
Laval--Les Îles

Plamondon, Louis
Bas-Richelieu--Nicolet--Bécancour

Roy, Jean-Yves
Haute-Gaspésie--La Mitis--Matane--Matapédia

Sauvageau, Benoît
Repentigny

Simard, Christian
Beauport--Limoilou

St-Cyr, Thierry
Jeanne-Le Ber

St-Hilaire, Caroline
Longueuil--Pierre-Boucher

Thibault, Louise
Rimouski--Neigette--Témiscouata--Les Basques

Vincent, Robert
Shefford