Monday 20 October 2008

Just in case I haven't made myself clear...

Just in case I haven't made my feelings perfectly clear, this is the most despicable politician in Canada today.

I've been following Canadian politics closely for about 50 years now, ever since I started studying political science at McGill University. Stephen Harper has been the only politician in all that time who makes me want to vomit every time I see him or hear his voice. I've disagreed with quite a few of our so-called leaders, but no one, not even Brian Mulroney, has evoked the same reaction in me. I have to think of American politicians to think of someone similar.

That's not really surprising. Harper gets all his social, economic and political ideas from the Republican Party. It's obvious he has no original ideas of his own. His idea of political discourse is character assassination and policy misrepresentation, something not seen in this country before (at least not on this scale).

It's despicable, there's no other word for it. Anyone whose principal aim is to mislead unsophisticated voters in order to gain power is despicable. It was despicable when Hitler did it; it was despicable when de Gaulle did it; it was despicable when Thatcher did it; it's despicable when McCain does it; and it's despicable when Putin does it (come to think of it he just orders those who disagree with him imprisoned or killed).

Have I made my feelings clear?

Sunday 19 October 2008

More About Harper's $300,000,000 Boondoggle OR The Lying Continues...

Just last week, a day before the election, Harper said he would never run a deficit. What a difference an election and five days make: on Saturday, in Quebec City, he said that deficits are no longer inevitable. Who could have guessed? What promise will you break next, Steve?

Since the American-induced banking crisis erupted a couple of weeks ago during the election campaign, Harper and Flaherty have been saying that they saw this coming last fall, when they went on their unprecedented spending spree. That, of course, is just another flat-out lie. No one anywhere in the world saw anything like this coming - the most anyone was talking about a year ago was that the housing market in the U.S. was in trouble because of the largely unregulated and unprincipled American banking system.

Harper went on his spending spree as conservatives usually do when they smell an election coming and they need to buy votes. And last fall, Harper thought he could win a majority in an election that was about to be triggered by the opposition. It's only when that didn't happen that he arranged for the House of Commons to become dysfunctional so that he could break his own fixed election date law.

It's obvious that he didn't see the economic crisis coming or he wouldn't have gone on his spending spree and left himself no financial manoeuvering room. He had nothing to say about the economy during the election campaign other than that everything was just hunky dory. CTV, the network shilling for the Tories during the campaign, all the while kept insisting everything was going to be fine because, after all, Harper was an outstanding economist. Well, the truth is, he studied economics at the University of Calgary. That doesn't make him an economist! I have an Honours Degree in Political Science and Economics from McGill University (a real university, by the way), and I wouldn't call myself either a politician or an economist. And I'm far more honest and intelligent than Stephen Harper any day of the week!

Friday 17 October 2008


$300,000,000 is what this useless election has cost Canadians! Why? Because a power hungry Alberta neo-conservative wanted to become all powerful! Thankfully he didn't get the result he wanted.

Do you know how many hospitals or schools could have been built with that wasted money? How much desperately needed medical equipment could have been bought? How many nurses and teachers could have been trained? How many day care spaces could have been created to help families remain financially strong, to educate our children so that they can compete in an increasingly technological world when they grow up? But no, Harper had to have a majority, for no other reason than that he wanted one.

Well, there's a silver lining to Harper's "victory". But it's going to hurt the very people who gave it to him. In the recession that's staring us in the face, the neo-conservatives who have no plan and very little brain power, will screw up, as conservatives have always done in Canada since confederation - think Bennett, Diefenbaker, Mulroney, and now Harper - and cause Canada great economic harm. At the end of it, the Liberals will be called upon to set things right - think Mackenzie King, Pearson and Chrétien. Thank god for small, very small, mercies!

Thursday 16 October 2008

An Election Follow-up

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What's going on?"

"Terrorists down the road have kidnapped Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion & Jack Layton. They're asking for a $10 million ransom otherwise they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking up a collection."

The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving, on average?"

"Most people are giving about 4 liters."

Tuesday 14 October 2008

Well, we still have a country, barely!

So what does it all mean?

We have a prime minister who broke the law (his own) because he thought he could get a majority government to implement his hidden neo-conservative agenda. It cost us all $300,000,000 and we're no farther ahead. The first thing Elections Canada should do, is to send the Conservative party a bill for that amount.
Harper wanted to be Darth Vader, instead he's the same clown who broke most of the promises he made in the last election and who lied every time he opened his mouth during this election campaign (something he learned not only from the Bush Republicans, but also from Josef Goebbels, who said "the bigger the lies, the easier it is to get people to believe them").

So, what we've learned from this election is just how stupid and ignorant millions of Canadians really are. I'm not so much speaking of the people who voted Tory ("don't bother me with the facts, my mind's made up"), but more so of the people who voted NDP and Green. It's always been self-evident that to defeat Harper, progressive Canadians would have to vote Liberal. It's sad to see that Canada has elected a government whose basic principle is "the big lie", but it's even sadder that so many Canadians are so ignorant that they can't tell the difference between lies and the truth.

Just how stupid many voters are is clearly demonstrated in my riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands on Vancouver Island, where nearly 4,000 people voted for an NDP candidate who had withdrawn from the election for ethical reasons. This gave the victory to Gary Lunn, one of the weakest Tory MPs, who managed to win a 2,600 seat plurality as a result.

We end up with Stephen Harper again, the leader of the neo-conservative party, whose one objective is power, personal power, which he's pursued relentlessly for years. To get it he will say whatever he thinks will get him votes in some part of the country. And people fall for that. What he says has nothing to do with what he believes in. His aim is to win so that he can force his neo-conservative policies on the country no matter what the cost. Of course, thankfully he can't do that for now, because he didn't get his majority!

The New Democrats demonstrate with every word they utter that they're not ready for prime time. One hears clichés about family, middle class and jobs, but they have no workable policies that can be implemented in real life without causing economic chaos.

The Liberals have the right policies; the switch to an environmentally progressive economy has worked well in all European countries that have implemented it, foremost of all Germany. Germany is a leader in green technology development and implementation and has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in new emerging industries, all while facing the same problems with conventional jobs fleeing to developing countries as we do. But the Liberal policies were misrepresented not only by Harper, but also by the conservative media, like CTV which has been shilling for the Tories for months. Sadly, the party seemed unable to convince enough Canadians of the validity of their policies. And among English Canadians, I also sensed some residual anti-French, anti-Catholic and anti-intellectual sentiment that still lingers just below the surface and worked against the Liberal leader.

The fact that only 59% of eligible voters actually bothered to vote shows how disgusted many of us are with the behaviour of many politicians, particularly on the far right. And the fact that vote percentages among the parties changed only very slightly but that so many seats changed parties shows how urgent it is that we change to a more representative system of elections, i.e. a version of proportional representation, to give people the sense that their votes, and which party they vote for, will actually count.

Well, Stéphane Dion will soon be gone as Liberal leader. His fate demonstrates that honesty, integrity, and vision alone are not enough to win an election in Canada. Any empty-headed showman can persuade those unwilling or unable to think for themselves to give him their votes. Oh, Canada!