Friday, 11 April 2008

"Throwing Up for Canada"

Let's say you're the leader of a contumacious, Prairie-based party fuelled by populist class-war resentment, and let's say you manage to scrape together a hanging-by-the-fingernails minority government by expanding your support base beyond the angry loners, middle-aged virgins and trailer-park glue-sniffers who once comprised your core constituency.

Let's say that, after installing your velvet Elvis paintings and Maple Leafs night-lights at 24 Sussex, you proceed to do the following:

1) Accept floor crossers and an unelected hack Senate-appointee into Cabinet--in flagrant violation of your most fundamental ethical standards--in order to give yourself instant M.P.'s from places where virtually nobody voted for you;

2) Bring down some of the most costly, irresponsible, pork-filled budgets in recent Canadian history;

3) Pursue a thuggish program of anti-Opposition vilification and odium unlike anything witnessed in living memory;

4) Perfect the art of pandering to influential and wealthy ethnic groups for partisan gain;

5) Provide the most abjectly anti-federal concession to ethnic nationalism ever witnessed in North America;

6) Strangle any hint of independent thought, speech and action in an effort to retain total control of "the message" and constrain your caucus' vocal platoon of bone-in-the-nose recreants;

7) Fire or intimidate any civil servant who has the audacity to do his or her job without reference to your partisan needs or ideological programme; and

8) Suppress debate concerning your government's central foreign-policy initiative by slandering as "terrorist sympathisers" anybody who dares give voice to majority domestic opinion by critiquing the conduct of the war.

Now, if you've completed all these tasks, would you be happy with this? Would you be satisfied being in a dead heat with the Opposition, especially when you're an experienced, veteran politician who has rarely had his lips off the public teat during the span of his adult life and when your adversary is someone your party considers a laughable, gutless, clueless, indecisive milquetoast?

Would you enjoy taking the polling equivalent of an unlubricated bratwurst-sized proctoscope in Ontario to the tune of a measly 32% against the Opposition's 50%? After doing so much humiliating kow-towing to Quebec nationalism, would you expect to be rewarded by being twelve points below the separatist party and in a dead heat with a party led by one of the most hated men in Quebec?

In brief, could you possibly conceive of yourself as anything other than an achingly inept, stumblebum poltroon?

If your answer to the above question is "no", two things are indisputably true:

1) You are more honest than your disciples are; and

2) You are smarter than they are.

For more details, consult the entry for "Faint Praise" in the Oxford Dictionary Of Idioms.

32 comments:

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

Polls, schmolls.

If you think Harper is giving any thought to these polls you are deluded. He didn't push Afghanistan or the military spending because he thought it was popular. He didn't allow Flaherty to slam McGuinty, Ambrose/Baird to block Kyoto to get votes. He has done many unpopular things, but he doesn't care because he hasn't played to the polls. If he wanted better polls he would have tried sucking up to the MSM, but of course he didn't.

No, he doesn't care about polls. After he set the election date, he has continually challenged the opposition. After the Senate and House effectively blocked his program last spring he prorogued parliament and ultimately smelled the fear and drew a line in the sand and announced that if so much as a toe nail crosses it, he will dissolve parliament.

No he doesn't care about polls. He is playing power politics better than anyone Canada has ever seen.

He is also slamming through his agenda even faster than he could with a majority.

He knows the LPC could end this at any time. Don't you admire his nerve? If not, you mustn't like strong leadership.

Tomm

Sir Francis said...

He is also slamming through his agenda...

An "agenda"? I have so far seen an Accountability Act that was ridiculed by a host of access-to-information experts (and the provisions of which have yet to be implemented) and a crime bill that most Canadians have already forgotten about. Is there some cohesive "agenda" I've been missing?

No, he doesn't care about polls.

Now, that's delusional. The CPC has spent more on internal polling and focus groups than any other party. Believe it or not, Harper does want to be popular. That's how politicians get re-elected.

Case in point: Harper had always advocated an indefinite, open-ended mission in Afghanistan. All of a sudden, he caves in to Liberal pressure and sets a 2011 deadline.

Why not dissolve Parliament and run a campaign on such an important question of principle, one that impinges (we are told) on the future of Western civilisation? Did Harper wake up one day and decide that he'd been wrong all this time?

No, he read the polls, realised they were not ever going to go his way (despite his and Rick Hillier's best efforts at selling the war), and decided to remove one of the things that Canadian voters found repugnant about the CPC.

If that's leadership, it is Mackenzie King leadership: do what it takes to win, principles be damned. Same old, same old.

He is playing power politics better than anyone Canada has ever seen.

You're clearly unaware of the careers of King, Pearson and Trudeau. When Harper maintains his rule for a couple of decades or does some difficult things (like wage a world war, crush a terrorist group, patriate a constitution or create a social security system), he'll deserve your praise. So far, we can say only that he's doing better than Joe Clark did--hardly a reason to bring out the marching band.

By the way, any thoughts on why Harper refuses to testify to the Cadscam committee? I and many others would like to know exactly what an expression like "financial considerations" actually means to a straight shooter like Stephen Harper.

Northern PoV said...

Excellent Rant!

A compliant media (mostly corporate owned, though CBC-TV seems to have joined the pack) gives Harper all the breaks it can w/o completely revealing itself as the modern Canadian version of Pavda.

The reason the Ontario poll numbers are where they are is simply the memory of the Harris-wrecker-regime. We are slowing recovering from their attempt to gut gov't beyond repair.

We recognize the same faces and methods - though they are attempting to hide the worst stuff when they can (like buried in a budget bill).

We know we don't like the assholes, so there is some hope - just a gleam that we might rid ourselves of this petulant group of Leo Strauss Calgary/Chicago School charlatans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_School

Aeneas the Younger said...

npov wrote:

"though CBC-TV seems to have joined the pack"

Why do you think this is?

The CBC is running scared because they know a CPC Majority means the end of "Mother Ceeb."

One the CBC is gone, who will watch the watchmen?

Thuper Fag said...

Did you enjoy your spanking, Tomm?

Bravo, Sir Francis...you go girlfriend.

Ti-Guy said...

Oh, darn. How did Tomm find this blog?

He's not even just wrong anymore.

Dylan said...

"If you think Harper is giving any thought to these polls you are deluded."

Signed,
The parade of confidence motions Harper and the CPC have put forward in the last four months in attempt to bring down their own government.

"If he wanted better polls he would have tried sucking up to the MSM, but of course he didn't."

Signed,
The Quebec "nation" and the Chinese Head tax apology.

"After he set the election date, he has continually challenged the opposition."

Signed,
"Plan-B"

"He is also slamming through his agenda even faster than he could with a majority."

Signed,
Our wasted surpluses

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

You are pretty much wrong, except for your view that power politics is not just a sprint.

I guess we will just have to see how long Harper can govern. Given the iron grip of the MSM on our politician's, I am guessing we do not have many more years. However, Harper's been quite the strategist so far.

Your thoughts that he does not have an agenda is, of course, hard to understand. I gave you 4 or 5 more initiatives that are likely on their way. That, in addition, to what he has already done, sounds like a pattern, or perhaps, "an agenda".

Funny thing, its not so hidden.

Tomm

Tomm said...

Dylan,

You raise a series of points:

"Quebec Nation" was a strategic move to block a very divisive BQ motion. It worked and Quebecois are much more accepting of the ROC.

"Chinese Head Tax" was only fair and just. Martin unlocked this, but never had the cojones to walk through the door.

How do you see a raft of confidence motions as something to give the party public support?

"Plan B", yes, it was Plan B. Harper had initially walked into parliament excepting that the LPC may not play dirty politics. He was wrong and had to revert to Plan B.

"Wasted Surplus???" What are you smoking? He has dropped taxes for everybody (GST), for businesses (corporate cuts), for immigrants (landing fees), and personal income tax. He didn't waste the surplus, he is paying down the debt and putting money back in people's pockets. Only a raving socialist would call that "waste".

Go back to your LPC que card provider and tell them to print up a new batch.

Tomm

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

In regards to Harper testifying re: Cadscam, I can but speculate.

Firstly, why on earth does this deserve to be discussed by a Commons Committee that is only looking for partisan advantage? In a minority setting, this is a loser for Harper no matter what the truth is.

Secondly, What are you expecting him to say, that he didn't offer consideration? or are you expecting him to identify the ABC's of what was offered? Its a "when did you quit beating your wife" type of question and he is not going to subject himself to that unless he had to.

Same as Martin and Stronach. Did you want that can opened up? At least those guys are still alive, and its easier to prosecute since there was received rewards for a vote. I believe that's the bad part.

Tomm

Red Tory said...

Tomm — Since when is military spending unpopular? I think you’d find overwhelming support in favour of it, if not perhaps for the no-bid contracts preferred by this government. Most people realized it was overdue after years of belt-tightening and restraint. Besides, for the most part, all the CPoC has done in any case is carry through on promises that were made by the Liberals back in 2005.

Sir Francis said...

Given the iron grip of the MSM on our politician's[sic], I am guessing we do not have many more years.

My God, but I am sick of hearing that.

Tomm, the Sun papers, the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, CanWest Global and virtually every media outlet in Alberta are virtually CPC Pravda's. The "liberal bias" cant is wearing desperately thin. Other than the CBC and a handful of obscure newspapers (most of which are not so much pro-LPC and not pro-CPC), you've got no case.

I gave you 4 or 5 more initiatives that are likely on their way...

I re-read your post. I can't find those "4 or 5". Could you re-state them for me?

I would not argue that Harper has done nothing; my post argues quite the contrary. I just do not see an "agenda" so much as opportunistic exploitation of whatever issue has come to his hand--again, like Mackenzie King.

"Quebec Nation" was a strategic move to block a very divisive BQ motion...

What is "divisive" about a separatist party proposing a typically meaningless, vexatious motion? The Bloc exists to offer as many insults to Canada as possible.

If Harper had been a better tactician, he would have whipped his M.P's against the motion and watched it bitterly divide the Liberal and NDP caucuses.

His only "strategy" was to use the motion as a way of furthering his extreme decentralist agenda without needing to take any responsibility for it or for the consequences.

It worked and Quebecois are much more accepting of the ROC.

Where's the evidence for that? By way of 35% to 40% support for the Bloc, well ahead of either of the federalist parties?

Chinese Head Tax" was only fair and just...

Rubbish. The current government is not responsible for the mistakes of past generations.

If you think differently, here's an idea: let's offer generous compensation packages to all the descendants of slaves brought here by the Loyalists. Let's compensate Irish-Canadians for the horrific hardships their ancestors faced. In fact, let us compensate every single Québecois for the lost wages incurred by the two-hundred-year Anglo economic and political ascendancy that victimised their forbears.

The fact is that Harper saw a way to earn the loyalty of one of Canada's most entrepreneurial and well-to-do demographic groups. He ripped a page right out of the Liberal Party playbook. It was a smart move, but please don't slather it with some kind of noble, bleeding-heart glaze.

Harper had initially walked into parliament excepting[sic] that the LPC may not play dirty politics.

Oh come on, Tomm. What turnip truck do you think Harper fell off of? He's a player; he knew exactly what to expect. This guy plays dirty politics in his sleep.

He has dropped taxes for everybody (GST)...

...except for the millions of Canadians who already qualify for the GST rebate.

He didn't waste the surplus...

The surplus has shrunk considerably. We're heading into recession. Perhaps only a "raving socialist" would suggest that it might be nice if the government had some extra cash on hand for stimulative spending. I know the neo-liberal dogma has it that recessions end when governments provide tax cuts deep enough to send people to Wal-Mart on shopping binges. I'm not so sure.

Go back to your LPC que card provider and tell them to print up a new batch.

A bit harsh. Was that coming from a non-partisan perspective, Tomm?

...why on earth does this deserve to be discussed by a Commons Committee that is only looking for partisan advantage

I've got news for you, Tomm: everything that occurs in the House is driven by partisan considerations; the place is full of politicians. Even the making of our laws is a purely partisan process. I wish it were not so, but it needs to be (and it will continue to be unless and until Canadians decide to experiment with dictatorship).

I wish these allegations could be investigated in a non-partisan forum, but it is not credible to use the process' imperfection as a pretext for non-compliance.

Did you want that can opened up?

Damn straight. Open them all up, I say. As I support none of the federal parties, I couldn't care less what damage is done by the revelations that might flow out from such tribunals.

As sad as it is to see the idea of public service brought into disrepute, I think it's critically important to ensure that political corruption carries consequences. I know full well that most political misdeeds go unexposed and unpunished; it may be that most crimes go unexposed and unpunished. In our imperfect world, all we can do is chastise those stupid or unlucky enough to get caught. That should very possibly have happened to Martin/Stronach, and the same applies to Harper.

Tomm said...

RT,

Military spending has not been popular in my lifetime (after Korea).

Starting in the 60's there was a decay in our military. Soldiers were anti-hippy and hippies were "the new black". There has been no appetite by any of the elected governments to do anything about it since then. You may say that Harper was building on what was previously begun. I can't disagree because I just don't know enough. However he has certainly raised the respect level for our military operations by the attention he has given them and the attention he has forced Parliament into giving.

We disagree on how popular a move it is. He is doing it without equivocation or political insurance.

I think it is important for our nation and also something that has legs. Unlike changes he has made such as ending the Court Challenges Program, this is one that will be difficult to easily reverse.

Tomm

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

Interesting comments.

In regards to agenda items I am expecting to see; I am not inside of anything just a political voyeur. However, he has made noises about:

Provincial controls on investment and I assume, would like to get that under some sort of stronger national control. He has made it clear that he wants similar investment and tariff climate across Canada. That means the removal of inter-provincial barriers.

He has indicated an interest in re-writing the Indian Act and speeding up the settlement of land claims. I for one think that is long overdue.

Harper has already tried to begin dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board. I expect further efforts.

Harper has tried and I expect him to continue to try to modify the Senate.

Harper has worked to make a new international road map on climate change. He did it even as the polls showed it was political suicide. You may recall the brainiac media eating out of Lizzie May and Suzuki's hand for a year or so. I expect he will continue to work to develop a universal binding pathway and a mechanism for inclusion by Canada's large final emitters.

I also expect new moves on arctic sovereignty.

There you have about 7 items, off the top of my head, that I personally am expecting movement on at some point. I also wouldn't be surprised if he tries to pare down the federal bureaocracy, or look at the HRCs.

Tomm

Ryan said...

Yep. Hippies. Stupid, dirty pacifist hippies with needles in their arms wearing hemp with reefer madness!

It's always hippies. Next thing you know Abbie Hoffman will be on the no fly list. What an old, stereotypically stale nugget of wisdom from our good friends on the right wing.

Tomm said...

Ryan,

You misjudge me. I love hippies. I was a wannabe hippy and have visited SFO on several occasions to bask in the old hippy sites. Hell, I played a Janis CD today.

But our society has put hippy philosophy on some sort of pedestal and we refuse to see it for what it was. Each generation creates its separation from the previous one and the sixties in the US included mind blowing music, mind blowing drugs, beatnik philosophers, black pride, an outrageous war in south east asia that included a draft on young men, and a 50's (white bread) style government. It was a spectacular time of clash and change, but we should all now accept that its over. It has been over for many years now.

Tomm

Ryan said...

I don't think the real hippie philosophy is on the pedestal at all. If you think so, you're delusional.

Thrift, pacifism, spirituality, the rejection of consumerism. None of those values are embraced, nor held up as ideals, the least of which by anyone in any of the political parties. It's funny because you can't seem to let go of the conflict of that era, and conflate "liberalism" with the hippie mentality when it's simply untrue. Such is also the case when you accuse the Liberals of being socialists. Being in favour of limited government investment and intervention in the economy is far from socialism.

Seems to me like "socialist" has just become another bad word akin to "hippie" that the right likes to throw around when someone isn't a free-market fundamentalist who longs for a corporate-owned social Darwinist utopia.

Tomm said...

Ryan

"...when someone isn't a free-market fundamentalist who longs for a corporate-owned social Darwinist utopia..."

I love it when you talk dirty.

Tomm

Sir Francis said...

Tomm:

Harper has tried and I expect him to continue to try to modify the Senate.

I was actually very surprised when that was put onto the back-burner.

Now, I'm a Macdonald Tory (i.e. anti-populist) when it comes to Senate reform and would hate to see it become an elected pseudo-Parliamentary redundancy (why not, in that case, just abolish the damn thing, as the NDP proposes?), but the Senate is widely hated by Canadians of all partisan stripes, and Harper would be a fool not to exploit that. I can't imagine why he hasn't yet, other than to guess that he is intimidated by the constitutional implications of such a move (which need not be really all that problematic, in my view).

He did it even as the polls showed it was political suicide.

Well, if the suicide was merely indicated by polls, it was made inevitable by his appointment of Rona Ambrose (speaking of "brainiacs"!).

I also expect new moves on arctic sovereignty...

Frankly, I don't. That's dead in the water [couldn't resist], and I think Harper will live to regret making loud noises about that.

The fact is, we have few resources to put at the disposal of such an initiative. Things are unlikely to get any better in the short term, as our Afghan commitment is sucking us dry. What assets are we going to deploy in Arctic waters? Our non-existent ice-breakers? Our non-existent subs? Our non-existent frigates?

I also wouldn't be surprised if he tries to pare down the federal bureaocracy...

Well, no pink slips have been delivered so far. In fact, the state apparatus will soon welcome a new unit--the "morality squad" tasked with the policing of tax-rebated film productions!

Military spending has not been popular in my lifetime (after Korea).

Agreed. Actually, military spending has never been popular in Canada. Our armed forces were in absolutely disgraceful shape on the eve of the First and Second World Wars. In fact, many Canadians do not realise that we effectively had no standing army in the inter-war years, only a "Permanent Militia". Even during the war, Mackenzie King made sure that our forces operated on a limited-liability basis.

This animus against a standing army has nothing to do with Canada's alleged "left-wing" disposition, by the way. It dates back to the very beginnings of the nation and was fuelled by the Militia Myth occasioned by the War of 1812.

I was a wannabe hippy...

So what was your poison, Tomm? Grass, hash, or acid? :)

Tomm said...

Sir Francis,

My brain is only somewhat addled.

I was fortunate to not have ready access to hallucinogens, and couldn't afford cocaine.

If I would have had ready and cheap access... I don't even want to speculate on how my early adult years would have ended.

Crystal Meth, Crack and Ecstacy are now added to today's list for those looking for kicks and giggles.

Tomm

Ti-Guy said...

This animus against a standing army has nothing to do with Canada's alleged "left-wing" disposition, by the way.

I hope it unnerves you as much as it does me how that myth has been so widely disseminated lately on the part of opinion leaders I would expect to know better. I was shocked to find out, just before the Iraq invasion, how many people (I can't think of a charitable way to describe them, so I won't) had somehow absorbed the idea that any critique of military spending was essentially a partisan or ideological positon (for me, it's fundamentaly a common issue of public spending). I imagine this was as a result of a decade of "peace dividends" that was re-interpreted as folly when 9/11 hit, but honestly, it's been a futile exercise to try to dispel that.

I fault many, many liberals and lefties who think pacifism is a more evolved quality than defense and protection. That is a real folly. But at least it's rooted in a sense of history; this other myth is rooted in nothing at all except the imperatives of American militarism and Empire.

Tomm...don't be coy. Tell us how your youth was misspent. Mine was misspent largely by spending too much time at school thinking the rest of society was embracing the limitless opportunities of the Information Age and not being authoritarian enough in denouncing what would later be revealed as a dangerous banalisation of popular media. I tried to escape it by living abroad for most of the 90's, but soon found out that the global reach of CNN/MSNBC/FoxNews coupled with IMF demands to privatise (and finally abolish) local public media only that the problem had reached a scale that was startling.

I gave up smoking pot in first year, by the way, when I realised that it enabled one to find significance in banality that didn't stand up well to examination once the effects wore off.

Tomm said...

Ti-guy,

In regards to my youth; the metallic taste of fear of women and my own future, was washed down primarily by what my friends were doing and what I could afford.

I spent maybe 3 years in a place that could have gotten much worse and 4 more years turning it around so that I matured through it.

My short term memory is probably forever impaired.

Tomm

Northern PoV said...

OK, I am back to compliment Dred on spelling Pravda correctly. (unlike my typo)

Oh and all this talk about hippies and politics ...
http://www.counterpunch.org/hatch04122008.html

Sir Francis said...

I hope it unnerves you as much as it does me how that myth has been so widely disseminated lately on the part of opinion leaders I would expect to know better.

...Jack Granatstein being a case in point. It's been sad and alarming to see that erstwhile credible historian prostitute himself in the service of a sneering, post-9/11 Canada-hating continentalism. In his view, the pernicious influence of Left-liberalism (and of the Québecois [!]) blunted Canada's once-keen martial instincts and kept us from maintaining a properly equipped armed force.

This guy knows damn well that in 1913, when we had no Left to speak of, our army consisted of a few regiments of middle-aged week-end warriors. For good or for ill, that has always been the Canadian way, and, although I do believe we've been badly underfunding our Forces for decades, I would rather see us continue to premise our military doctrine on the notion of a citizen army than to adopt a version of America's military-industrial complex or to become provincial appendages of that complex.

Dylan said...

Tomm - The "Quebec Nation" status and the Chinese Head Tax were two political moves, just like the appointment of Michaëlle Jean to Governor General. Both were political statements pandering to votes in constituencies that were un-friendly to those respective parties.

Oh, and the Head Tax apology was fair and just, except when Harper said he wouldn't follow the Kyoto protocol because he "wasn't PM at the time". Apparently, Harper was prime minister in 1885.

"How do you see a raft of confidence motions as something to give the party public support?"

It isn't, it's a way of setting a fixed election date in principle. The "fixed" election date isn't so fixed because Harper, by tying everything in the House to a confidence motion, is hoping for his government to fall so they can go to the polls and try to win a majority. Otherwise, why wouldn't he just cooperate and negotiate with the opposition? No, he'll bully his way in parliament and not really care about the fixed election date, because if it falls sooner it's the "opposition's fault for not cooperating" with the government. It's the same crap the Paul Martin Liberals tried to pull in 2004. Canadians saw that was bull then and they see it now.

And lastly, I'm not smoking anything when I'll call those tax-givebacks a waste of money. $10 billion dollars were cut from federal spending thanks to our 2 cent GST rebate. Whoopee. My double-double tastes extra government-free now.

How about keeping that consumption tax (which Canadians can actually choose to pay or not depending on whether or not they purchase non-essential goods) and designate that 10 billion to go to the debt? Or a P-3 National Daycare? Or green technology business subsidies?

Nope, instead our lives are "better off" without that money going towards social services. Like a health care wait times guarantee.

Oh and those little rebates for parents for 50 dollars here and 100 dollars there (for children 6 and under) are really strengthening society.

Put down my LPC que cards?

Since when did concern for the nation and our political economy become a trait of the Liberal party of Canada.

Listen up, I'd have these same criticisms of the LPC or NDP or GPC or Communist Party or Christian Heritage party if they were in power. I think these are the wrong moves for the government to take. Period.

What makes me a critical thinker and you a clone, is the fact that if anyone raises voice against Harper, they MUST be a member of the LPC. I'd expect this of the neo-liberal Harper youth that march around in high-schools and on university campus', but not of someone whose implied age is that of my father.

Tomm said...

Bobby,

I mean "Dylan", ...you seem angry.

You may want to relax, and keep saying to yourself:

"Harper is not evil and therefore eveything he does isn't ugly and for the destruction of all that's good and just in Canada".

Repeat 3 times before you fall asleep and perhaps your blood pressure will start to fall.

In regards to your views. Why are they so obvious? You sound like you have a checklist of items and you are just ticking them off.

I come by my little list honestly. I've been voting since Joe Clark was PM. I've voted a variety of ways, but quite frankly have always been a little pissed at the LPC, even when I voted for them. The arrogance that drips from that party is palpable.

Look at the situation today. They have been voted out, and instead of looking for policies or re-creating a grassroots base they reach graspingly for power, like its their mother's tit. They truly do not appear to believe in anything except that wondrous golden poll that will allow them to pull the election lever.

Its disgusting.

You however, are telling me with great passion, that you are not one of those. Then why do you hold the views you do?

Truly, do you think Harper should not have proposed (what the entire Parliament supported) the Quebec is a nation within a united Canada vote?

How about the Chinese Head Tax? Was it wrong to formally apologize for that?

In regards to lowering taxes and paying down the debt, I feel that those actions are absolutely essential. I lived in the US for a couple of years. Did you know that your tax rate in Canada is 10-15% higher? That's an extra 10K we pay over our American counterparts for a 70K salary. That's a lot of money we don't have in our pockets. Why is that?

In regards to paying down the debt, don't you think that Alberta is miles ahead with tremendous program flexibility because they got rid of the debt? Its also the one thing that could keep us a step ahead of a US economy that has flattened right out.

As Canadian's, we have to protect our economy.

In regards to your passion for good old centralized planning, good luck with that. I suggest that every 20 years or so a Harper has to get elected to tune in those people that think slurping taxpayers money (like the NACSOW, CCP, artists, etc.) by the bucketful is their God given right.

It's just one of the benefits he is providing to Canada.

Tomm

Ryan said...

Tomm,

It may be true that Canadians pay more tax than Americans. But two things about that.

1) What's the American debt like currently, even with it's puny social programs? What's this bustling, thriving American economy look like?

2) Our higher taxes have ensured a better distribution of wealth. You, like many others on the so-called right seem to think that they pay lower taxes, yet somehow have a similar or better standard of living/quality of life we have here.

Where's the logic? The average Canadian has it far better than the average American. Sure, our wealthy elite is puny comparatively, but you'd love to see that grow wouldn't you?

Ever notice how Canada has no ghettos the likes of those in American cities of comparable size? Ever notice how we manage to keep crime far below those levels in the United States with supposedly lax criminal laws? Why do you think that is? Because Canadians are polite? Maybe it's just those darn criminal blacks causing all the ruckus! Perhaps it's because we don't have the income disparity here that they have. Less poor people=less need to commit crimes. Crimes that are mostly in obtaining money or property, by the way.

Ah, more CPC catch phrases to win over average Joe. "More money in your pocket" means nothing when you have to spend what you save on inflated insurance premiums and private services. Think Medicare costs you a lot now? Hmmm, I wonder why the Conservative Party would love nothing better than to have taxes lowered. Well, maybe it could be the business and corporate connections they have. Hmmm, who's interest could it possibly be in to have lower taxes?

Get a grip. Why don't you just be honest and say that you would prefer increased income disparity and poorer public services? Why don't you just admit that you'd rather see more poor, desperate people as long as you can afford a little something extra? Why don't you just say that you would rather have a bit more "money in your pocket" as long as you can live in a gated community to keep all the bad men out. Just be honest! It's all you have to do! It's all the double-talk I hate!

I marvel at the historical ignorance displayed in your diatribes. Ever wonder why the government (Conservative, by the way) got involved in the economy in the first place? Do you have any idea, historically, what an unregulated, tax-relaxed economy looked like? It didn't work in the 1930's and it won't work now.

Sir Francis said...

Ryan and Tomm:

Ever notice how we manage to keep crime far below those levels in the United States with supposedly lax criminal laws?

...well, everywhere except in Bible-thumpin', God-fearin', family-values-respectin' Alberta and Saskatchewan, where homicide rates are through the roof.

"Socialist", pinko, hug-a-thug Ontario and Quebec seem to have law and order under control, while SaskAlberta folk seem to be in an ugly mood. Maybe living in "conservative" environments just makes people want to kill each other. Who knows?

Anyway, see my post of March 28th, "When More People Do Stuff, More Stuff Gets Done!", for details...

Ryan said...

Well, I would argue that Sask's has a lot to do with shameful levels of aboriginal poverty that is less about the conservative legal environment of the province. Nonetheless...

But yes, point taken. Ralph Klein would argue though, that it's the "Eastern bums and creeps" that are moving to "exploit good Albertans" and their bustling economy that are committing all the crimes.

Nothing to do with inequality, of course.

Ti-Guy said...

Maybe living in "conservative" environments just makes people want to kill each other. Who knows?

No "maybe" about it.

By the way, we should probably stop perpuating the myth that Canadians are so much more highly taxed than Americans. From all the various and sundry analyses I've followed (and been bored by) over the last few decades, in aggregate that does not appear to be the case.

What has happened is that the Americans have developed the illusion of lower taxation and greater wealth by what amounts to little more than accounting fraud and living far, far beyond their means.

Dylan said...

Asshat,

I mean "Tomm", ...you seem pompous.

You don't need a checklist to take notice of broken election promises of the government in power nor their blatant vote pandering. Like I said, my criticisms would be the same if Dion was PM.

"The arrogance that drips from that party is palpable."

And there isn't that in the CPC? I could care less how long you've voted for and for whom you've supported. Are you trying to prove some sort of unpartisan record?

All you need to know is that I've never been a member of either the LPC or CPC and my federal voting record has been one vote a piece.

Oh and about that election lever, you must have been really disgusted with Harper circa 2005 when they were waiting for the right time to dethrone Martin. But, the only party really willing to do that was the NDP since Harper didn't like that 10 point gap between he and the LPC.

"That's a lot of money we don't have in our pockets. Why is that?"

I'll keep my universal health care and other social services, thanks very much. (I guess you can paint me red and call me Comrade.) And using the US as an example of a tax-haven is ridiculous when you consider the deficits they've been putting up, their crime rates, the credit crunch, and broken social relationships between rich and poor (not that that is something Canada has triumphed).

I don't think that Harper is evil. I think he's a politician that I simply don't agree with. I don't like the way he's managing the PMO nor do I really like the moves he's made as the government. His personality (or lack thereof) only makes it easier to not like the man.

Finally, in regards to your passion for Canada to be like America. You're free to leave anytime you like. After all, McCain is going to need your help in November.

Northern PoV said...

ti-guy

you are bang on in regards to taxes in the USA - the middle class pay in local taxes, user fees and deductibles whatever they save on fed. income tax

the rich, esp the super rich pay less tax in the USA than the same group in Canada - so there is some truth in what they say