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Monday, December 08, 2008

John Williamson: Stephen Harper must not yield

Manning Centre for Building Democracy fellow John Williamson thinks it is time to support Stephen Harper. Canada is at a crossroads: One path takes us toward lower taxes, a less intrusive federal government and an aversion to deficit spending; the other path takes us to higher taxes, massive government spending and structural deficits.

According to Williamson, the first path is the one the Harper Conservatives are on. The second path, is the one the NDP-Bloc-Liberal coalition is on.

Williamson is the former National Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and has not been reluctant to criticize the Harper Conservatives. In fact, in a column published in the Western Standard here in July, Williamson makes the case that the Conservatives were showing less fiscal discipline than the Liberals.

And in his column published today here, he writes that “It can be infuriating watching the Conservatives govern.”

But he still thinks the Harper Conservatives are worth supporting. Williamson writes:

Canada needs a prime minister willing to push the envelope from time to time. Mr. Harper has successfully done so, despite the political odds being stacked against him. A Throne Speech last year declaring the Kyoto Protocol targets as unattainable won the support of Parliament, as did tougher crime legislation, an immigration reform bill, extension of the Afghanistan mission and -- the crown jewel -- a dramatic cut to business taxes. When these proposals were first announced, the opposition declared each one unacceptable.

No, Mr. Harper should only consider stepping aside when he stops taking calculated risks. That will be the time for him to go. Not before that and certainly not now.

Like many Western Standard contributors, including Williamson, I’ve been critical of the Harper Conservatives. But the recent Fiscal Update – the Big F.U. – contained promising proposals and signalled a commitment by the Conservatives to lead on a limited government agenda.

In “AUPE president stands in solidarity with federal public employees in opposition to Conservative plan to ban strikes,” I wrote:

...in addition to the long overdue plan to sell off $2.3 billion in crown assets (Stornoway?) and cut $2 billion in government spending (including subsidies to political parties), the Harper government is pushing for a “temporary removal of the right to strike in the public sector, perhaps indicating its intentions to get serious about reducing the size of government, and neutralizing the union opposition in advance."


Finance Minister Jim Flaherty...has so far not been drawn into stimulus mania and has instead been talking about spending restraint. "Without a doubt, here in Canada and around the world, these are difficult times that will require difficult choices," said Minister Flaherty. "We cannot ask Canadians to tighten their belts during tougher times without looking in the mirror. We have a responsibility to show restraint and respect for tax dollars." (I'll ignore the $75 billion in mortgage loans the CMHC bought from the banks. What could go wrong with the government buying mortgages nobody else wants during a global housing crisis? And to think, these people are in charge of managing the Canada Pension Plan. You may want to get used to the taste of cat food now.)

It was the strength of this fiscal update and the shared belief with Williamson that the Harper Conservatives are the best hope in parliament today for a limited government agenda, that prompted the Western Standard editorial team, led by Robert Jago, to expose the arrogance of the increasingly unstable Layton-Duceppe-Dion coalition with 74percentmajority.ca. (Visit our new website and let us know what you think.)

Also, take some time to read “Stephen Harper must not yield” by John Williamson here.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 8, 2008 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink


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I have now found it hilarious that some Con men now blame NDP Jack Layton as being the instigator of the supposedly undemocratic process of a Coalition Government, in reality the credit if to any one it should go to a Conservative, Premier Williams Newfoundland, Labrador, who had come out with the ABC program, vote for anything but Conservative.. The original campaign was established by Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams and was targeted particularly within that province. The campaign was a response to what Williams has termed a broken promise by Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper regarding equalization payments to the province. Williams, Calling Prime Minister Stephen Harper a "fraud," had launched an "Anything but Conservative" campaign to defeat Harper's MPs, warned Canadians of "dire consequences" if they give the Conservative leader a majority government. He was right it seems too. Williams clearly gave the rest of us a good idea.

Conservatives now clearly stands for immoral con artists! Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper especially.

" Let's be honest folks, if Harper the Coward could have gotten a handful of Bloc MPs to vote for his non-budget to keep his non-government alive, he would have welcomed them with open arms. Whatever spin is available, that spin will be spun. Here we are perpetuating the debate like little puppets, when the real travesty is Harper the Coward's incompetence and intransigence. '

"The Cons have a minority and in Harper the Coward's own words, a minority govt's mandate is to work with the other parties, to consult with them, in order to ensure the confidence of Parliament. Harper the Coward’s minority non-budget has made a mockery of Canadian democracy and has betrayed Canadian voters in two ways:
1) It was purely partisan, self-interested, and opportunistic legislation that if anything was destructive of the Canadian consensus on which this country was built.
2) It was, for any other purpose, completely inadequate to address any of the domestic and global challenges Canada is currently facing. In other words, for any constructive purpose, it was useless.

Harper the Coward can hide back in his tar pit for a time. Cancel federal funding for political parties and you let the voice from the oil pit ($Alberta$) speak louder than all the others. In today's media-dominated world, that is hardly democratic."

" Gen. Michaelle Jean has done the Canadian political left a great service by agreeing with Stephen Harper's request to prorogue Parliament. The coalition is politically unworkable. Four days in and they are already having trouble putting forth a united front. The best thing for the Liberals is to choose a new leader (my choice would be Dominic LeBlanc) while Harper is forced to deal with a worsening economic situation. Because of the recent economic update and its poison pills, Harper is the sole reason why Canada has a political crisis overshadowing a dire economic situation. His original miscalculation (the Liberals, in the middle of a leadership campaign, would not be in a position to oppose him) has been magnified by having to plead with the GG to save his political skin. He has managed not only to unite the left, but royally annoy a great many of his caucus, party members and supporters for placing his government at risk. He has fatally blundered." Kevin Powell, Calgary

30 percent of the persons are real crooks in Canada too, they do too often abuse others, cheat, lie , steal, likely commit tax evasions, are drug addicts, drunks.. and they do thus oppose the application of justice, law and order.. Now what about the other 70 percent who do not do this.. and they do want the laws applied fairly and justly do they get heard too? acted upon rather? The Laws still do need to be enforced in reality.

Open the barn door a little and next it tends to be wide open. Allow a politician like Harper wrongfully a little vice and he tends to dramatically escalate it as well.

Fire bad, no good Harper ASAP

Posted by: thenonconformer | 2008-12-08 9:04:41 AM

You lost the election, get over it.

Cdns do not elect PMs, they elect parties to govern them. And the party with the most seats, wins the election. The CPC won 144 seats.

There has never been a case of a GG in any country taking power from the party that has the most seats in Parliament and givng the power to an unstable coalition of a rag tag bunch of fools who would give the power of veto to a party whose only purpose in life is to destroy Canada.

The GG, as the head of armed forces, has taken an oath to preserve and protect Canada, therefore the GG is obligated to to have absolutley no contact with the dreaded BQ.

If the PM loses confidence of the House, then he is obligated to call an election to let the people decide.
And polls show that 8 out of 10 Cdns agree with exactly that.

Posted by: Rocky Thompson | 2008-12-08 12:06:54 PM

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