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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Giving up everything for nothing

Are you upset that the government sold out Canadians in the 2009 Conservative budget? Do you worry that it was hard for Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper to swallow their free-market principles to do what was "necessary," to pass a budget that spends $85 billion more than it takes in?

Nonsense, says Andrew Coyne:

Why is everyone so surprised? The budget the Conservatives produced last week may have been startling in some respects... but it was hardly out of character. It was the logical terminus to a decade of climbdowns, reversals, and broken promises, dating back to the first efforts to merge the old Reform and Progressive Conservative parties. What began in fear and deception has ended in confusion and incoherence. Predictably enough.

So let us have none of these astonished little essays on how difficult this must have been for Stephen Harper, how the Reformer who had entered politics to fight deficits had come to embrace them. Once, this would have been hard for him, but by now it is second nature. And spare us, please, the cries of betrayal from stalwarts of the right, who never imagined that a Conservative party could produce a budget like this. Where were these people the last 10 years? I’ll tell you where they were: right by the party’s side, urging it on. There is no betrayal here. They were all in this together.

Not only have the Conservatives given up everything they once stood for, according to Coyne, but they've gotten next to nothing in return.

So they’ve given up everything they ever stood for, and what have they got in return? Pretty close to nada. They’re stalled in the polls, again. The fabled majority remains firmly out of reach. Those disposed to mistrust them are as suspicious as ever, while their own followers are now thoroughly demoralized. They have not moved to the centre; they have only succeeded in shifting the entire political spectrum to the left.

It's hard to argue with Coyne's overall theme at this point, in my opinion. I'd disagree that there hasn't been anything good accomplished under Harper - there are a few important changes that have been made, though they were overshadowed by so many bad decisions. And sure, there are those who would follow Stephen Harper right off a cliff and would vote Conservative if P.E. Trudeau came back to lead the party, but at this point it's tough to find anyone with much better to say about the Conservatives than "Well, just look at the alternative!"

Read the rest of Coyne's article here and more from the Western Standard  over here about Harper's abandonment of free-market principles long before January.

Posted by Janet Neilson on February 10, 2009 | Permalink


Stephan Who?

Only such a failure (economy, Human Rights inustry/Commission, Gitmo "residents") could get Canadians suggesting "#1 Son of Trudeau" will be the next PM.

Stephie Dithers screws this up and there will be decades of liberal domination. Think "der Lying Cat & Jackel"

Posted by: The LS from SK | 2009-02-10 3:30:08 PM


And who can thus believe that Western Canada is in a deep recession that will last next at least 15 years too..

Posted by: thenonconformer | 2009-02-10 4:18:00 PM

Harper and his "conservatives" are a political farce. Only "true believers" would cast another vote for this phony gang.
Here is some evidence. Numbered sources for my article can be seen at my website.
Harper’s “Conservatives”
By Stephen J. Gray

“He [Harper] can be slippier [sic.] than a greased pig” (Paul Wells, Maclean’s Magazine, September 17, 2008).

Conservative leadership is the buzz word of the election campaign. And Mr. Harper is being touted as a “leader.” So let us examine what Mr. Harper the leader says and does on a number of issues:

Free Speech: “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society,” says Stephen Harper, president of the National Citizens' Coalition. “It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” [1]

Yet, the Harper government intervenes against free speech: “The Attorney General of Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and B'nai Brith Canada will be intervening in the Lemire case in support of Section 13, arguing that it is a reasonable restriction on freedom of speech” (Canadian Constitution Foundation Letter of April 28).

Bilingualism: “As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions.” (Stephen Harper) [2]

Now Mr. Harper says this: “My friends, for me a prime minister should speak French,” Harper said, calling French “the founding language of this country” (Source: The Gazette, Sept 8, 2008 [3]).

Same-sex marriage: “I don't see reopening this question [of same-sex marriage] in the future.” (Stephen Harper, CTV News Dec. 7, 2006 [4]).

Sexual orientation and its illegitimate offspring “same-sex marriage” were never in the Charter, yet we had the silly spectacle of a supposedly “conservative government introducing a motion on this that they knew would be defeated. A government with principles would have used the not-withstanding clause to return sanity to this country. But unfortunately Mr. Harper is on record as saying, regarding this nonsense called same-sex marriage, “I will never use the notwithstanding clause on that issue” (Lifesite News December 16, 2005, [5]).

The Status of Women: This group achieved increased funding under the Harper Conservatives as witness the following quote from a minister’s speech: “As a demonstration of our firm commitment to the success of Status of Women Canada, Budget 2007 provided $10 million in funding to the Agency, bringing the total budget to $29.9 million, a record for Status of Women [emphasis added] Canada” (Speech for The Honorable Josée Verner, P.C., M.P., Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, on the occasion of an appearance before the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, House of Commons, Ottawa, February 5, 2008, [6]).

Abortion: “The Conservative government won't be initiating or supporting abortion legislation, and I'll use whatever influence I have in Parliament to be sure that such a matter doesn't come to a vote…” (Stephen Harper, [7]).

And we thought we lived in a democracy? Or is it a hypocrisy?

And talking about hypocrisy, based on the evidence we have seen from Mr. Harper’s government, are they really a conservative government? Or is it back to the days of the Red Tories and the Mulroney government? A former Reform party member and MP had this to say about Mr. Harper: “he will be remembered as an opportunistic, masterful tactician who, in the course of only three years completely purged the Conservative party of its Reform ideals and restored the Mulroney model of government.” (Lee Morrison, former Reform M.P. in the Calgary Herald, September 14, 2008 [8]).

Furthermore, a former Mulroney supporter is now in “charge of various files…” Read this:

“[Senator] Ms. LeBreton is one of the women Mr. Harper put in Cabinet and trusts. She was a staunch Progressive Conservative, most closely tied to Brian Mulroney, and made it into Mr. Harper's inner circle despite her vocal opposition to his vision to unite the right (the former Reformer Party/Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives). Mr. Harper appointed her Conservative leader in the Senate and put her in charge of various files,...” (National Post, September 22, 2008).

This makes one wonder, is Ms. LeBreton now in charge of the abortion “file?” Ms. Breton has said this on abortion:

“… there are certain issues, particularly those that concern women and children, and those of particular concern to women, and here I will use the abortion issue as an example, where even if 99.9 per cent of the members of my party were going one way, I would not support any policy that did not give women the right to choose” (http://www.parl.gc.ca/infoparl/english/issue.htm?param=147&art=983).

And on the “right to choose,” Mr .Harper is on the record as saying this: “Let me be very clear on the positions I’ve have taken on that. I want there to be no misunderstanding. I’ve said repeatedly, that I will not, that my Conservative government will not be tabling any legislation impacting in any way a woman’s right to choose” (June 27, 2006, LifeSiteNews, http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/jun/060627a.html).

Mr. Harper is heading for a majority government. But on moral issues is there really any difference between the “conservatives” and the other parties? Are we now immersed in “throw the dogs a bone politics” where we are being promised all kinds of goodies with our own tax dollars and moral issues are not even discussed? Are we back to what a former Reform M.P. called in his Calgary Herald article, “Liberal, Tory, same old story?” And will social conservative people buy the “story” that we have a “conservative” party to vote for and allow themselves to be fooled a second time by the Harper “conservatives?”

For, as Andrew Coyne wrote in MacLean’s of September 10, 2008,

“…Harper's whole time in office has been spent reassuring the public he has no plans to lead them anywhere, that under a Conservative government nothing much would change — they would govern much like the Liberals,…” [9]

Stephen J. Gray
October 6, 2008.
[email protected] website: http://www.geocities.com/graysinfo

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2009-02-10 4:26:27 PM

I would like to bring a little perspective on this high-handed attitude of Andrew Coyne. Let's review,1. Conservatives won an increased "minority" government in Oct. 08. After 3 weeks in power, the opposition parties "lost confidence" in the government (mostly in the threat to their political subsidies which Chretien (a Liberal) brought in in the 90's.) What was intended as a "trimming" of costs to taxpayer was perceived by the other political parties as a threat to their survival. (OMG do their own fundraising???) The choices? An unelected coalition, structured to survive 2 and a half years without interference from the Canadian electorate OR an effort by the Conservative government to prove to the GG that parliament could work (unlike the previous 2 1/2 years). They are the longest lasting minority government in Canadian history! I do not think they have abandoned their basic principles of less government, more provincial autonomy. We wouldn't even be here if they had a majority government, but thanks to the BLOC, it will be generations before we ever see that happen. I am just glad that B.C. is getting its 7 more MP's, Alta and Ontario are getting their fair share,and FINALLY, there will be fairer representation in the west! (this will NEVER happen with a Liberal government!) Another fact,-- I don't hear of any rebellious Conservatives flocking to "cross the floor" to another party? It seems that "iron-fisted" Stephen Harper has done something close to miraculous in keeping the Conservative party together. I find it fascinating that CBC and the media has never mentioned this.
Look around, people. We are in a "global" recession. What did you expect? A 4% growth in the GDP?
Just be thankful that the "coalition" budget did not come to pass. We'd be MUCH further in deficit than we are right now. Check the website "Crux of the Matter" to see the Harper Government Record. There are 64 MAJOR accomplishments of legislation in just over 2 years -that is HUGE. I hope Canadians take the time to be informed rather than just react.

Posted by: Janet Webb | 2009-02-12 1:26:20 AM

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