Saturday, September 13, 2008

Harper: Canadians becoming Conservative

Stephen Harper has declared that you and I (Canadians in general) are becoming more conservative.

The first thing I wanted to see were examples. I wanted to see if he meant social conservative or financial conservative.

I know we aren't getting to be more socially conservative, what with our attitudes toward abortion, birth control, decreasing church attendance and everything else. Fortunately, this was not his thesis. He was arguing that Canadians are more amenable to financial conservatives ideas.

Such as?

"On Saturday, Harper said the fiscal prudence he advocated as a young member of the Reform Party in the late 1980s has now become conventional wisdom."

That's interesting. While I understand that the word "conservative" implies balanced budgets, all the Conservative, or Progressive Conservative, governing that I have seen involved deficits. Mike Harris, Ernie Eves, Brian Mulroney. I'm only in my 30s though, so maybe there were other Conservative governments which I don't remember.

In the G&M article, "free trade ... and spending restraint" are also mentioned. Is there really that much support for "free trade"? You have to remember that most Canadians did not support NAFTA. I don't think most of us like it even now. It was just the wealthy political types and the journalists and their media masters who loved it so much.

As for spending restraint, good luck with that Mr. Harper. You just barely restrained your government from going in to annual deficit, and that by cancelling that icebreaker and those "much needed" supply ships for the military. I believe that it was the month of May 2008 that showed the first deficit in years. How did your philosophy of "spending restraint" bring us down from surpluses so quickly?

No, I don't think Canadians are becoming more conservative, in the financial or social sense. It was the Liberal side of things that balanced the budget. The only reason you're ahead, Mr. Harper, is Stephane Dion's lack of charisma.

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Beijing York said...

The sad thing is that despite the contrary (like you pointed out with Harris, Mulroney, et al), too many people associate fiscal responsibility with conservative governments. Doesn't matter that it isn't true, it's an on-going myth that Harper is trotting out. What conservatives are good at doing is destroying programs while still building a deficit.

Deb Prothero said...

If by charisma, you mean swash-buckling, sweater wearing, overweight misleaders who speak out of both sides of their mouth, count me out!

I'll take a genuine, honest man with grace and integrity like Dion any day over Harper.

And with a Liberal bench as deep and wide with talent as Dion has, Canadians can count on excellent representation in the next government. Imagine a man who keeps his promise to have one third women candidates - 106 at last count, I think!

Deb Prothero said...

beijing york;

we need to devise a myth-busting machine!

Greg said...

Charisma is the ability to attract followers.

Knowing, as you and I do, what Harper stands for, he won't attract me as a follower. But that doesn't change the fact that he attracts more people than Dion does.

The fact that I would prefer a professor to an Imperial Oil accountant and economist isn't really relevant. Most of the electorate doesn't feel the same way.