Friday, October 17, 2008

Harper's Six Points: Emptiness

He's not going to do anything.

That's probably because he doesn't know what to do.

There are two possibilities regarding this election. Either super-awesome economist Stephen Harper saw this economic disaster coming and wanted to get the election in before his party started taking fallout, or super-awesome economist Stephen Harper didn't see it coming.

I don't know which is worse for Harper.

When I look at his six point plan, I don't see any substance. It's all about meeting with people (and pretending that he's initiating the meetings, when most of them are already planned by others).

A comment on an earlier post pointed to Harper's plan as a copy of Dion's five point plan with a little bit more.

But it's not. Dion's five-point plan had substance.

In amongst the talking which, yes, is important, there was some doing as well. There was a $1B Manufacturing Fund. The first item was to rework Canada's financial regulations to prevent the market manipulation that led to this mess in the U.S.

Go figure. Dorky professor guy had a plan to do something while super-awesome economist guy has no clue what to do.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Colour Me Shocked: Deficits

They're going to blame the economy, naturally, and that's probably fair enough. But we're still looking at four years of deficits.

But still: Flaherty = Deficits.

I don't see why TD's chief economist said the following:
“Many economists have said it's acceptable to run a modest deficit for a short period of time, but there's virtually nobody on record as saying it's acceptable to run deficits for many years in a row,” Mr. Drummond said.

Really? I think we had fifteen years of straight deficits in Ontario, if you count from when Bob Rae began intentionally destroying the NDP to when we finally booted the Progressive "Conservatives" out of office.

What's four years?

They've already had to cancel a couple of military vessels and an arctic sovereignty protecting icebreaker. What will they cancel next? The responsible thing might even be going in to deficit. At that point, they're as screwed as McGuinty having to break his no-tax-increase promise when faced with the PC deficit he took over.

Keep your promise or do what's right?

Best of luck, chuckleheads.

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Tony Clement Revises History

I can't find a transcript yet, so I'm paraphrasing.

Tony Clement, Conservative Health Minister, was on the Agenda on TVO last night. Olivia Chow and Gerard Kennedy were there as well, all of them discussing the results of the election.

Steve Paikin, interviewing, asked Tony Clement if the current atmosphere of Conservative victory was appropriate. While everyone could agree that the NDP and Greens had improved their situation and that the Liberals had lost while the Bloc carried at least of the victory of preventing Harper's majority, could it really be argued that the Conservatives were victorious when their goal in calling the election was to get a majority?

Tony Clement gave an answer that, if I recall correctly, even amazed Steve Paikin.

"We didn't want an election. We were forced in to by the opposition."

Sadly, I had other things on my mind so I can't very well remember anything beyond Paikin's surprise.

This is how the Republicans do things down south. Let's all tell blatant lies with straight faces and dare anyone to argue with us.

How anyone but a rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth, Conservative partisan can believe a line like that is beyond me. According to the polls, no one was in a position to make electoral gains except the Conservatives. The Liberals didn't want an election and took great pains to support the Conservative government at every confidence motion.

And Tony Clement wants us to believe his talking point: the Opposition made us do it.

I suppose, when faced with a $300M plus bill for an election, you'd damn well better have a talking point ready when people ask why you bothered. I think that's even more than the bill for the Sponsorship Scandal.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

G&M Historical Revisionism

You see a lot of this sort of thing in the U.S. in relation to the Iraq war.

"We went in because of WMD"
"We went in because Al Qaeda was in Iraq"
"We went in because Saddam helped with 9/11"
... um ...
"We went in because he's a madman"
"We went in to bring democracy to the region"
etc. etc.

You don't see it as often in Canada, but here it is.
Mr. Harper had called the election on Sept. 7, appealing for a stronger mandate to manage the economy in uncertain times.


No. He wanted a new mandate because he wanted a majority. His excuse at the time was that Parliament was "dysfunctional", a situation his party had intentionally created by stalking out of meetings, yelling at people, ignoring committees and generally being belligerent.

In fact, Stephen Harper, until about a week ago, thought that the economy was doing just fine. There was certainly no need, in his opinion, to call an election so he could deal with it.

But no, we've changed the tune now. Harper called the election, just over a month ago, because of the economy.

Wow! What foresight!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Riding Endorsed Torture-Man

I'm somewhere between amazed and bitter. I don't think Lewis Carroll invented a word for that as he did with chortle and gimble. Let's just say that I'm hardly mimsy.

Did the people in Carleton-Mississippi Mills realize what they were doing?

Here we have a former military officer, Gordon O'Connor, a Brigadier-General no less, who was made Minister of Defence. He told our soldiers and officers to turn their prisoners over to the Afghan authorities.

He lied to us when he told us that the Red Cross would keep tabs on them when he had to know, as an experienced military officer, that the Red Cross has never done any such thing.

He lied when he pretended he didn't know that the Afghan authorities were torturing prisoners to death. Even the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission admitted it.

He made us complicit, as the voters in this democracy of Canada, in a war crime. Certainly he committed the foul, but we committed him and so are responsible for his actions.

But until tonight, we could pretend that he did it against our will. Until tonight, we could argue that we didn't know what he was when we first elected him. We only picked him because he was Conservative in a strong Conservative riding.

But we know now. We know that he aided and abetted torture. We know that he turned a blind eye and tried to cover it up.

And then we elected him again anyway.

What does that say about us? What does it mean the next time a Canadian soldier is taken prisoner? Where now is our moral high ground when we speak of Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and William Sampson? Will they say, "You did it to ours. Why can't we do it to yours?"? What argument will we use then?

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They Dropped the Ball

It was theirs to win, really.

Dion was seen as ineffective: a bad choice; a weak leader. They pitched Stephen Harper as the charismatic leader: affable; good-natured; caring. It was a good pitch. They knew their stuff. Get away from the right wing stuff about north European socialism. Get that man a sweater.

With the Liberals so weak, the left vote would split and the socialist heart of Canadian would suffer while the Conservatives profited.

But then he went on television and told everyone the economy was fine as Scotiabank announced a recession. He told everyone it's a good time to buy some stock.

Listeria never really mattered. There was no sign that anyone cared about 20 people who died because of Conservative deregulation. Even uninfected lunch meat kills more people with all its salt and fat anyway, right?

But then he really blew it. The Conservative "war room" thought it would be a good idea to make fun of Stephane Dion for a grammatical problem in English. While some blame CTV for airing the clip to discredit the Liberals, it almost looks like they aired it to stoke francophone sentiment. The Conservatives almost dropped off the radar in Quebec.

They blew it.

They had their majority, easily within their grasp, and they blew it. Instead of pushing to the end, they hid half their candidates away from the cameras and local debates lest some gaffe befall them. They did not dare, and so they did not win. They did not dare and so they did not deserve to win.

The worst is yet to come because now they have to suffer through the financial mess that's headed our way. If they want to maintain any popularity, they'll have to drop the free-market nonsense they parrot and work to support companies that - according to that same capitalist mantra - ought to go under.

Good luck, boys. You'll need it. You've bought the worst of both worlds: a recession and a non-majority with which to fight it.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Only Liberals are ever Conservative

It's one of those things that liberals and progressives should be shouting from the rooftops: the people calling themselves "Conservatives" are always reckless with money. It's always the left that has to come in and balance the budget when it's done being ruined by the right.

Now we could go in to great detail about Harris and Eves and Flaherty driving Ontario in to the ground, or Clinton cleaning up after Bush after which the other Bush came in and trashed everything again.

If we put in a Conservative government in Canada tomorrow, we will have deficits. They'll blame the economy, even as they quietly shut down the 40-year, no money down mortgages they created, but they will have deficits.

Conservatives just aren't conservative.

But then I heard this today.
“Everyone was living beyond their means – from Wall Street to Washington to even some on Main Street."

“CEOs got greedy. Politicians spent money they didn't have. Lenders tricked people into buying homes they couldn't afford and some folks knew they couldn't afford them and they bought them anyway."

The speaker is, of course, Barack Obama, the "most liberal senator in America" according to the same people who tell us he's a terrorist, an Arab, a Muslim and wants to impose Sharia law on the United States.

That should tell you everything you need about the crap the mainstream media and the rightwing fringe (who are the same people in the United States) tell us about "liberals".

Vote tomorrow.

Vote wisely.

Or your children will pay for it.

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