Friday, June 12, 2009

Let's go

This is certainly shaping-up to be a test of Paul Wells' law of political Ottawa, which holds that if everyone in Ottawa knows something, it must NOT be true. And as I scan the headlines everyone, including Paul, seems convinced there won't be an election this summer and that the Liberals will find some way to live with the Harper Sham-Wow Fiscal Report. So, if the Wells law holds there WILL be an election and his column will have been wrong, but if there is no election his law will have failed.

But seriously, what do I think? I dunno. I gave up trying to predict the strategies of Liberal leaders some years back. And while putting my finger to the electoral winds while in Ottawa last week, I didn't detect a strong current one way or another.

So I can only say what I would do, and I say it's time we stop supporting this government. If that means an election, so be it. But they no longer deserve our support, and we need to withdraw it.

And it's not just this Made for TV infomercial they produced yesterday, which had more spin than the Smart Spin Storage system. They're fudging the numbers and their 80% of stimulus flowing number is a crock. Just listen to the mayors from coast-to-coast last week at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting in Whistler that complained the stimulus wasn't getting to their communities and they were missing the summer construction season. If they had a real journalist up there instead of the Duffster they'd have asked if it is flowing, Mr. Harper, where the hell is it?

But it goes deeper. There's the biggest deficit in Canadian history, thanks to both Conservative fiscal incompetence and their expressed goal of strangling government revenues to fulfill their right-wing ideological mission to strangle the size of government to remove the ability of future governments to play an active, activist role in society. The GST cuts alone, which provided 0 stimulus, cost the government $30 billion/year. What would the Liberals have done differently? We would have maintained the contingency reserve, for one, and we would have chosen tax cuts that actually have reached Canadians that need them, and would have had stimulative effect. The deficit need not have been this big. We would also be truthful in our budgeting, and wouldn't hide the size of the deficit from Canadians as Jim Flaherty has done.

There's the fact the Conservatives had to be dragged kicking and screaming into action on the economy. They refused to acknowledge the coming economic tsunami. They said if there would be a recession, we'd have had it already. They said there'd be no deficit. Instead of bringing-in stimulus, in their fall update they tried to strangle their political opponents. Only the treat of losing power prompted them to action. Those missed months have been very costly to the economy, to unemployed workers, and to the pace of any recovery.

There's the fact they refuse to consider meaningful action on employment insurance reform, ignoring the growing call from a majority of parliamentarians and an increasing number of provinces, including more conservative provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC.

They've bungled the Chalk River file leading to a medical isotope crisis, while the performance of Lisa Raitt, her day-later apology notwithstanding, demonstrates an unfortunate lack of compassion for what Canadians are going through.

We're a laggard and a reluctant follower on the environment, our standing on the world stage continues to diminish, and the courts have to routinely step in to tell this Conservative government that it has a duty to protect its citizens, even the ones it doesn't like.

Enough is enough. Do I think a summer election is ideal? Not at all, although I do think predictions of a backlash are overstated. I would, if I had my druthers frankly, prefer the fall. A little more time for fundraising and candidate recruitment would be helpful. And the polls are still quite tight.

Frankly, I'm still not convinced that the NDP and the BQ, despite their comments yesterday, will let it go to an election. If they do, fine, we're ready. But either way, if this government is to survive it should have to be someone else from now on.

The only question we should be asking ourselves is can we support this government? Does it deserve our support? I feel the answer is a firm no. We must state clearly and unequivocally that we will no longer be supporting this government. If that means an election, so be it. We're ready. Bring it on.

It's time to revoke this government's probation.

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RuralSandi said...

To me it's more than just the economy. It's "our Canada". Harper doesn't respect the courts, he doesn't respect our institutions, he does't respect parliament, Elections Canada, etc.

He has no talent in his caucus, and considering these volatile times, we need people that know what the hell they are doing.

And, if I remember correctly, Harper was allowed to hold his position this time last, spent the summer trashing Dion, and when he finished that he called an illegal election. What's to say, he won't do it all over again?

Steve V said...

I'll second that Jeff.

kirbycairo said...

I far as I can determine; no election is ideal and the 'people' seldom WANT an election per se. But this government is limping from scandal to scandal and the poll numbers are way down for them in Quebec and Ontario. Three months of summer will just give them a chance to avoid scandal and improve their numbers. And though employment is always a lag indicator, the end of summer could see slight improvements in other economic indicator giving them at least an argument that their budget is working. It is time for an election. All Ignatieff has to do is win a minority and Harper's political career is finished. The Con MPs who have stayed in line hoping for a majority will finally see that Harper can't deliver and he will be done.

However, it won't happen because the Liberals have some kind of pathological fear of Harper. Watch for Ignatieff's first major wimp-out tommorow.

Lizt. said...

You don't suppose we could get them out before they sell everything we own.?

crf said...

Harper is consuming this country, and is determined to leave it a social and scientific shell of what it should be. For the sake of its future, he has to be defeated, as soon as possible.