Friday, November 02, 2012

Are Canadians Conservatives?

Stephen Harper likes to say that Conservative values are Canadian values. Lawrence Martin, however, calls that assertion into question. Recent polls which indicate that we would overwhelmingly vote for Barack Obama -- and that we'd seriously consider Justin Trudeau for the highest office in the land -- suggest that Canadians haven't moved as far to the right as Mr. Harper thinks they have:

Obama’s progressive values strike a chord north of the border, whether they be on social issues, war and peace, health care or the economy. He speaks to a rational — as opposed to an ideological — way forward. He speaks a moderate language that sounds quite Canadian — as in the Canada that was, before the arrival of the new Harper Conservatives.

And, although the younger Trudeau has not as yet nade a lot of policy announcements, he's not robotically following in his father's footsteps:

On the second day of his campaign he went to Alberta and trashed his old man’s National Energy Program. He has been pointed on environment policy and in some other areas. He has yet to say much on democratic reform but his camp is looking at it as a possible major policy area for him. He is the candidate of next-generation appeal and a plan to remake Canadian democracy would fit that rubric nicely. But we shouldn’t hold our breath for him to come out with anything that amounts to much more than tinkering.

It will be awhile before Justin gets specific. But make no mistake. When he does get specific, he will accuse Stephen Harper of casting the next generation to the wind. Mr. Harper will have a hard time deflecting that accusation.

One thing is certain. Conservative values are Harper values.


the salamander said...

A well delivered and raking broadside
Mr Harper really speaks only to himself
and that smug clap for Harper crowd

As always.. his view is Harper centric
deeply flawed.. toxic

UnCanadian ...

Anonymous said...

The conservatives have won by using the bait and switch tactic with great effect.

Bait - fiscal prudence - as spouted by Jason Kenney

Switch - eliminate the watchdawgs and claim savings. Work a social agenda to keep the base and the real politik happy.

Bait - individual freedom, smaller government, personal responsibility

Switch - Kill social programs, provide a captive workforce. Smaller government except for the police state. Switch social programs for corporate welfare. and always SHOOT the messenger, Publicly, messily, and loudly to teach any considering delivering the message in the future.


Owen Gray said...

The people who knew Stephen Harper as a young man have said that he was self centred, salamander.

It's not unusual to be self centred when one is young. But it would appear that -- in some ways -- Mr. Harper never grew up.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that the Harperites know that Canadians really aren't conservative, Bemused.

That's why they ran a bait and switch campaign. And why they insist that there will be no public airing of budgets, trade agreements, etc.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wish I shared your optimism for a Liberal renaissance, Owen. I suspect today's Liberals lack an understanding of the impacts Ignatieff had on the party, transforming it into Conservative-Lite.

Both Liberals and the NDP were instrumental, albeit somewhat unwittingly, in helping Steve Harper shift Canada's political centre well to the right, well beyond any public tide change.

It is hardly challenging to stay well to the left of Harper today and yet remain centre-right. We need an Axworthy, not this flawed vestige of the former Trudeau.

There's too much at stake for faux liberalism. Everything from climate change to every cancerous aspect of inequality (wealth, income and opportunity) to resource policy, to strengthening Canadian society and much more.

Events are overtaking us on all these fronts and we're writing the future of generations to come.

I think the Liberal party is badly in need of a true giant, perhaps someone of the calibre of Louise Arbour.

Owen Gray said...

It would be truly heartening if someone of international stature, like Arbour, would run for the Liberal leadership, Mound.

And I agree with you -- and Chris Hedges -- that the Liberal elite has sold out to the corporatist forces who now control the country.

Martin makes the point that Canadians have a good sense of who's a phoney -- and, in the recent past, the party has offered Canadians phoney progressives.

You're right. There is now too much at stake to choose someone who is a flash in the pan.

I have no idea who Justin is. There were lots of people who had reservations about his old man. Remember when Judy Lamarche was caught on camera referring to him as "this bastard?"

Anonymous said...

Canada is more like a Communist country. Democracy, Civil Rights and Liberties, Freedom of Speech, all vanishing. Human Rights will be on Harper's hit list too. There is nothing Conservative about Canada, what-so-ever. Canada is now putrid, rotten to the core with corruption. Typical in a dictatorship.

All dictators are childish. Hitler used to jump up and down in his rages and scream at the top of his voice. Stalin was so paranoid, he would just send out a blanket order, to murder everyone he thought his enemies. Even his own relatives. We know what the Italian people thought of Mussolini. A dictators paranoia, is the most dangerous of all their traits. Harper is a name caller and has hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way. Harper isn't called, spiteful Stevie for nothing. You can't rationalize someone who isn't rational. Harper isn't rational.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, Judy, Judy, Judy. Yes I remember her well. I spoke with her several times while playing journo in Ottawa. Now I'm trying to remember if she ever succeeded in quitting smoking. No idea why that would cross my mind today.

Ignatieff made my skin crawl when he proclaimed the Tar Sands "the beating heart" of Canada's economy for the 21st century. Talk about a Czarist throwback. He never could understand that it was Canada's middle class, not some bitumen bogs, that were and would always be the beating heart of our economy.

A succession of politicians have laid us low in the belief that, without bitumen, we're a second-rate country. It's as though we're too stunted or lazy to reach past the low-hanging fruit. I despise that mentality. It can bring no good to our country and, in my view, forecloses the country's promise for future generations.

Owen Gray said...

He isn't rational, Anon. But he is dedicated -- and dangerous.

Owen Gray said...

Ignatieff was always more of a philosopher -- and an aristocrat -- than a politician, Mound.

At least Judy knew how to fight -- even if she lost.

Anonymous said...

It's a false fiscal prudence. In Saskatchewan for example the right wing is simultaneously planning to cut 15% of the public service while talking at every turn about how Saskatchewan is booming and growing.

So do we fire 15% of policemen? Doctors and nurses? Teachers? Highway repairmen? Crop insurance agents? And if 15% of some groups aren't fired, then maybe 30% of other groups will need to be to make up the slack. In a province with a growing population making higher demands on government services.

Owen Gray said...

Today's job numbers revealed that, while there was a net gain of 1800 jobs this month, the private sector cut 20,000 jobs, Anon. If there was a net plus, it was because government added jobs.

Now government plans to cut jobs? That's not how you reduce the deficit. That how you grow it.