Wednesday, December 17, 2014

That Would Make No Sense At All


Scott Clark and Peter DeVries ask the question the majority of Canadians are asking:

Why do the Conservatives govern the way they do? Why do they treat so many Canadians with such … contempt? Aboriginals, immigrants, children, disabled and minorities — all have been pushed aside. Not-for-profit groups and associations have been deprived of the resources they need to contribute to the economic, social, scientific, environmental and cultural well-being of the country.

This government loves power but hates government. And it has a plan:

The plan is, actually, quite simple — when you remember that these Conservatives came to power not to praise government, but to bury it. This is an administration committed to reducing the size and relevance of the federal government (not counting advertising and PR staff, of course). Since 2006, federal programs and services have been cut dramatically — not to serve the short-term needs of budget austerity, but to fulfill a conservative quest for the smallest government possible … “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” to borrow a phrase from American arch-libertarian Grover Norquist.

Government can actually be quite effective. And it wouldn't take much to make the federal government much more effective. Scott and DeVries offer a modest proposal:

Suppose the government increased the GST by one point. What would that do? Well, the cost of a $100 product or service would go up by … one dollar. Ten cents on a $10 dollar purchase. The cost of a pack of gum might go up by a penny (there aren’t any pennies any more, but you get the point).
What would that do for the federal treasury? It would raise about $8 billion every year. That’s a lot of money for veterans services, for badly-needed infrastructure, for everything we’ve been neglecting. And it still amounts to just .04 per cent of GDP.

They won't do that, of course. Making government more effective would destroy their raison d'etre. That would make no sense at all.


mogs moglio said...

Yes Owen they have a plan:The Phoney Economic Action Plan and who owns it really? CCCE that is who they own the Harper cons who do their bidding and because they own $4.5 trillion yes that is $4,500,000,000,000.00 and the 150 of them are responsible for 60% of Canada's trade they don't give a rat's ass for the rest of us Canadians and what they want in Ottawa they get. NAFTA FIPA CETA North American Border Security Perimeter Temporary [Permanent] Foreign Workers etc. etc. They are heartless soulless rich business tycoons they wish us gone so they can strip Canada of her natural resources that my friend is the real action plan:

Who are they again?:

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Mogs. The Broadbent Institute recently released an advertisement showing how wealth is distributed in Canada.

The plan is pretty clear.

Anonymous said...

Hitler had a plan.

My money is still on the NAU and big business is pushing for the NAU.

At the last meeting of the 3 Amigo's last April? Kerry said another step closer, for the advance of the NAU plot.

We have American police operating over here, exempt from our laws. Obama hammered out Obamacare, similar to our health care. Now, they are bringing Canada's cost of living, in line with the US.Two Americans Wenzel and Parker directly participated in two Conservative campaigns. Front Porch Strategies were accused of the robo-calls that came out of the US. Cote said, he had no jusisdiction to chase down the robo-calls out of the US.

I don't know but, I do smell a rat.

Owen Gray said...

The stench keeps getting stronger, Anon.

Rural said...

It strikes me that if you reduce 'government' enough then you have a 'dictatorship'. I fear that we are getting perilously close to that situation where citizens have no control over their existence. the only thing between the Canadian public and the switch from oligarchy to dictatorship is the next election. Let us prey that enough folks are taking notice.

Owen Gray said...

It's in our hands, Rural. And the Harperites are counting on our apathy.

Scotian said...

Yet another point I have been Cassandra about for over a decade now. Hysteric I was, delusional I was, Lib operative trying to scare progressives against a boogeyman I was, etc. If some folks wonder why I can at times seem a bit bitter and angry, especially with progressives, this post by Owen underscores why. This is what I was fighting against, this is what I saw so clearly, and this is what I cannot believe the major players in the NDP leadership did not understand about Harper when a poor disabled man in Halifax could see it and find out the relevant history so easily.

This is why I call Harper the Destroyer and Salter of the Scorched Earth (with caps quite intentional), because it is a true description of him and his core agenda as PM. He isn't just out to shrink government, he is doing all he can to make it impossible to reconstruct what he destroys after he is gone, and he alas has done a frighteningly good job of it too. Of this I am also convinced, as bad as we think we can see it to be, I truly expect the reality to be even worse after the cone of silence is removed from the government of Canada once the Harperium is defeated.

At this point I want a Lib majority for several reasons. I don't want to see the NDP rewarded for their actions in supporting Harper. I want Harper's legacy to be massively undermined/discredited by virtue of a Trudeau following him as a massive repudiation. I also want Harper to hurt personally from losing to a Trudeau, especially Justin given his contempt for him, as being about the only way to really hurt him. I also want the Libs back because they are possibly the last source of institutional memory for how our government used to work prior to the Harper campaign of destruction, and therefore the ones with the best chance of reconstruction as much as can be. That last point is no small consideration for me I might add, and it is one I fear is being overlooked by a lot of partisans of the NDP when they denounced the idea of the Libs forming government.

This is the thing, whether one believes Trudeau himself is the best choice for PM, in terms of experience overall within the respective parties for governing and understanding governance the Libs are clearly the best choice. They can tap far more experience than anyone else, especially when you consider the amount of former PCPCers who also have shifted Lib because they have nowhere else to go because of what Harper's CPC really is. The NDP lacks that, and given just how messed up the reality of our government is, that is to my mind a fatal flaw for recommending them for government, and it would not surprise me if that is not in the subconscious of many voters minds come election time, at least of those that want Harper gone.

Finally, since it has been the Trudeau legacy Harper has been most fixated on destroying, one might hope that his son would have a personal interest in undoing as much of that damage as possible for personal as well as political motives, which is one of the reasons why I am willing to believe the Trudeau Libs will undo a lot of the worst of what Harper has done should they get the chance.

Process issue matter, Harper shows why, and I hope after all this finally people start giving process side concerns the consideration they so badly deserve and need.

Owen Gray said...

After the last eight years, no one can claim that they were blindsided by Harper, Scotian.

The next election really will be High Noon.

Askingtherightquestions said...

Owen, the plan seems altogether similar to the worst U.S. Republican drivel. You quoted Norquist, he of the pledge that he demands US lawmakers sign to NEVER raise taxes, etc. The plan is simple and quite bizarre bur runs something like this.... Obstruct, defund, cut and otherwise damage government funding so that morale in he public service is damaged, service quality is damaged so that it is easier to say "See, they just can't do it - the private sector does it better" Of course we should know that every study ( I can find) shows that this is NOT true. Choke government to death? - Harper is already booking his speaking tour to tout how he has done this in Canada. We still don't have a firm grasp on what these bastards have really accomplished (ask Kevin Page!) and I'll go on record and say again, the results are going to be devastating (and yes perhaps difficult to fix) considering the quality of the programs Canada used to have. This concern may be null and void if his great diplomacy gets us involved in WW3 first!!
IF YOU CARE about Canada, regardless of political affiliation, - STOP HARPER!

Toby said...

Scotian is right. Sadly, I still have people tell me that Harper is not as bad as all that and that the Conservatives are the only party competent enough to run the country. Some of us try to pay attention; most don't.

Lulymay said...

Scotian: I like the way you have laid it out so clearly for all of us voters, and it makes perfect sense.

Must say, I have always voted the old CCF and the NDP, but as a resident of BC, I have seen the NDP absolutely throw away an election that was totally winnable and left us with another Gordo the Drunk mandate and now his successor, that dimwit Photo-op Queen, Crispy Clarke and her controllers. but, I realize that I always felt safe voted left of centre, knowing that with the Liberals in charge, they might have been aligned with corporate Canada, they also understood that taking ideas from the left and implementing them (and we all know about Medicare and CPP as being the most well known), they were able to repeat elections wins because they appealed to the broader voter base who in reality were of a more moderate view.

This is not the case any more. We have seen a succession of extreme right wing governments taking over moderate democracies and engulfing the people in extreme debt with so-called free trade agreements as their anchor. Our countries are now in serious financial trouble, and it is never the politicians who put us there ever held accountable. They just walk down that yellow brick road with backpacks filled with their looted gains, along with their mega corporate buddies.

Because of analyses such as Scotians, as well as many other bloggers and using my own intelligence, I have come to believe that my only option to this horror show is to vote Liberal as our only salvation. I am so disappointed in the NDP, who I have supported through thick and thin, that they cannot put their own personal goals aside and assist in getting rid of this pestilence that has invaded our country at the behest of a minority of voters.

Just think of it this way: Idealogy is fine on an individual basis, but it does not build or maintain a workable democracy. It merely splits us into warring factions.

Scotian said...


True enough, and it is also why I suspect that we will see a Trudeau Lib government in the end, and even possibly a majority one, because at this point I suspect that the majority of undecideds will simply side with which ever party appears best poised to defeat Harper regardless of what they think of the leader, or even the policies of that party, Harper has disgusted them so much, and shown himself to be that far outside our mainstream. Which is why I think the Libs are the inevitable winners of that contest, because outside of Quebec the NDP are clearly far too weak, and I suspect that anti-Harper voters in Quebec may also go where they think the most likely choice to replace the Harper government is, even if they otherwise would not. Besides, Quebec used to have a long history of picking/siding with the winner as it looked at the end of the campaign prior to the rise of the BQ, it is entirely possible that dynamic may also resurface, but that is clearly speculation at this point.

Still though, until I see it happen I am not assuming anything regarding Harper being defeated as a given, as I have said before. Especially since we know that Harper unlike any prior PM/party leader clearly embraces electoral fraud as a viable tactic, and his is the only party to have a criminal history for such since its inception as government.

Personally, I thought Harper had been on the record more than enough before he birthed the conceived in treachery CPC, but that was just me I guess.

Owen Gray said...

Like you, Scotian, I haven't counted Harper out. The so called "Fair Elections Act" is a clear indication that he will do everything he can to jigger the electoral system in his favour.

As long as he can generate massive voter apathy, he'll be a contender.

Owen Gray said...

It's those waring factions that Harper counts on Lulymay.

Owen Gray said...

Let's hope that -- like you, Toby -- the majority of voters, strategically positioned, agree with Scotian.

Owen Gray said...

That's what it comes down to, Asking. It's all about national interest vs. self interest.

Scotian said...


No small part of my rage with the NDP federally is that I trusted them to be the ones to protect us against someone like Harper should he ever rise, and prior to Layton I honestly believe they would have. I know Alexa would not have made the choices Layton did, I have known her personally from when she was the sole NDP MLA in NS back in the 80s onwards, and SHE would never have sanctioned the course of action taken. My wife, who used to be a hard core Dipper partisan was alienated by Layton and then Mulcair because they refused to place the real threat to progressive values and programs at the head of the targeting priority, is now a strong Trudeau Liberal.

One of my personal bones to pick with a lot of Dipper partisans is that if Lib Tory same old story was true, if the Libs were no better than the CPC, then how did under the Libs did Canada develop as such a forward thinking, progressive values minded nation? I cannot understand how something so utterly obvious gets overlooked by Dipper partisans when they try to equate the Libs with the CPC in any meaningful way. The old PCPC, yes, there the notion had some merit because there really was some significant overlap between Lib and PCPC (and yet even there too we had some fairly significant differences), but that is also how even when we had some PCPC government we still made progress with things like acid rain, anti-apartheid, and so forth. We were also a world leader in being trusted middle men especially between the USA and many other nations, something we clearly are not anymore thanks to Harper.

Since I live in NS I cannot claim to be overly familiar with BC Provincial politics, but I am hoping that on the federal stage enough usual Dipper voters realize that if there ever was an election to put their old rivalry aside and support the Libs to save this nation and what little progressive programming and institutions/infrastructure has survived the Harperium, it is now.

Even if you don't expect the Libs to give much progressive programming back, if nothing else they won't be wholesale destroyers and salters of the scorched earth to them either, and that alone should be enough to make the case for the Libs this time out regardless of any other considerations. We will see, I know there is clearly some disenchantment within the federal NDP base with the party and current leadership, but will it be enough and will they make stopping Harper the first priority, only the results of the next election will tell us that.

I most certainly hope and pray so.

mogs moglio said...

Lulymay you are so right about BC and the NDP I was so depressed when the Liberal Party of BC won first past the post. Then Christy Clark lost in her own riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. So she went to Kelowna and had a by-election kicking out the guy that actually won there [I curse Kelownans for voting for her] I can't stand them they are as phoney as Christy is. I live here in the Okanagan valley and people in Kelowna are well you know not to be trusted...

She is the photo op queen and does not know what a government is and she is at the helm of BC's government. The people of Kelowna that voted for her should be ashamed of letting this bimbo in...