Wednesday, May 06, 2015

What's The Difference?


Tom Walkom writes that, if a Martian landed in North America's Attic, with the express purpose of studying Canada's three major political parties, he might very well be befuddled. They seem very much alike:

Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals support balanced budgets, tax cuts for small business and subsidies for families.
They support building pipelines to move oil and gas to market, although they differ on which ones should get the nod.
All three parties are fans of free trade in general. The Liberals and Conservatives support a trade and investment pact with the European Union. The NDP hasn’t yet made up its mind on that one, although it does back free trade with South Korea.

There are differences, of course. The Dippers are the only party advocating a national day care program. However:

There is an eerie similarity among all of these sworn political enemies. At times, Mulcair’s NDP is reminiscent of the Liberals of past decades. At times, Trudeau seems to be advocating Harperism with a human face.

Perhaps the NDP victory in Alberta  will force all three parties to differentiate themselves. And it might cause smart Conservatives to question Stephen Harper's claim that Canadian values are Conservative values. But, at the moment, Canadian voters seem to have the same choice Henry Ford gave those who bought his Model T. They could have any colour they wanted, said Ford, as long as it was black.



Dana said...

Y'know, the dippers advocating a national day car program makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Hypocritical asshats.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's the great embrace of neoliberalism, Owen. The political spectrum is shrunk to nothingness. What had been the Left is now thoroughly Blairified and we're all left to try to survive in a raft floating on a sea of market fundamentalism, unable to deal with even the most pressing issues of the day.

Owen Gray said...

Our politics have become thoroughly myopic and self centred, Mound. Like Narcissus, we are drowning in our own selfishness.

Owen Gray said...

It will be interesting to see what happens in Alberta, Dana. Perhaps real change -- like action on climate change -- begins with the provinces.

Mogs Moglio said...

Any color they wanted as long it was black? Hilarious...

Henry actually put the western world on a course of disaster. Sure let's make everything on a carousel then see what happens? Can we create more war machines at a faster production rate? Oh sure following Ford's model.


Owen Gray said...

Like Stephen Harper, Mogs, Henry Ford was a very controversial figure.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

There is one difference Owen and that is that Harper is a Demagogue and while all 3 parties share in the Neoliberal agenda, with Harper its all done behind closed doors. With Mulcair and Trudeau hopefully there will be at least some open discussion. I think Harpers pursuit and acquisition of power is the main danger to our democracy. Paul Martin implemented some Neo-liberal policies, but Canada still looked like Canada.

Owen Gray said...

It's true that Harper has made neo-liberalism the equivalent of a state religion, Pam.

It's time we once again separated church and state.