Friday, May 20, 2016

Words, Words, Words

Young Mr.Trudeau is starting to get under my skin. It isn't the Kabuki Theatre the other day in the House that bothers me. It's the announcement that the Liberals plan to contest the class action lawsuit which veterans brought against the Harper government. Tasha Kheiriddin writes:

The vets claimed the Tories were discriminating against combatants in modern-day conflicts, such as Afghanistan, by offering them lump-sum payments, rather than the life-long pensions paid to veterans of older conflicts, such as the Korean War. The issue cost the Conservatives support among veterans’ groups — a traditional base of support — and became a black eye for a government that loved to play up the importance of Canada’s military.

 During the election campaign, Mr. Trudeau promised that veterans would not be treated so cavalierly:

“We will demonstrate the respect and appreciation for our veterans that Canadians rightly expect, and ensure that no veteran has to fight the government for the support and compensation they have earned.”

The Liberals went farther than that:

The Liberal platform further stated that the federal government has “a social covenant with all veterans and their families that we must meet with both respect and gratitude.”

Words meant nothing to Stephen Harper. It's beginning to look like they mean nothing to Justin Trudeau.



Steve said...

Its the $ no one would have believed the cost of pounding sand in Afganistian.

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Steve. It's not about people. It's about money.

Lorne said...

While I do think too much is being made of 'elbowgate,' Owen, it does suggest a return of the old Liberal arrogance, doesn't it? As with Trudeau's pledge to bring new respect to Parliament, your point about veterans is a clear and very disturbing manifestation of promises quickly forgotten.

Owen Gray said...

Those who send people off to fight their wars have an obligation to honour their service, Lorne -- and that costs money.

Anonymous said...

As long as we have FPTP, the Liberal party will always be beholden to Red Tories on economic and environmental issues. It's a simple matter of mathematics. Red Tories make up 10% of the electorate. Hard-core cons 30%. A false majority is 40%. Unless the Liberals split the Red Tory vote, we get a Conservative government.

So all promises of Real Change are predicated on breaking the stranglehold the establishment has over our democracy. (Establishment interests coincide with Red Tory interests based on neoliberal economic ideology.)

As it stands, all opposition parties are opposed to Trudeau bringing about some kind of compromise on electoral reform. The establishment news media is also fiercely opposed to change. (See Salutin's latest.) Therefore Canadians will have to rally behind Justin to change the voting system or else get stuck with permanent right-of-center government and Neo-Liberal and Neo-Con arrogance.

Even simple ranked ballot voting reform will change everything. (Claims it would put the Liberals in power perpetually are outright nonsense based on junk statistics.) Since this is a compromise, it's not the last word. Further reform can come after Canadians get direct experience with electoral reform. (Presently the establishment media keeps Canadians in the dark and feeds them horseshit on the issue; 74% of all 181 nations claiming to be democracies have enacted electoral reform.)

Owen Gray said...

You've probably noted, Anon, that commenters here -- like the Mound of Sound and Rural -- favour a ranked ballot. There are powerful forces who have lined up on the side of those who are best off.

The Mound of Sound said...

I find a lot of what Trudeau is doing lately completely inexplicable. What does he hope to achieve from beating up wounded veterans? Can't he find pre-schoolers to kick? Why did he support the Tories' resolution to censure the B/D/S movement? For the good of Canada or for the interests of the LPC? Pipelines, dilbit, the Harper-stacked National Energy Board - all failings he promised to rectify - before he was elected prime minister.

I'm becoming convinced that Trudeau shares Harper's critical failing - a complete lack of vision. Without a vision of the country supported by the population, it's impossible to formulate coherent policy. Policies have to be complimentary, mutually compatible and supporting. Harper never achieved that. As many issues as he engaged there were as many if not more that he simply ignored, wilfully neglected. No country can progress that way with all those unaddressed issues left behind and growing ever larger.

It may be too early to write him off but Slick isn't showing much potential as a leader when that is so sorely needed by our country.

Owen Gray said...

If your guiding principle of governance is expedience, Mound, everything will come down around your ears. That's what happened to Harper.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I too am perplexed at some of the decisions Trudeau is making Owen. This recent one involving the betrayal of the Vets is the latest in a series of broken promises.I'm guessing he takes advice from his advisors without question. His ideas seem very fragmented without a cohesive unifying strategy to tie everything together. I find it hard to get a handle on exactly what he thinks. My guess, which I was most definitely wrong, was that human rights mattered to him
His shoddy treatment of the Vets makes him appear very callous. The fact that human beings lives are going to be effected for the worse in decisions like the BDS support and the Saudi deal doesn't seem to phase him. I realize it is still early days, but I have written him off.

zoombats in Hong Kong said...

We have not returned to anything Lorne.We never left. The question, when will it ever change in this country?

Owen Gray said...

Your comment develops what the Mound of Sound wrote, Pam. There doesn't appear to be an overarching vision which serves as Trudeau's touchstone.