Thursday, November 24, 2005

Conservative Non-Confidence

Pondering Politics

The federal conservatives have finally screwed up the courage to introduce a non-confidence motion in the House of Commons. It is expected the vote on this motion will be held on November 28, 2005. It is also expected the liberal minority government will fall and we should prepare for an election expected in January.

There are two important facts the looming election will address. One is that the federal liberal government under Jean Chr├ętien entered into a sponsorship program that went terribly wrong. It became the scandal of the century and the details were evident in the Gomery report.

The second fact to consider is that our economy is booming and we haven’t had it this good for a long time. It is hard to imagine how any of us will be any better off under a conservative government lead by Stephan Harper.

Harper’s motion of non-confidence expresses a lack of confidence in the liberal minority government charging that they are corrupt and have a “culture of entitlement” that makes them unfit to govern. I am tired of hearing this catch phrase “culture of entitlement” and the slogan “Stand up for Canada” that the conservatives use almost every day. What the voters want to hear is what the Harper conservatives will offer that does not upset our strong economy and social programs that we all depend on every day.

Stephan Harper condemns the federal liberals for having a surplus and spending it on Canadians. What would he be saying if the liberal government had been running the country into debt? We all remember how the conservatives managed the economy in Saskatchewan. Harper calls it "vote buying." The fact is that every dollar a government spends is vote buying and it makes no difference what party is in power. Are we to expect that a conservative government will not spend any tax dollars they collect from Canadians?

The Harper conservatives have failed to make it clear what voters can expect from them if they were to form the next minority government. There is no clear indication that an election will deliver a majority government and no clear indication Canadians will be any better off under a conservative minority government.

Watch for an array of promises the conservatives will tempt you with at the next election to be paid for by your tax dollars. Yes, that’s right, vote buying! Be careful when you cast your vote at the next federal election. You assuredly will get what you ask for!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Political Slogans

Pondering Politics

Political slogans are risky. Political parties should be very careful when choosing a slogan. Consider for a moment the slogan of the federal Conservative Party of Canada. The slogan is, “Stand up for Canada.”

Now consider that a similar slogan was used in the early sixties by the Governor of Alabama. He was considered to be a racist Governor and used the slogan, “Stand up for Alabama.”

Does this mean the federal conservatives are racists? No, not at all, but it does mean the federal conservatives may have been a tad more original in choosing a slogan. It also means they have exposed themselves unnecessarily to further criticism from those who oppose them.

All those political operatives in the conservative party should be able to at least carefully choose a political slogan. Is it possible that Stephan Harper was the one who chose the slogan? Who knows? It is an interesting question.

You may be interested in the following link that gives you some idea of where the Governor of Alabama stood on issues of human rights. You may then want to compare that to the federal conservative party and come to your own conclusions.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Election Call

Pondering Politics

Can politics in Canada get any worse? The public must be disgusted with all the hypocrisy and games that are played out every day by all parties.

The liberals have an albatross of corruption and scandal hung on them. The Chr├ętien government got the liberals in this mess and the Martin government has attempted to get out of it.

Is this form of corruption new to Canadian politics? No, and it is likely to occur again. Political parties in power have always looked after their supporters through patronage.

There is nothing wrong with patronage. It is the fuel that powers the political engines. There is only one condition that needs to apply. Patronage must be honest and the beneficiaries must be qualified for the position. It is apparent the liberals took on some bad fuel and their engine is sputtering.

The scenario is simple. All three opposition parties oppose the liberal government for different reasons. The common thread is the sponsorship scandal. All the political parties say they are ready for an election. So, what is stopping them?

The Conservatives and the Bloc say it is up to Jack Layton and the NDP to pull the trigger and cause a winter election. Why is that? Why not the Bloc? They are the only party that has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Why not the Harper conservatives? They are the only party that can form government. Jack Layton is the last person who should be triggering an election. He and the NDP have never had it so good and they would rather have a corrupt liberal government re-elected than have to face a conservative government led by Stephan Harper. Jack Layton and the NDP will assuredly face philosophical changes to health care under a Harper government. The conservatives and NDP have nothing in common.

Canada is not in a state of crisis. The economy is strong and there is peace and prosperity in our vast country. The problem is in the fact that this minority government has failed and there is no clear indication that either the liberals or the conservatives can form a majority government.

Common sense would suggest the election be held in the spring. Maybe the voters will give the hungry conservatives a chance to feed from the patronage pot for a while. Harper can talk all he likes about curbing patronage, but it will continue under his watch. You can be sure he won’t be hiring liberals to manage any future sponsorship programs, but his party faithful will get their chance at patronage. This is the nature of politics and we should all get used to it because it is not about to change anytime soon. The political hypocrisy and games will continue.

Larry Birkbeck