Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Issues

There is a lot to write about, but here are some short points to consider.

Stephen Harper conducted himself in a very Prime Ministerial way on the Arar issue. I am sure there is plenty of confusion surrounding this matter and there have been as many consequences. Our relation with the US is questionable when Canada and the US can’t agree on a single document respecting the matter of Arar. Regardless, Harper made it clear that he is prepared to defend Canadian citizens and to rely on our system and not the US when it comes to Canadian justice and Canadian rights. The Prime Minister earned some credits on this issue. Regardless, many Canadians are questioning why millions had to be paid out to Arar in the settlement between he and the Canadian government.

There seems to be talk of a federal election, but that is all it is. Just talk. None of the parties want an election and, more important, the voters certainly don’t want an election. The conservative minority government is working as well as one should expect of a minority government. I don’t see a federal election in the near future. It seems reasonable to give the Harper conservatives an opportunity to learn how to govern again after having been out of office for so long. It is also reasonable to give Stephan Dion an opportunity to get settled in his role as the new leader of the opposition. On a local note it won’t hurt Ralph Goodale to freshen up in the opposition benches and get used to the title as Saskatchewan’s best member in the opposition as opposed to Saskatchewan’s only member in the Government of Canada. We have two conservatives in Cabinet and that is better than one liberal. Yes, Ralph you are good, but not that good.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will soon be releasing their 4th assessment report. The majority of independent scientists that have been studying the important matter of climate change have agreed that humans are causing most of the problems and that it time for governments all over the world to begin to take action. The IPCC report is widely considered to contain that message. This is serious stuff and it time we all started thinking about how we can help as individuals. With this entire matter going on our Harper conservative government should be thinking of something better to do than running attack ads against Stephan Dion who is, at the very least, an ally on the matter of climate change. Global warming is predicted to continue over the next thousand years. I expect the useless bickering in Parliament will go on for just as long. Politicians should get on the environment issue or get defeated.

When are the conservatives going to get a new line? The “moving forward” line is getting rather worn. The conservative members always claim they are “moving forward” and that is regardless of any reality of whether they are or whether they are not. If they were going back they would say they are “moving forward.” Just listen to them the next time you hear them comment on an issue. They always claim to be “moving forward.” Maybe they could try using “advancing” or “ready to move” and if that doesn’t work for them then they could just tell us the simple truth.