Monday, February 18, 2008


Drawing on their tired and true format of going on the offensive before the bell's wrung, Stephen Harper's CONs have pulled out a faux list of 'Liberal shopping priorities' that it says will push the country more than $62 Billion into debt over a four-year mandate.
Firstly, the list has a few accuracies to it: Stephane Dion has set a priority of reducing child poverty - unlike the CONs, who fully endorse child poverty as a means of helping oil executives to rationalize large annual bonuses (i'm using the same logic as the CONs - so sue me). It also notes that Stephane Dion hasn't been afraid to stand at a podium and give interviews. A definite no-no in CONNY land. Apparently, those sensitive souls and their policies can't take the scrutiny. Other than that, there's enough fiction here to satisfy Douglas Copeland.
I'll leave it up to the real policy wonks to dissect this incredibly blunt attempt at a Canadian swift-boat smear, although I won't hold my breathe for the likes of Canwest or the Sun newspaper chain to dig any deeper. Is it possible that the CONs are projecting Dion's proposal for struggling industries while forgetting that they've also tossed the same figure about in what will be not something to spur modernization but to stave off the inevitable in some cases?
But turn this Republikan-style out-of-season hunting expedition on its head -- here's a CON government that never saw a giant novelty cheque it couldn't fill out. It has taken Canada from booming surpluses to near-deficit financing as any gov't in the past 15 years. Don't blame it all on world economic issues, either. Harper clings to the same ideas of George W., who has shovelled money frontwards and backwards at the military, wars that can't be won, and the rich, while fuelling his own nation's economic downslide.
Treating Canadians like a lobster in a pot of water, he's used the minority situation to diffuse suggestions that he's got major plans to change what we consider a liberal democracy. However, it hasn't stalled his attempt at shaking the underpinnings to help propel his project into action. Harper first raised taxes to cover his first GST cut. He then reinstated the Liberals' last income tax cut and sped up his second GST cut because he thought an election was coming. He lathered Quebec with an incredible lucre of money-flavoured poutine that failed to convert enough Quebecers into Jean Charest fans, and then abandoned that camp to join with the Kevin Federline of Quebec politics, Dumont.
He flushed BILLIONS of Canadians' hard-earned savings down the chute on Halloween night, thus encouraging a huge sell-off of Canadian assets to foreign owners. His other promises have seen lower taxes and raised taxes, money for childcare (but taxed it) and no spaces created. And his holy promise to clean up gov't and lead by example proved as likely as a crack addict's oath to stay clean after one more night of needle bending.
He's spent more money than any other gov't in recent history, and despite the sightings of economic troubles on the horizon over the past eight months -- he is an economist, right? -- didn't make any move to buffer certain industries until he heard the rustling of unhappy electorate.
That he's got flittery-gibblet Flaherty counting his fingers and toes in finance is the laugh-riot irony of it all, too. Prentice pulled out Bob Rae as evidence that these aren't the same Liberals who ran 13 straight surplus budgets and made all the tough decisions. How do you think Flaherty's background and history will sell in Ontario if you want to play that game, Smart-Guy-In-The-Room? Do Canadians wish to have safe drinking water or do they want the psychic network's promise of nuclear safety, fudged budgets and homeless in jail?
But that's not all. For a guy who is trying to portray himself and his stunted cabinet as 'fiscally responsible', he isn't even willing to run his party in that manner. Already in trouble with Elections Canada for trying to get around the law by spending beyond the cap, he's taken his advertising out of season and gone hog-wild with ad buy after ad buy, all in the hopes of fooling Canadians. Sure, these ads aren't illegal but they do show a man who is ready to spend, spend spend his way into your heart. He's that wolf who calls you 'Doll face' and twirls his moustache while promising the moon. Nowhere does his plan, however, look beyond tonight.
It's time for Canadians to give this pill the cold shoulder.

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