The election for Canada’s 41st Parliament is over and the results are in. As expected, Stephen Harper has won a majority which should allow him to further his agenda (hidden or not hidden) and that of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). And, unexpectedly, the New Democratic Party (NDP) took over as the official opposition as the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) slipped into third place. I am a liberal at heart and though I am saddened by the result, I am also relieved. This result allows some real changes to occur in the LPC so that it better reflects what it is to be liberal and Canadian.
I don’t want to focus on the election itself as that is one for history, not about what comes next. It doesn’t matter who did or said what, who did or didn’t take part in debates or who did or didn’t answer media questions, or about the role of the media during the election or about reports not released because there was an election taking place. The results are in and we now have to live with them for at least four years assuming Stephen Harper follows his own election law this time around. What I want to focus on is “Now what do we do if we believe in a Canada that is inclusive, a Canada that is unified in all of its diversity?”
First steps on the level of the political party – choose a leader and hold that leader accountable. An interim leader is being chosen at this moment and will serve until a full leadership convention. Care has to be given to the selection of the interim leader as many would see this as an endorsement and an unfair advantage to the interim leader in the leadership convention which follows. Given the polarity of vision in various leadership contenders, this is even more vital as it is obvious to most that certain candidates would fold the party in order to have a “united left party” with the NDP. Obviously, this is not something that can be decided by a leader, but must be decided by the party membership as a whole, and only after enough time, resources and research have been invested, including the EDA leadership doing an extended conversation with their local LPC supporters. Will we have the courage and the patience to do this work? Or will we throw up our hands and admit that we are dinosaurs and cease to exist as a political party in Canada.
Our choice, I hope.
I am back from Mexico and have heard enough local “news” that it is making me want to scream with how dumb politicians and corporate citizens are taking care of my province and my country.
Well, it is a surprise to see our adoring western press printing articles about gun and drug policy reforms. Even more surprising is the fact that the Saskatoon Star Phoenix suggests that our PM is only about ten years behind the rest of the pack of world leaders and is standing out alone like a sore thumb. Well, the last fact is something that isn’t a surprise to me. That was most evident during last summer’s Summer Olympics when Harper was a no-show in Beijing. It’s hard to have a positive effect on the world scene when one is pouting in a corner.
Okay, so there is no plan by our government for contributing to research, just as there is no plan for our government to move Canada forward into the future as a green economy. It is embarrassing to say the least when a tiny country such as Singapore and giants such as the U.S.A. are looking to research as one of the key means to moving out of recession. What are we doing here?
But federal money, $4-million over five years, ran out in April. By then, a funding crunch was already limiting the scope of the work of many medical researchers across the country. The recent federal budget, with its $147.9-million in cuts over three years to the granting agencies that fund university-based research in Canada, will make it even harder for scientists, Dr. Meaney says.
In today’s Globe and Mail, Anne McIlroy puts it out they straight and simple.
Gary Goodyear, the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology, has defended the government’s commitment to science and its budget.
But sometimes Dr. Meaney says he closes his eyes and fantasizes about moving to Singapore.
“I am committed to Canada,” he says. “I haven’t given up the fight.”
Sadly, it appears as though Goodyear, Flaherty and Harper are not that committed to Canada. This is not a proud moment for Canadians.
I have to hand it to Michael Ignatieff, he is wiser than most will give him credit for. The past two days spent in the west, the heart of Conservative county, was the action of a man with a long term vision. Being upfront with westerners about the errors of the past, speaking words that will resonate with westerners can only pay dividends when it is time for an election. Westerners are not too happy with Harper. However, at this time, they see the devil represented by the Liberals, as a worse fate. But, that is starting to change. Fighting with Harper over the Canadian Wheat Board has been one crack in the Conservative armour. The lies and the refusal to admit errors is yet another. The appointments of buffoons such as Ritz as Minister of Agriculture are insults that are getting harder and harder to swallow.
It is a good time for Ignatieff to come to the people admitting past mistakes, coming to the people willing to listen, actions that westerners will never experience under the rule of Harper. Well done, Michael.
I hear so much talk about Harper being a Liberal and about Ingnatieff being a Conservative and about both of them being twins. So, Ignatieff didn’t take down Harper and company. Why does that have to be interpreted as him being a conservative in disguise? Why can’t the bitter hordes see that action for what it was, a sensible thing to do in the eyes of Canadians? Politicians are supposed to represent Canadians, not simplistic and rigid party lines. Of course, that is a tough job at the best of times and this is certainly coming close to being the worst of times in our recent modern history.
That said, don’t let the ‘accommodation’ fool you. Ignatieff and his crowd are still Liberals. Partisanship is VERY much alive and well in spite of giving Harper ‘a pass’ at this time. Don’t let ‘liberal’ ideas in Harper’s budget fool you. Harper and his crowd are still Conservative right-wing ideologues. Give either one of these two leaders/parties a majority government and you will see their true ‘colours’ come shining through.
This is a lesson that Obama is struggling with as he tries to raise the standard of politics in the U.S.A. Try as he might, the gulf between Republicans and Democrats is just as deep and wide as that between Liberals and Conservatives.
I have to say that I agree with Danny Williams. Harper is a threat to Canadian unity. I said this in the past and I doubt that I will change my mind. That said, it isn’t time to take down the Conservatives. Ignatieff needs to have his party in position to win when an election is called. It would be totally disastrous for all of Canada to have an election where Harper squeeks out a slim majority. Think of Bush. We don’t want to go there. At least with a leash, Harper will act a bit better and do a bit less damage. Canada can rebound from the damage he has and will yet inflict on our unity and our economy as long as we don’t give him a free hand in terms of a majority government. Just think of how much he has hurt the country while being a leader of a minority government. And no, repeat – NO! – it isn’t the time to head to the election polls.
Guantanamo Bay. Why would we take in any of those confined therein, especially when they are nationals of another country? Now, China is asking that Canada does not take in three of their citizens. We have avoided dealing with one our own. So what will Harper et al, do? Well, if Harper stays true to form it will be a no brainer. He loves sticking it to China.
A beach-front villa in the Yucatan with three wind turbines. They are going green in Mexico.
Go Green! This is one particular aspect of the budget that really pisses me off. No more money for going green. Of course, there are so many areas of the budget that suck that it is painful to even think about it. Canada is lagging behind everyone as the world focuses on developing green economies for the future well-being of their countries and the planet.
Now that Harper has some room to move, thanks to Ignatieff, and an election is delayed; the time to study the Conservatives and to measure them against the economic situation that exists, is here. We all know that the budget is flawed. We know that it is the brainchild of Harper and Flaherty an odd couple that deserve each other. In a way, it is a budget that is likely designed to fail. Why do I say that? Well, if it fails then Harper can point to it and proclaim that a “liberal” approach to budget during the recession is the wrong approach. He can point to Ignatieff and say it was his fault for holding a hammer over his head, over the heads of all Canadians. Then, he can say “elect my party to form a majority government and you will get a solid conservative budget, just what Canada needs!” I don’t thinks so, Harper. It won’t work. The budget is a Harper/Flaherty budget, not a Liberal budget.
Brad Wall is not a happy camper! In the past, Brad Wall was one of Stephen Harper’s best allies. But, the budget has changed that. In the Star Phoenix, Wall talks about the real problems, the issues and the dashed hopes arising from the budget released earlier this week.
In Wall’s words:
“The grade I give it is a D,” he told reporters at the legislature in a hastily called scrum.
“D for deficit. I’ve already stated my concerns about the length and the depth of the deficit. D for delay. We’re very concerned the government has built in some bottlenecks and approval processes with their infrastructure dollars, as much as we like the concept of infrastructure dollars. And D for disappointing. We see the livestock sector apparently neglected in this package.”
Wall is a conservative and the budget is about throwing money at things, not providing direction and leadership. The budget is still about politicking and trying to get votes in an election that WILL happen likely before the end of the calendar year, an election that they will lose. Just how many people will Harper and Flaherty piss off before that magical moment when an election is called?
Well, I knew it was coming but it still hurts. The Conservatives are to remain in power. Michael Ignatieff’s response to the budget was probably the only response possible in the eyes of Joe Public. No one really wants an election and very few want the coalition. Why? I guess there is a fear of having both the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois in positions of power. But more importantly, no one wants yet another delay to our government beginning to do the work of dealing with the recession. For Igantieff to disregard Joe Public would be a serious blow to the Liberals chance to return to majority government.
With the response, Ignatieff tells the average Canadian that he has listened and that he will be their watchdog. Now, it is up to the Conservatives to respond. And, it will be only the Conservatives under Harper and Flaherty who will pay the price of ruling during a recession. A sad day indeed, but the only “rational” response that Ignatieff could have taken.