Tag Archives: voting public

Do the Work

I’m busy reading an April 2009 document called, “Advancing Change Together: A Time to Act” which is the report of the LPC Change Commission that was co-chaired by Doug Ferguson, Carolyn Bennet and Brigette Garceau.  First thing I want to know was why was this document not highlighted front and centre at every opportunity since its publication in 2009?  Why was it not sent as an e-mail attachment along with the LPC constitution to every member, especially every new member?

I realise that the leader has had to deal with Stephen Harper and with public opinion that grew out of misrepresentation though attack ads, but the organisation as a whole seems to have dropped the ball leading us to a party that has set a record low for voter support and elected seats following the last election.  We are at a point in time where a few in leadership are working towards taking the LPC into the NDP which basically results in the end of an LPC.  I am a member of the LPC and I am not happy about what is happening to “my” party.  It is my party and it is “your” party should you be a member or a volunteer, or someone who votes for the LPC.  The party doesn’t belong to a select few at the top, it belongs to us.  At least, this is what our constitution tells us.

As you can tell, I am a bit frustrated and angry.  However, I still have a hope that in the coming weeks and months that we will be able to reclaim the party with the selection of a leader who will commit to making the LPC a party that focuses on liberal Canadians.  Do the work and the party will again become the Government of Canada.

PS – Go to progressive bloggers and vote for this post.


		
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A Polarized Canadian Electorate

The polls for the current election are showing something that is quite surprising, but somehow at the same time, something that makes sense.  Canada is divided again.  It wasn’t that many years ago that Canadians divided over the notion of two nations within one nation – a Québecois Nation and a Canadian Nation.  Today the divide is based on ideology, or so it seems.  Canadians are either holding fast to ultra conservativism (CPC) or racing to jump on an ultra left bandwagon (NDP).  The Liberals, a centrist political party, has almost been abandoned.

How does this make any sense politically?  Canadians aren’t extremists by nature.  Canadians are a people who steadily work and live a life on the middle road, caring for their families and neighbours while working hard to pay their bills.  I will try to find sense by looking at the phenomenon through the lens of human psychology, particularly that of the personal and collective unconscious.  But first, some background.

The Liberals, the centrist party of Canada, lost its way because of being too long in power.  Canadians trusted the Liberals and that trust became taken for granted.  And the abuses, the scams became bigger.  Along came the PC under the leadership of Brian Mulroney to avenge the Canadian voters.  Mulroney quickly showed Canadians that they had placed their trust in the wrong man and the wrong party and the Liberals were returned to power.  The old Liberal ways returned telling Canadians that the Liberals had not learned their lessons and again needed punishment.  A new version of the conservative party, the CPC held a hope for real change, after all its leader Steven Harper had promised transparency, accountability and honesty – values that seemed to have disappeared in the Canadian political world.

Five years later, and Canada is in shock.  Not only did the CPC not deliver its promises, it took abuse to a new level and added a new element, contempt.  The electorate was pummeled by attack ad after attack ad that sought to redefine the political world in black and white terms.  Invoking an evangelical template, the CPC placed themselves on the right hand of God in battle with the evil forces of darkness which they defined as any who opposed the CPC.  Most Canadians are believing Christians though not evangelical.  The constant bombardment of this war of good versus evil disturbed and shook the worldview of the average Canadian.  Fear began to appear, but not a fear that was easy to define, just a vague fear of the darkness, the instability of the place called home, Canada.

Steven Harper, knows what he is doing, he knows the power and value of fear as he tries to con Canadians to vote for him to be the leader of Canada.  There is no pretense that Canadians are voting for local candidates.  It is all about voting for Stephen Harper or against Stephen Harper.  I don’t believe that the Steven Harper that goes home each night to his family is an evil man, but the man we see as the leader of the CPC is a man possessed.  His hubris feeds on the collective unconscious.  And that, is what has come to scare most Canadians who have unconsciously known they couldn’t trust the man completely.  In this election, the stakes are higher.

And Canadians are in a panic.  Anyone But Harper! Anyone but conservative (ABC) has resulted in a fleeing from the extreme right – a fight or flight reaction – not a reasoned response.  Reason would tell Canadians to go back to the middle.  But the wounds inflicted by past Liberal governments, betrayed trust, have Canadians frantically scanning the political spectrum for a new safe place, as far away from Harper as they can get.  And the NDP are there, waiting for them with open arms trying to assure these Canadians that they can provide accountable, transparent and honest government.

Can the NDP deliver?  Personally, I don’t think so.  They aren’t a party of the centre and they will end up acting out of their extreme, non-centrist nature.  But, perhaps . . .

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How Did We Lose an Honourable Canada?

I have to admit it has been a long time since I wrote on this blog site.  I have been more focused my Jungian Psychology site as far as blogging goes and have been using Twitter for my  #cdnpoli and #elxn41 daily fixes while working at a university in China.  Yes, I am writing this from China where I am finding some meaningful work in my retirement from teaching and educational administration.  Obviously, I am not a hot-headed youngster, but a fairly quiet senior with a head of gray hair which is worn as a badge of honour for my decades of paying taxes in a country I love.  I am proud of being a Canadian.  But, I am sad at what is happening to my country.

When I was a teenager in Ottawa in the 1960s, great things were happening under the leadership of Pearson – a new flag, national pride, UN peace-keeping, international respect and a relatively respectful battle of parties in politics.  Things got interesting with Trudeau and there was definitely a lot of passion.  At one point, I joined the Liberal Youth, the NDP youth and the Conservative youth groups – experimenting.

Life changed for me and for Canada.  I got a job teaching and began raising a family in Saskatchewan, teaching French.  A lot of years later it was time to retire and enjoy being a grandparent in my country.  But, something had changed – in rode a Torontonian masquerading as an Albertan.  As far as I could tell, he was “just visiting” the west as he was in an awful hurry to change his home address back to Ontario.  His name, Steve Harper.

I’ve lived and worked with western rednecks for more forty years and find them to be humorous and passionate about many different things.  Forty years living with them I am still an easterner in spite of my children being born and raised in Saskatchewan.  In spite of being an easterner, these people are my friends that I can trust, honest people though we often don’t agree on many things, especially political things.  I know they have my back as. I have their’s.

So, it is with confusion that I see them voting for this city-kid from Toronto and claiming him as their “home boy.”  He makes the right sounds, for my friends who are hunters or like to think of themselves as hunters (most of them don’t hunt though I did for quite a few years – LOL).  As “their man” in Ottawa, he will set those easterners in their place and put an end to pork-barrel politics in Québec.  It wasn’t long before Harper began betraying them.  My neighbours see themselves under attack with regards to the CWB.  They feel aggrieved that Ontario and Québec got so much of the CAP money, money that they felt should have gone to them for hockey arenas that needed replacement- after all, he was their man.

Curiously, the continue to forgive him though he lies to them.  Harper told them he’d never appoint a senator, that he would only have an elected senate.  Twenty-seven appointed senators later, they forgive him his lies in hopes that next time he will keep his promise.  One promise broken after another, Harper is forgiven – he is their man and that is all that counts.  They forgive his meanness and his disregard for them.  They forgive him though the lineups for doctors is getting longer and it is getting harder to find a bed in a senior home for elderly parents and grandparents.  Somehow, all these broken promises are lain on the doorstep of the other parties.  They can’t blame their man, so they blame those damned easterners.  And in the process, my neighbours are becoming angry with anyone who dares to tell them the truth of this man they have adopted as their man.

Reason has flown out the window when Harper is seen as a westerner (born, raised, educated and living in the east) while a true Albertan running in Calgary as a Liberal is vilified as “just visiting” and told to “go back to Toronto.”  The last session of government saw Harper and his party fall in a vote of non-confidence due to contempt of Parliament.  Yet, my neighbours believe Harper as he tells them, the government fell on the budget.  When I point out the reality, the response is “Well, those damned Liberals, commies and separatists would have voted out the government on the budget, so what’s your point?”

Denial.  We lost our country to denial, to lies, to broken promises, to anger, to tactics of divisiveness and the most blatant levels of disrespect ever seen in the history of this country (and that is saying something).  My Chinese hosts can’t understand why our country puts up with this mean and angry man, this rude man.  They don’t hold Harper against me or other Canadians working here.  They know that he is not the country, that Canada is a great country with good people.

Canada has been seriously wounded and is suffering.  It is a county divided because one man saw tactics of division as a way to personal power, a man so arrogant that he renamed the Government of Canada so that it would be officially called The Harper Government.  We let it happen.  When does this masochism end?  When do we say enough, we want our Canada back?

PS If you want to follow me on Twitter, I am at @rgl_LPC

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Bedfellows … Not

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.

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On Ignatieff’s decision to vote dissent

I think this sums it up best:

“After much discussion of this issue with my colleagues from Newfoundland and Labrador I decided to permit them in the budget vote … a one-time vote of protest to signal their displeasure and my displeasure at these unilateral actions, which in my view weaken our federation,” Mr. Ignatieff said Tuesday.

Ignatieff says it like it is without having to plunge the country into an unnecessary election, an unwanted election for most Canadians (progressive bloggers excepted for the most part).  Will this endanger Ignatieff’s hold on his own party?  Perhaps.  But for certain, it will enhance his standing with the Canadian electorate.  He comes across as one who listens and weighs the needs of all of his constituents.

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Where is the green for science?

A beach-front villa in the Yucatan with three wind turbines.  They are going green in Mexico.

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.

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What happened to being best buddies?

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?

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