Saturday, November 29, 2008

No More Games

Alway the curious type, I thought I'd take a look at what sort of reaction recent events were getting over in BT land. So I screwed up my courage and wandered over to That Other Steven's place.

I found this almost as amusing revolting as Peter MacKay's 'chicken' comment:

The trap is set

The latest news is that the potential of Bloc-Liberal-NDP coalition government in waiting is shrinking a bit now that the Conservatives have promised to remove required confidence from the party welfare issue.

This is bait of course.

If the BLN coalition backs down now, Canadians will understand that their opposition to the economic statement really wasn’t about the “lack of stimulus”, the rescue of Canadian jobs, or the “protection of rights of women and workers”. The opposition and brinkmanship that was threatening a fresh election or constitutional crisis would have been about parties that are so fresh out of ideas, so unable to inspire, that they were ready to go to political war over their $1.95-per-vote handout from the Canadian taxpayer.

Here's the thing, Steve. And Steve. THIS IS NOT A GAME.

As disgusted as we progressives are by Flaherty's refusal to take bold action to stimulate the economy, this is not just about money. As outraged as we are about Harper's blatant attempt to bankrupt his rivals, this not just about democracy. And as delighted as we are by the idea of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives being kicked to the curb by a progressive coalition, this is not even remotely about power.

Listen carefully.

By using the current economic crisis as an opportunity to gain permanent partisan advantage and ram through ideologically-based provisions that have nothing whatsoever to do with 'fiscal prudence', while at the same time ignoring the advise of both opposition parties and respected economists by doing absolutely nothing to help Canadians, Stephen Harper has finally proven that he is incapable of running our country like a grown-up.

For him, and apparently for his acolytes, politics is nothing but a game. I imagine he thinks of himself as a brilliant political chessmaster, but his behaviour is more like some twelve-year old boy with behavioural issues playing double-dare-you and bloody-knuckles and leaving burning bags of dog shit on the front porch at Stornoway.

It is now clear that even in the most dire circumstances, when hundreds of thousands of Canadians are suffering, our current Prime Minister cannot restrain himself from obfuscating, manipulating, and playing the most petty partisan games, even with something as important as a statement intended to update Canadians on the state of our imperilled economy.

To quote my favourite political movie, we've got serious problems, and we need serious people. Time for the grown-ups to take the toys away and send little Stevie to his room.


  1. But you are left an entirely unpalatable option in forming a coalition government with the NDP and Bloc. It's simply unfeasible and will only lead to another election in short order.

    The election subsidy did not exist until 2003. Surely the Liberals could restore grassroots campaigning to raise funds necessary to actually pay for their own election campaign?

  2. We won't know if it's unfeasible til it's tried Raphael. And get up on your facts - it's a coalition with the NDP, with the BQ offering wink wink support issue by issue.

    You Conservative guys seem to think only your fearless leader can plot strategy. It's entirely amusing to see how shocked the Conservatives are to learn that, when they've backed the opposition into a corner, the other guys can plot strategy too.

  3. Raph -

    You are missing my point entirely. We can debate the merits of public financing of political parties from here to Sunday, but THIS IS NOT THE TIME.

    Can you honestly say you find it appropriate for the finance minister to include measures like this (and banning union strikes, and stifling pay equity lawsuits) in a financial update when we are in the middle of an international financial crisis? Face it - these are measures which save NO money in the short tern and a piddling amount in the long term, and are solely designed to screw with the opposition and advance the Conservatives' political agenda.

    Is that really all you guys know how to do? Is that all you want from your government in times like these? Because the rest of us would like a government that is actually interested in governing, thank you.

    Desperate times.

  4. Raphael,

    Go back to your private fantasies about torturing teenagers and stop wasting everybody's time.

  5. Raphael,

    Given how often this opposition has worked together to hold the Conservative government to account (which is to say, a surprisingly large number), and given how often the surly Conservatives have tried to duck and weave and avoid their commitments in working with the other parties in the House, I strongly suspect that Stephen Harper is far better suited for Leader of the Opposition rather than Prime Minister

    There's nothing wrong in working with the NDP, any more than there was anything wrong with the Conservatives cooperating with the Bloc. They're just as decent minded a set of individuals as you are, and they have a right to express their opinions in this parliament, and we have a right to work with them, if we so choose.

  6. "But you are left an entirely unpalatable option in forming a coalition government with the NDP and Bloc"

    it'd be a Liberal govt, "raphael", supported the ndp and bloc.

    "It's simply unfeasible and will only lead to another election in short order."

    got a crystal ball, "ralphie"?


  7. red tory has found a letter from harper and others, claiming the viability of a coalition govt. suck on that, "raphael".


  8. Scott,

    If you didn't know something was good until it was "tried", you would be addicted to crack and heroin.


    I am interested in austerity measures, and this is what the government has done. It's a bonus that they've promised to cut the Chretien stipend, because that is a completely ridiculous misappropriation of public funds.

    Honestly, the best thing for Canada would be one government in power for a secure and long enough time to stabilize the economy and create investment for businesses by cutting taxes and spending.

    Giving the "coalition" of the spending a few months in power could irrecoverably damage Canada's economy.

  9. James,

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with working together as different parties toward a common aim. By all means, try and go forward with this plan if you honestly think it's better for Canada.

    But who is absconding their commitments here? The Conservative Party by implementing policy changes that affect all parties universally? Or the opposition for considering entering into a coalition government that has no chance of holding for longer than a half year before we are forced into a Spring election that would reelect a minority Conservative government?

  10. "If you didn't know something was good until it was "tried", you would be addicted to crack and heroin."

    stellar false equivalency, "raphael". way to keep things sophisticated.