Thank you Jack, Gilles (and now Iggy instead of Dion) for letting Stephen Harper and the Conservatives create a $60 billion (and growing) ad campaign known as the Canadian Economic Action Plan.
It will pretty much guarantee that the Cons will win a majority when you finally decide to screw up again and yell ‘Election’ every time you walk into the House of Commons.
What am I talking about?
Last November, as we all painfully recall, Jim Flaherty was more than happy to announce that there was no such thing as a recession going on in Canada or around the world for that matter and his boss Steve was more than happy to support him with that astoundingly oblivious point of view, despite his academic prowess as an economist.
At that moment in time, we had a stellar opportunity for the Cons to prove just how ridiculously far up their own behinds their heads truly were and then what happens?
Dion, Jack and Gilles step in to save their day!
They demand that the Cons spend what the rest of the world is telling them to spend and that we bail the country out of recession.
They demand that the Cons create a stimulus plan that will return us to work, keep us spending and ensure that we’re all smiling as we open our wallets like the Cons have with the Treasury.
They threaten to form a coalition (something that it seems is only allowed for our leader and no one else) to bring down the Cons and the Cons acquiesce and give in to their demands to spend like there’s no tomorrow once they return from shamelessly shutting down our Parliamentary system for a couple of months.
Well, guess what? The whole thing has been a massive bonus to the Cons, hasn’t it?
They’ve had a freakin’ field day!
They’re going around writing Reader’s Digest-like mock-up cheques, pork-barreling the pork industry, bailing out car companies that are only good at producing citrus and generally having the greatest spending party ever held in the history of Canada. Steve’s even getting high with his friends, despite the introduction of the most draconian crime bills in our history.
These are people that truly understand the ‘opportunity’ part of the ‘opportunity/crisis’ symbol from China.
They’re taking the $60 billion deficit (or whatever it is, right Jim?) and turning into a massive, unprecedented ad campaign. They’re indirectly bailing out the CTV and CanWest with massive TV campaigns. They’re propping up the print industry (for all their cardboard) with Atlantean style. Even the MOB is getting in on the action!
What’s next? Maybe the ‘opposition’ will decide not to run in the next election, which technically should be taking place today (at least according to the law that Steve wrote and later broke)?
Here’s a brilliant quote from Chantal Hebert of the Toronto Star (I added the bold):
It is one thing for the government to cut bureaucratic corners to rush money out the door in the name of the war on the recession; it is another to shower Conservative ridings with public money at the collective expense of less government-friendly areas.
When all is said and done, it should be easy enough for the Prime Minister to quell the controversy related to the use and abuse of oversize cheques by some of his own members. It is high time to do away with a practice that dumbs down both the government’s message and the MPs who deliver it. (Many of them need no help on that score.)
But Harper can only hope the opposition focuses its attacks on his party’s tasteless affection for stupid props rather than on the money itself. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, the photo gallery assembled by the Liberal war room to showcase government MPs in partisan action is ultimately less disquieting than the emergence of a spending pattern that suggests the federal stimulus fund doubles as a Conservative war chest.
Until the government can substantiate its rebuttals on that latter front with factual information, it will seem like Harper has managed to find a way to elevate naked partisanship to a new level.
I can’t take any more of this.
I need people running the House of Commons like they actually want to make a difference and who don’t just want to bake in their seats for a few months so they can get a full pension and holiday in the Turks Caicos during the winter.
Like Alberta, Canadians need a new party.
Right or left … I don’t care. Right would split the Cons. Left might finally force all of the lefties/commies/greens/socialists/progressives that we’ve got 67% of the vote and we need to agree to meet in the middle so we can get rid of these folks.
Let’s get going.