Tag Archives: Liberals

MayDay 2011: Yer Blues, Orange Crush and RIP LPC

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Oy … where to start.

I feel like I have the worst hangover, but that’s really because my body can’t handle staying up past double-digits any more.  A 12:30AM bed time will leave me feeling it for days.

Continuing with this sentiment, my mind is still foggy from the nightmare that I witnessed last night along with millions of other Canadians that were hoping for real change in this country.

Of course, this is what we got.  And not.

I was hopeful that the NDP and Liberals would win enough seat to form a majority.

But here we are.

The Conservatives have their majority.  I have Yer Blues, along with the 30 million other Canadians who didn’t vote for the Conservatives.

The NDP have won more than 100 seats, 15-20 more than even many insiders could have hoped for.  Let’s hope for PR.

The Greens have a seat.  Let’s hope for PR.

The Bloc is dead.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come back.

It’s the Liberals that I take issue with.  These people still pretend that they couldn’t see it coming.  Well, we all did, so why couldn’t you?

The LPC is on the table, barely breathing.  With the death of the Liberals, Stephen Harper will finally get his second wish, which is the complete annihilation of his longest competitor.  Those Liberals who don’t think you’re dead, take a long, hard look in the mirror and tell me that again and let’s see how you feel after the election in Ontario, where you’ll also get pounded.

It’s time that the Liberal Party of Canada accepted its fate and find ways to work with either the Conservatives or the NDP.  This wishy-washy middle-of-the road distraction will pretty much guarantee that the Cons will lead this country as long as the fantasy of ‘centre-left’ continues.

Here’s some simple advice.  Take it or leave it.

  • Accept your fate.
  • Support PR.
  • Elect your leaders, don’t appoint them.
  • Crowd-source your platform.  Start with Wiki.

As for me, all of my efforts with this blog will be marginalized over the coming months because I’m feeling very low, but I know I’ll eventually feel rejuvenated by friends and peers around me who want to see a bright future for Canada.

Even though we will have to wait four years for this to happen, we’ll also have four years to organize ourselves into a formidable force that will knock the Cons flat on their asses in 2015.

In the interim, I’ll leave you with the words of Ron Sexsmith, All In Good Time:

It all seems so obvious now
When I look back over my life
There were times that I really felt down
To think it passed me by

But in these hours of serious doubt
Through the coal black lonely night
Something told me, “it’ll work out”
Something deep inside
Was comforting me

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time
The bad times will be gone

“Hold your horses”, a willow tree cried
While the sun called to me, “where’s the fire?”
“Run your course my feverish child,”
Came a voice from even higher
Inspiring me

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time

We rise and fall
We try and fail
And people may judge us
But angels know us darling
All in good time

It all seems so obvious now
When I look back over my life
There’s a need for sorrow and doubt
For darkness and for light
It’s how it must be

All in good time
All in good time
It said all in good time
All in good time
The bad time will be gone

Thanks Ron.

Jack’s Jump the Shark Moment

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I’m calling it:  Jack Layton has jumped the shark.

OK … maybe many others have called it earlier (if even by a few days), but there’s no going back from the mess that Jack Layton has created for himself and I’m going to pile on to that point of view.

Suggesting that the NDP can’t be blamed for the death of the gun registry is akin to saying that your heart doesn’t help your blood flow.

For those of you looking for a solution to the Gun Registry situation, Scott Tribe posts a compromise recommendation for Jack and Michael to consider.

layton-harp-guns584

However, I am concerned that Jack will continue to play games with Stevie as opposed to creating real solutions that all Canadians will be proud of.

The image above reminds us that Jack Layton has been working to keep Stephen Harper in power for some time, not just as a result of the gun registry, but ever since he got bluffed by Stephen Harper into making a grab for a few more seats in 2006 and helped defeat Paul Martin’s Liberal government.

(NOTE:  For the record, I am not a Liberal or an NDPer.  I’m lost as far as who I would trust to earn my vote.)

As Jack Layton or members of the NDP continue to prop up the Conservatives, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the ‘socialists’ are just henchmen for the Cons.

Failing to differentiate the NDP from the most right-wing organization in Canada is a massive error and will cost the NDP dearly, both in terms of financial and voter support.  Their efforts to find concession will result in the Liberals being seen as Canada’s only progressive option.

Jack Layton needs to stop looking at the Liberals like they’re competition.  Jack Layton needs to start developing a plan for getting rid of the Conservatives, including concerted marketing effort across all opposition parties (including the Green Party) to remind Canadians that coalitions, even including separatists, are OK.

Jack and Michael need to work together to defeat the Conservatives at every turn before the DNA of this country is turned to mush (although it may be too late for that).  They should figure out every possible political angle they can to maximize the number of seats that they can get in the next election, including the removal of candidates in key ridings.

If Jack fails on this, the urban population will dump the dippers in droves and the NDP will be caput.

If the NDP survives this, there should be a leadership review for the NDP, but we know that will be pointless because the NDP is run by the unions and individual members will be shut out.

As such, the NDP is done as a party in Canada.

The Liberals know it and they’re distancing themselves in a big way from the NDP politically and likely in the polls as well.

All of this brings us back to why Stephen Harper will be in control for a very long time.  The Liberals and NDP refuse to play nice and bring the government down.  They are sworn enemies and will do anything to avoid concession, including returning democracy to Canadians.

Because Jack and Mikey won’t be able to play nice, we’ll all be screwed by Stevie.

Merger Madness: Should the Liberals Just Disband?

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Amid the talk of merging two extremely inconsistent parties, I have another suggestion:  the Liberals should consider disbanding.

Hear me out …

The Liberals have been on a downward swing for a number of years, arguably decades.

The leadership through the 1990s was either self-indulgent or slashed at federal budgets more than any tight-fisted socon ever would.

In today’s state, they’ve failed to differentiate themselves when it comes to policy.  They either side with the Conservatives or they have nothing.

Their current leader is a putz.  Just because he’s sitting low in the polls doesn’t mean it’s time to take a break when it comes to breaking up the potentially devastating pile of steaming turd called the 2010/2011 fiscal budget and omnibus bill.  You could have supported the budget, but you didn’t have to eat all of the crap that came with it.

In fact, we are dealing with the most corrupt and irresponsible government Canada has ever seen and both the Liberals and the NDP are enabling them to exist.

Their legacy has faded into a waft of self-delusion and aristocracy.  There was nothing democratic about the crowning of Sir Michael.  There was no effort to engage Canadians in the process.  There was only an effort to disengage from someone who was actually a really decent Parliamentarian (Dion).

Of course, from a party perspective, are there other options?  Are the NDP under Jack Layton any better?  Brad Lavigne argues that they’ve done substantially well and he’s correct.  The only problem is that Jack is busy selling off his union card in exchange for a Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation subscription, doing everything he can to keep the current socon crowd afloat.

I’m frustrated because my options have run out.  You could argue there’s the Pirate Party or the yellow socons called the Green Party.  Realistically, neither of these are realistic choices.

All I want to do is defeat the Conservatives.

So … suggestions?

Exploring the Strategy Behind the Harper Sales Tax

The HST, or Harper Sales Tax (OK … Harmonized Sales Tax) will punish a lot of folks, but no group will be hurt more than the BC and Ontario Liberals.

On the surface, they’re being told it’s a good thing.  The Cons have given the veneer of entering discussions with the provincial leaders in good faith and on a non-partisan basis.  They’re even offering financial incentives to ease the transition.

I smell a plot.

I mean, when the Cons at the provincial level won’t touch this with a 100-foot pole, why should anyone?  If I were running the Ontario government (which, thank god, I’m not) I’d be running for the hills!

Let’s strip it down:

  • Harper won his first whiff of power by promising two things:  an investigation into the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal (frighteningly similar to the eHealth scandal with McGuinty) and the reduction of the GST by 2 full points to 5% (with lots of grandstanding and promises of reduction in cost of living).
  • Since then, Harper’s come through on his promise, but we all know he’d like to reduce taxes more, especially the cursed GST, given that he’s an anarchist and libertarian that doesn’t want any government at all in our lives.
  • However, once you reduce it from 5% to a lower level, you might as well ditch it.
  • Harper won’t do that because the corporate world wouldn’t be able to hide the decrease in unchanged prices (I mean, did anyone really enjoy the full benefits of saving $0.02 on an ice cream cone or other mundane daily purchases?).  They would actually have to decrease prices.
  • Instead, he needs a bigger base to hack away at, which would ultimately be the HST.
  • He’s now got 13% to play with instead of a mere 7.
  • Ontario and BC will be hosed royally and will be told they’re out of luck once the transfer of sales tax power is surrendered.

I’m not going to deny that exporters need every iota of support they can get in today’s world, but this will not help the Ontario government support its infrastructure in the long run.  When they’re tax revenue is slashed by the Federal Cons, they will have no choice but to slash their budgets as well.

We will then get the Harris years by proxy.

What do you think?  Am I being a little too suspicious?  Do we have evidence that this will be done without harm to the politicians at the provincial level?

How Canada’s Divided Left Can Get it Right

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Ron Love, organizer of the ‘United Alternative’, explains in this article how his efforts to unite the right paid off in 2000 and how they continue to pay off as Stephen Harper comes closer and closer to a majority government.  He shares his wisdom for the ‘left’ and demonstrates what ‘we’ need to do in order to mount a force that could oppose the ‘right’.

Read it.  Digest it.  Critique it.

And then you’ll realize that his basic premise couldn’t be more wrong .

My guess is that the ‘left’ probably won’t subject itself to the same kind of ham-fisted tyrannical forces that the right did.  What allowed the right to unite is that they had common ground that could arguably be found outside the political spectrum, such as religious dogma.  As a result, their basic political program (that which they revealed to Canadians in their public platform) was easily agreed upon by all of the founding members.  Examples:  neo-con economic policies (including disclosure of what they would do if they had a majority, like sell off public assets and allow banks to merge), tough on crime policies and money for defense.  The ‘Progressive’ part of the Conservatives disappeared.  Even Mulroney looks like a socialist compared to some of the ex-Harris brown shirts.

The challenge for the ‘left’ is that we have become the ‘bucket’ for everything that the Conservatives are not.  Green.  Socialist.  Marijuana Party.  Liberals.  Without speaking for anyone else, I feel that putting such a divergent range of political viewpoints into a single ‘bucket’ would destroy my sense of democracy.

Someone like Ron Love might argue that the ‘left’ would need to find a steady middle ground as we face media pressure and scrutiny, but I think that can only lead to failure because so many opinions and views would be left scattered at the perimeter.

Here’s an example:  right now it looks like Michael Ignatieff is the front-runner for the Liberals.  He has brow-beat every socialist and person with a cause into voting Liberal already and I would NEVER vote for the man if he lead a coalition group of progressive parties.  His views are just marginally left of Harper and if it were up to him, we’d be in Iraq today shooting babies.

More importantly, this viewpoint doesn’t reflect the Long Tail of politics, where everybody should be able to have an opinion and these opinions are negotiated (however long it takes) rationally in a legal setting, such as the House of Commons.

At the core of my opposition to this kind of ‘ramming of the right’ comes the notion that people need to be able to express their point of view and they need to do it within a democratic framework.  The Harper campaign has and continues to focus on leadership.  A single person.  Anything else would be tantamount to anarchy.

So, Mr. Love, you’re wrong to assume that progressive voices in Canada want to be silenced or marginalized into a single voice.  We represent an orchestra.  A choir.  All singing different parts, hopefully in great harmony.

In the short-run, this would take shape as a coalition that represented a balance of progressive opinions.  It would take the form of many people making many educated and informed decisions, with a lot of discussion taking place.  In public and not behind closed doors.

The long-run it’s Proportional Representation where the single angry voice of the right is muted by the rising swell of an entire chorus.


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