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MayDay 2011: The Conservative Coalition (repost)

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Stephen Harper has dropped the word ‘coalition’ of late, possibly because he and his handlers have decided to focus on backpeddling following scathing reviews from Canada’s Auditor General insinuating that they broke the law with spending for the G8/G20 summit.

However, Canadians shouldn’t let him drop the word ‘coalition’ because he lives and breathes by it.

His power depends on a coalition.

At the outset of the campaign, Stephen Harper had us believe that the word ‘coalition’ – especially when the opposition is concerned – may as well be the spawn of the Devil or something … gasp … worse:  a Canada without him at the helm.

Of course, this is OK because every time Stephen Harper speaks about the evils of coalitions, he is painting himself into a corner and he won’t be able to get himself out … or blame a low-level staffer for his mistakes.

This is because he represents and leads one of Canada’s most successful coalitions:  the CRAP coalition.

I know this term is used as a derogatory remark about the existing Conservative party and platform, but let’s take a brief look at the history of what is now the Conservative Party of Canada:

  • Progressive Conservatives dominate the scene from Confederation to the end of the Mulroney years
  • Albertans get all snippy about how we Canadians treat ‘their’ oil and form the Reform Party of Canada, a thinly veiled gang of libertarians, Gordon Gecko fanatics and Ayn Rand junkies
  • Other conservative folks decide that there isn’t enough religion in the halls of Canadian government and form the Alliance Party, a thinly-veiled ‘whites only’ group
  • These three parties split the small-c conservative vote and keep the Liberals in power from 1993 (the year Kim Campbell was defeated) to 2006, when Stephen Harper used a coalition to defeat Paul Martin
  • The tables are turned in 2003:  Stephen Harper eventually crams all three parties into one box, forms a coalition of conservative and right-leaning parties and declares that ‘progressive’ isn’t fashionable anymore
  • Voila:  The Conservative Party of Canada is born!

As you can see, ‘coalition’ is the life-blood of the Conservative Party of Canada, but a more important word might be ‘suppression‘.

It’s inevitable that folks from all walks of life – be they Libertarians, Pro-Life, religious fanatics, anti-gay, anti-feminist – will be busting to have a voice in a room where they cannot speak or have an opinion, lest they fragment the voting public that puts Stephen Harper in power.

They’ll also get more and more irritated as ‘socialists’ like Jack Layton get a seat at Stephen Harper’s table while they’re left out in the cold because Jack (and/or Ignatieff) represent Stephen Harper’s SECOND ongoing coalition:  the vacillating support from either the Liberals, NDP or even the Bloc that keeps this very sick patient alive and provides new blood when the Conservative minority is about to go into cardiac arrest because of its own largesse.

I pity the people who are in these and other groups that want to be heard, but who will never be listened to as long as the Conservative Party of Canada has Stephen Harper at the helm swearing that ‘coalitions’ in Canada are an unacceptable form of government.

The real truth to the situation is that a coalition of progressives and centre/left would represent more than 2 out of 3 votes in Canada.  This would push Stephen Harper and his corrupt crew into oblivion.

Today, the left and centre parties will not talk of a coalition, but can we at least try to convince them to create a plan to push the Conservative Party of Canada out of power and avoid damaging their own prospects in the process?

Is that too much to ask?  Maybe Jack Layton and Elizabeth May can take the lead on this since Michael Ignatieff has ruled it out?

MayDay 2011: The Conservative Coalition

Posted on by 0 comment

Stephen Harper has dropped the word ‘coalition’ of late, possibly because he and his handlers have decided to focus on backpeddling following scathing reviews from Canada’s Auditor General insinuating that they broke the law with spending for the G8/G20 summit.

However, Canadians shouldn’t let him drop the word ‘coalition’ because he lives and breathes by it.

His power depends on a coalition.

At the outset of the campaign, Stephen Harper had us believe that the word ‘coalition’ – especially when the opposition is concerned – may as well be the spawn of the Devil or something … gasp … worse:  a Canada without him at the helm.

Of course, this is OK because every time Stephen Harper speaks about the evils of coalitions, he is painting himself into a corner and he won’t be able to get himself out … or blame a low-level staffer for his mistakes.

This is because he represents and leads one of Canada’s most successful coalitions:  the CRAP coalition.

I know this term is used as a derogatory remark about the existing Conservative party and platform, but let’s take a brief look at the history of what is now the Conservative Party of Canada:

  • Progressive Conservatives dominate the scene from Confederation to the end of the Mulroney years
  • Albertans get all snippy about how we Canadians treat ‘their’ oil and form the Reform Party of Canada, a thinly veiled gang of libertarians, Gordon Gecko fanatics and Ayn Rand junkies
  • Other conservative folks decide that there isn’t enough religion in the halls of Canadian government and form the Alliance Party, a thinly-veiled ‘whites only’ group
  • These three parties split the small-c conservative vote and keep the Liberals in power from 1993 (the year Kim Campbell was defeated) to 2006, when Stephen Harper used a coalition to defeat Paul Martin
  • The tables are turned in 2003:  Stephen Harper eventually crams all three parties into one box, forms a coalition of conservative and right-leaning parties and declares that ‘progressive’ isn’t fashionable anymore
  • Voila:  The Conservative Party of Canada is born!

As you can see, ‘coalition’ is the life-blood of the Conservative Party of Canada, but a more important word might be ‘suppression‘.

It’s inevitable that folks from all walks of life – be they Libertarians, Pro-Life, religious fanatics, anti-gay, anti-feminist – will be busting to have a voice in a room where they cannot speak or have an opinion, lest they fragment the voting public that puts Stephen Harper in power.

They’ll also get more and more irritated as ‘socialists’ like Jack Layton get a seat at Stephen Harper’s table while they’re left out in the cold because Jack (and/or Ignatieff) represent Stephen Harper’s SECOND ongoing coalition:  the vacillating support from either the Liberals, NDP or even the Bloc that keeps this very sick patient alive and provides new blood when the Conservative minority is about to go into cardiac arrest because of its own largesse.

I pity the people who are in these and other groups that want to be heard, but who will never be listened to as long as the Conservative Party of Canada has Stephen Harper at the helm swearing that ‘coalitions’ in Canada are an unacceptable form of government.

The real truth to the situation is that a coalition of progressives and centre/left would represent more than 2 out of 3 votes in Canada.  This would push Stephen Harper and his corrupt crew into oblivion.

Today, the left and centre parties will not talk of a coalition, but can we at least try to convince them to create a plan to push the Conservative Party of Canada out of power and avoid damaging their own prospects in the process?

Is that too much to ask?  Maybe Jack Layton and Elizabeth May can take the lead on this since Michael Ignatieff has ruled it out?

Canadian Election: A Call for Solidarity on ‘The Left’

A few years ago, the folks on ‘the right’ were represented bya mis-aligned, rag-tag group that now forms our minority government and constantly bullies the opposition into their bidding.  They threaten election, they will likely call one within the next couple of days and they will likely continue … with another minority leadership.

Historically, there were at least three major, nationally recognized ‘right wing’ parties vying for leadership of Canada (or at least the West), including:

  • The Reform Party
  • The Alliance Party
  • The Progressive Conservatives

Add to that the volume of even smaller more radical groups and the right-wing vote looked like it would be permanently fractured beyond any ability to win a few seats, let alone run the country.

They knew this.  The Liberals knew this.  Even the NDP knew this.  We (‘the left’) all gloated in the knowledge that we’d never have to worry about sending our kids abroad in US battles or risk privatizing health care.  No missile defense system here.  We’re all small-l liberals.

And then the Right surprised us all.  They did what the left should have done long ago (and still can).  Ironically, they showed a sign of solidarity and ‘unionized’.

They got together.  ‘Collective Power’ could have been their mantra.  They realized that there was strength in numbers, not power in fragmentation and small voices being silenced by the wave of Liberalism that ran Canada for decades.

They all banded together to create ‘The Conservatives’.  No more ‘Progressives’ here.

They all got behind an intentional strategy to put their squabbling aside and steal the government from the progressives and left.

And their plan is still moving forward today.

I’ll wager that the election that will be called was part of Harper’s plans two, maybe even four, years ago.

Il’l wager that most of the bullying and taunting of the opposition labelling them as ‘kind’ and ‘soft’ have been in the works for half a decade.  Prime Minister Martin was depicted as ‘constantly dithering’ in order to add a level of uncertainty and unkind apathy to a man who was caught up in the wasp’s nest set up by his previous boss.

Stephane Dion is depicted as a whiner.  The kid who would tell his mom that the school yard bully is stealing his lunch money.

The Green Party is gaining momentum and the face of Elizabeth May will become better recognized than out other leaders.  Jack Layton of the NDP risks losing many seats to a sense of ‘green guilt’ that is washing over the populace.

What to do?  What to do?

Punch the bully in the nose.  Surprise him.  When he gets mad and throws a trantrum, his credibility goes down the toilet.

We all know the answer:  we must engage in our show of solidarity.

Maybe Buzz Hargrove was on to something a few years ago when he asked locals to support Liberals in weak NDP ridings.

What I do know is that if we don’t consolidate the left-wing vote and then settle things after we’re in power, we’ll never be in power.  This election will drain the coffers of all of the opposition parties.  It’ll kill them if there’s another election in October 2009.

What was once killing the Conservatives is now killing the Progressive Left.  Fragmentation is not our friend.

A majority government for the (now obviously Radical Right) Conservatives is just an election away and we’re ‘dithering’ and ‘whining’.  The Liberals have voted for the Conservatives more times than I can imagine, but apparently, ‘our government doesn’t work’ (straight from Harper’s mouth).

We’ve lost funding for the arts, women’s causes, legal rights for less-privileged citizens, the right to abort (it’s there, it just hasn’t been tested yet), our communication infrastructure, our lives as we eat because of industry self-regulation, our right to peace (‘support our troops’ is now more ubiquitous than ‘just do it’) and the Conservatives will keep chipping away at everything else that we hold dear until we’re just another state.

Let’s put an end to this nonsense.  LET’S GET TOGETHER.  NOW.

I suggest the following:

  1. The Liberals, the Greens and the NDP represent the majority will and vote of Canadians.
  2. We will not be able to consolidate under one banner before the election.
  3. These three parties must agree to disagree on issues before the election.
  4. During the election, these three parties must show solidarity.
  5. Our only competition is the Conservative Party of Canada.
  6. The leaders of Canada’s Progressive Parties (the Greens, NDP and Liberals) should meet before the election to create a strategy of ‘inclusion’ (a government run by the will of the majority of Canadians) by means of ‘exclusion’ (reducing or eliminating candidates in key ridings in order to guarantee seats won for the Progressive Left).
  7. This means we will have to choose the ridings that each party will be closest to winning (including the Green Party) and take them from the Conservatives, without fragmenting out own vote.
  8. The result:  we spend the same amount of campaign funds on fewer ridings.  This means we will increase the odds of winning more ridings collectively.
  9. The leaders of Canada’s Progressive Parties will have to get together after the election to form a Canadian Caucus, one that truly reflects the majority of Canadians (not this one-third nonsense that rules us now).
  10. After the election, we will lay out a specific strategy that will marginalize the Right.

Some of the points sound awful.  They sound defeatist and undemocratic.  But if we don’t do it, we’ll hand over the will of the majority of Canadians to a small group of people that are determined to alter the future of this country to their benefit and the detriment of the majority.

Please, people.  Answer my call.

To paraphrase John Lennon:  A great future starts today.  If we want it.