Monday, May 08, 2006

 

Dodged a bullet

It is a damn good thing the Conservative Party won a minority and not a majority. Why? Look no further than Maurice Vellacott and the recent federal budget.

Vellacott, the *esteemed* MP from Saskatoon is never short for words and always shy of intelligence and he has done it again. Big Mo has decided that we need to know his opinion on almost everything from Aboriginal affairs, abortion and the Supreme Court. He will play a role on the Aboriginal Committee - handpicked by Harper - and sadly will get air time.

The problem that Harper and the Cons have is that there are a lot more MPs like Maurice who are waiting to speak their minds. Canada's problem is that in a majority situation it would be hard to muzzle these idiots. The minority situation is hiding many Conservative MPs true policy intentions, especially on the social agenda.

The recent federal budget, while popular with Canadians especially Quebecers, is more Liberal than Conservative and certainly doesn’t reflect the true beliefs of the party. More tax credits to make the tax code harder to navigate? Larger government? More government spending? Tax increases?

The budget is bullet proof. Who can be against money for the troops? Kids? Farmers? Transit riders? Students? Families? Me. The majority of these measures will do nothing to alter an already set course.

Will a single motorist not drive to work due to the new tax credit? Nope. In fact, those western Canadian cities who shun public transit see this as a fine measure for folks in Toronto. The problem is that it will not address the real issue. Capacity and equipment. Public transit needs more cars, buses and routes.

Will a single student suddenly decide to attend post-secondary education because their a portion of their textbook costs will be a tax credit? Nope. The government simply made it marginally easier for those in the system to pay for education and even that is debatable. Why? The benefit comes after the expense has been taken on and those who need immediate assistance don't get it. You need to spend to save.

Should we be surprised that Quebeckers like the budget? Nope. They get to have their cake and eat it too. The province has universal daycare and now gets a baby bonus. I would love to see their opinions, and other Canadians, to the question of choice - $ 7 daycare OR $1200 magical dollars. My sense is that opinions would change substantially.

It is true that the previous government(s) had many years to implement a universal early learning strategy and they blew it. The majority of Canadians were just starting to see the benefits of a national daycare plan and so the impact of losing it will be largely unknown.

Conservatives often rail on Liberals and *Socialists* for treating public money (tax dollars) as their own and bribing Canadians with it. The Conservatives are just as guilty. They, however, are using the soft paternal approach - can we entice you to put your heavy kid in sport? - as opposed to a hard nanny state.

Comments:
As for Vellacott's comments, check out SDA and link to Black Rod, he summarizes McLaughlin’s comments from a conference in NZ. Sounds like she was calling the SC "godlike".
 
Don't waste your time, prairie boy. Shaky's mind is made up- don't go confusing things with facts.
 
HarperSpeak - one bullet he will not be able to dodge: abortion.

Let's examine Harper's speech for clues to what his government – if it won a majority – might do with respect to "protecting the family" and stopping or reducing abortions (that is, taking away or impeding a woman's right to choose).

Let Harper speak for himself.

In an article headed Rediscovering The Right Agenda, published only 3 years ago (remember Harper saying he has stayed true to his core? This is his core), in June 2003 (see website of Christian Coalition International Canada (Inc.) www.ccicinc.org, Harper makes these points:

• What steps must conservatives take regarding protecting the family, per Harper?

"This same argument applies equally to a range of issues involving the family (all omitted from the Throne Speech), such as banning child pornography, raising the age of sexual consent, providing choice in education and strengthening the institution of marriage. All of these items are key to a conservative agenda."

Let's examine such steps to protect the family, using the story in today's newspapers about Merrifield's views that women contemplating abortion should first be required to seek counselling, as they know not what they do, and Harper's quoted response.

We have all learned by now that one has to parse Harper's statements very carefully.

So, let's look at the comment quoted in one article:

"Views held by party members, he added, do not necessarily reflect Conservative policy.
"I've been very clear," he said. "A Conservative government in its first term led by me will not be bringing in abortion legislation or sponsoring an abortion referendum."

IN. ITS. FIRST. TERM.

There, now you have it. Do not be surprised if Harper, having won a majority, rams through anti-abortion laws.

He is on record saying he will only not do it "in its first term".

Wonder if he will be honest and transparent and tell Canadians if he will not do it IN ITS SECOND TERM?

Fat chance he will say that.
 
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