Canadian Politics: Recess Is Over
Well the boys are back for the spring term; all right I know there are some women serving as Members of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons but sometimes it's hard not to think of the Honourable Members as little boys. They sure act like that on occasion; what with all the posturing and finger pointing that goes on inside and outside the House you'd swear it was a day on the playground at the local public school.
Just as an example look at the behaviour of our governing party, The Conservative Party of Canada. The House hadn't even begun sitting and they've begun playing games already. The difficulty they might find themselves running into is that they are trying to portray themselves as being at the mercy of the fiendish opposition to gain sympathy with the Canadian people to take the moral high ground while at the same being the school yard bully calling people names and flinging accusations around like nobody's business.
There's the Prime Minister, leader of the Conservative Party Stephen Harper giving an interview saying that he doesn't want an election because there would be no point. You se,e although he claims to pay no attention to the polls, he says since he can't win a majority government right now he doesn't want to call an election. I guess since he ignores polls, he must use a soothsayer or a crystal ball to know that.
That's okay, you never expect a politician to admit they pay attention to what the public think – that would be too much to ask. What's really good is how he says that the mean old opposition are already judging his budget before they see it and that's not very nice of them. Can't they at least wait to see what he's got to say before they denounce him?
Well since what the Liberal House Leader, Ralph Goodale, was quoted in the same article as saying was judging by the previous budgets the Conservative party had handed down, it was going to be hard for the Liberals to support them. He didn't say the new budget was guaranteed to suck – he just said the obvious.
The Conservatives have pushed through budgets that have cuts social spending and taken money from programming that supports single parents and children, while giving tax cuts to the wealthy. If they give another budget like that the Liberals won't support it. What a surprise. For that, Mr. Harper is complaining that it will be the Liberal's fault if the government falls.
Well the truth is Mr. Harper and his cronies have had a free ride for a year because the Liberal party didn't have a leader and couldn't call an election. So the Conservatives were able to do pretty much what they like, and took full advantage of it. They proceeded to cut money from what few programmes the previous government had implemented to reduce greenhouse gases; revoked a universal day care program that every province had agreed to and unilaterally replaced it with their own which favoured wealthy people with one parent who stays at home;( who really need day care) and pulled the plug on the first major agreement between the provinces, the federal government, and the First Nations.
But now that there is an opposition that can actually threaten Stephen Harper in the House of Commons, and perhaps even defeat him in an election, he's the one who's put upon. He is the one everyone is ganging up on because they won't let him play with all the toys by himself anymore. He'll either have to learn how to share and play nice or he just might find that no one wants to play with him at all.
But for a guy who wants to be seen as a victim he really has to watch his tendency to bully people. He's like one of those kids who probably used to wait until the teacher's back was turned and try something then in the hopes of getting away with it. His party is releasing three television ads attacking the new the new Liberal party leader Stephane Dion on the day that the House of Commons starts sitting again. They've even coughed up enough money so that they can run them on Canadian television during the Super Bowl (we have different commercials aired in Canada than what are aired in the States)
Of course they won't say how much they've paid for these commercials, but you know it's bound to be a bit pricey. But it's not because they want an election. It's just in case one of the nasty boys on the other side wants to call an election. So we are going to be nasty first and call you bad names and say bad things about you.
Hey is anybody going to worry about running the country? If you're so desperate to stay Prime Minister why don't you actually, horror of horrors, work with the other parties and figure out plans that might actually help everybody, not just the people who vote for you and your friends.
I think if I was to issue a report card for this government at the end of their first year the major comment would be that Stephen and the boys don't play well with others and have problems with sharing. Grow up Steve or you and your boys will be on the backbenches in opposition again before you realize what happened.