In today’s post, Kenneth H. Young looks at all the parties running in the upcoming election. As I read it, one thing stands out. I am reminded that I, like everyone else, have been taken in by the renaming of the Alliance Party, whose leader was Stephen Harper at the time when it merged with the Progressive Conservative Party under Peter MacKay. That seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Just long enough that people have forgotten that these two groups have never represented small “c” Conservatism in the way “Conservative” with a capital C did in our youth. Instead, by integrating the name Conservative into the new party’s platform, Harper and MacKay have masked their true, far right leanings. Harper’s Party is really (and I borrow this from a Facebook friend) the Conservative Reform Alliance Party – but that spells CRAP. Doesn’t look good, does it? Perception is the name of the game. BONNIE
Oh, what a tangled web we weave!
by Kenneth H. Young CD
We are now two weeks into the election campaign ,with every party making almost daily promises, each trying to outdo the other. Canadians really have to sit back, remember and think about the people or Parties making these promises to us.
As much as I would like to believe that people can change, I have yet to see a leopard change its spots, and a mob, group of people or Party normally follows the path of least resistance. By that, I mean everyone wants to get elected. Just as the song goes, “Everybody wants to rule the world,” most politicians do follow the old saying, “It is better to rule in Hell than to follow in Heaven.” This, coupled with the ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, which in effect gives our politicians the legal right to lie to us, says it all for Canadian Politics today.
Looking back in recent history gives Canadians a pretty good idea on what they should expect from their political Parties and their leaders in this upcoming election.
AT A GLANCE
Conservative Party: Reported to be a joining of the minds of both the Reform and Progressive Conservative Parties. In my opinion it is more like an everyday corporate take-over of the competition where the one slowly removes all of the others’ competing products from the shelves. Even though the new party kept the name Conservative, there is no one today who can actually say that this party is Progressive or for that matter Conservative and is in principle and in action the Reform Party under another name and with the competition removed.
Conservative leader Stephen Harper: In my opinion a man of two or even five faces and often meaningless words. He has often promised the world to every province and group of people and then continued to do whatever he pleases once elected. Canadians have come to expect nothing from Members of Parliament who do not belong to the ruling party, after all they do not have the power to do what they promised. But, we do or should have the absolute certainty that the person who is actually in charge when the dust clears will carry out his or her platform and fulfill promises made.
Let’s check. What was Chief among Harper’s promises?
- His promise to care for the Gagetown Victims (Not Done.)
- His promise to not tax income trust funds (Did it anyway.)
A longer list applies, but these two prove my point: whether he says he will or won’t do something, makes no difference, because he will do whatever he wishes if he can get away with it. He has already proven his contempt for Parliament and the Canadian people. He manipulates the law to suit his own agenda.
Canadians need to ask themselves, why should I believe this man this time? What has changed to make a difference? What are his promises really saying? How can he promise anything if he can’t expect to carry it out immediately? What good is a promise made for 2015?
Liberal Party: Not so traditionally “liberal” as it use to be as many of the high-ranking members are former NDP or Conservative members. Many stated policies and principles wouldn’t even have been considered a short while ago. Personally, I am not sure what they stand for as they continue to hand out ideas from the Left, Right and Centre. As a voter, I am left scratching my head trying to figure out if they are now the replacement for the Progressive Conservative Party of the want-to-be all together new Progressive NDP.
Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff: Although he hasn’t been party leader long enough and has never been tried as leader of the ruling party, to have mounted up a list of broken promises, the Canadian Voter must also remember how he and his party voted in the House of Commons when they were the government in power and as the formal opposition. He does have some collective Party guilt on his shoulders. Remember the GST? A Party promise that if elected they would drop the GST still haunts the Liberals. Should we trust him? I don’t know, but he unlike many of the other leaders, has had successful business and international experience. That he got that experience outside of Canada is, in my view, a plus, and not the hindrance as some would have us believe. Besides, as I understand, he was a successful business man, something Canada could use in Ottawa.
NDP: Good but as of yet untried. They have no track record for either leading the country or acting as official opposition, but to be fair, they’ve never been given the chance. YET! Throughout their political history, they have served Canada well under minority governments. Many things we hold dear as Canadians came about because the NDP and their predecessors, the CCF, successfully negotiated for the Canadian people when Canada had Minorities and they held the balance of power. So, although never elected to power, the NDP has an impressive list of political accomplishments because they have been able to negotiate and compromise. Unfortunately, voters still remember performances of Provincial NDP governments when elected, so the Federal NDP have been unfairly saddled with their stigma.
NDP Leader Jack Layton: What can I say about Jack? He is, in my opinion, the most honest of the major Party leaders. He has been the most respectful Leader in the House of Commons and has for the most part kept his members in line and away from the ‘Mad House’ antics of Question Period.
The Green and Bloc Parties: I must admit that even though I am at a loss as to their party platforms or political aspirations, I do not know enough about them to even make an informed comment about either the party or their leaders.
The Supreme Court clearly states that no politician can be legally held to the promises made during an election campaign. In effect, the Canadian Legal system has given our Canadian Politicians the legal right to lie to us with no fear of legal prosecution. That, however, does not grant them the moral right to lie to us.
In my opinion, regardless of what the Courts say, if a politician lies to the Public, they should be made to pay at the polls.
Canadians should expect more from our Leaders and every one of our MPs who make it to Ottawa.
I, for one, am fed up with Party voting and want the Free Vote brought back into the Public mind.
I believe that when Parliament has a vote all parties need to respect and honour the will of Parliament.
I do not understand the concept of having a vote, in which the government of the day does not have to honour or comply with the consensus that Vote directs.
MPs should not under any circumstances be allowed to mislead or lie in the House of Commons.
During a minority government, compromise or get out-of-the-way for those who can and stop making everything an election issue.
If the Politicians think that you don’t care or are not listening, they will do what ever they want.
If they see that you are watching and do care, they will give you what the electorate needs, wants and demands (if they want to be re-elected, that is).
Remember, if 41% of voters have no intention of voting, the Politicians only have to please around 20% of Canadian Voters to get elected.
Kenneth H. Young CD