Popoff is a freelance political columnist who lives in Osoyoos, B.C.
If there’s one thing the opposition is good at, it’s perpetuating stereotypes.
First they blather that Canadian and American conservatives hastened global warming by being chummy with oil companies. Now they claim conservatives are to blame for the global financial crisis and last week they tried to seize power in Canada to save us.
They claim deregulation of financial markets caused this mess. It was overregulation by liberal American Democrats who forced lenders to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. But never mind that; blame conservatives, and their “friends” on Wall and Bay streets, and you’ll dominate headlines.
Toronto Star writer Chantal Hébert blamed “Tory partisanship” for creating a “toxic mood” in Ottawa. Let me get this straight; she’s upset Stephen Harper advanced a Conservative agenda after his party won a second mandate?
I respect Hébert. I hold nothing against her just because her newspaper hasn’t said anything nice about Conservatives since the days of Robert Stanfield.
But why say finance minister Jim Flaherty’s fiscal update is “a triumph of cutthroat politics over meaningful policy”? Flaherty’s being prudent, as he must. Spare the vitriol.
Hébert admits in the same breath that “the capacity of the federal government to act as a buffer in a global storm is ultimately limited,” and yet she fueled the fire for an opposition coalition on the grounds that Harper “has no solid plan to deal with the global economic crisis.”
This claim is so widely accepted in the media that it eclipses the fundamental reason why the Liberals aren’t in power and why the NDP never will be.
Liberals and New Democrats present a one-dimensional approach to handling the nation’s finances. If the economy is good, spend. If the economy is bad, good God man, spend!
Hoping Canadians would forget the Liberal trick of campaigning from the left and governing from the right, the Liberals joined hands with other big spenders in Parliament to pretend they’d buy us out of the global crisis.
Nasty ol’ Conservatives, they charged, were too focused on restraint; a cynical oversimplification of the choices we actually have in Canada.
Let’s face it, no Canadian politician has “the” plan to deal with this crisis. If one claims he has, he’s lying.
The big question is whether Barack Obama will try to spend his way out. It’s unlikely. It didn’t work for George Bush and Obama is much smarter than our opposition is pretending to be.
The real reason the opposition threatened to overthrow the Conservatives was because Harper, recognizing the need for restraint, proposed to end public financing for political parties.
Anyone who already hates Conservatives argued the savings wouldn’t help the economy.
Yeah right; as if $27 million per annum is just chump change. But look, there was a much more pressing issue at stake.
Canadians subsidize a broken federal political system thanks in large part to subsidies introduced by Jean Chrétien in his last days in Parliament.
Sure, he eliminated corporate and union donations, but did Chrétien, an avowed federalist, intend to prop up the Bloc Quebecois, a moribund party committed to the destruction of Canada that survives only because of these subsidies?
But the opposition knew it wouldn’t get anywhere by whining about cuts to allowances.
So the parties pretended to go after Harper because he doesn’t have the same magic crystal ball they do, which they claim says steer through the gathering financial storm by raising taxes and spending like a monkey with a credit card.
Rest assured, besides rearranging the seating plan in Parliament, the only major change would’ve been that Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe would finally get everything he wanted, just in time for Christmas.
This anti-Conservative plot would also have resulted in Canada’s currently positive economic prognosis – the direct result of almost three years of prudent Conservative rule – being forfeited while we propped up Quebec’s failing economy.
For proroguing Parliament, Governor-General MichaÃ«lle Jean will go down in history for protecting us from an unprecedented, undemocratic, bald-faced attempt to seize power at all costs.
It matters not that men with ties to former prime minister Jean Chrétien agreed to be advisers for this abomination.
You’d think elder statesmen would thwart any situation that allows separatists to call the shots, not encourage it.
They, along with Stéphane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Jack Layton, are now as guilty of putting self-interest ahead of the nation’s well-being as was the FLQ.