Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Harper's Dictatorship Doesn't Have to Mean the Death of the Left. We Just need a Transfusion.

The video above is from a website called the Dailysplit, which is kind of Canada's answer to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Their views are far right, and after 'following the money' they appear to be an another Reform Party elite squad.

I'm going to run a series of articles in the new year, exposing all of the many (many, many, many) non-profit groups that prop up Stephen Harper, but is the guy above right? Is the Left really dead?

I don't believe so, but if they continue waging war on each other, they soon will be.

Michael Byers wrote a piece a while back on the left forming a loose coalition next election, and now Chantel Hebert is suggesting pretty much the same thing.

I couldn't agree more.

The four parties representing the interest of 2/3 of Canadians, need to get their act together. I think they must meet and discuss how best to counter the Harper dictatorship. They have to decide which issues are the most important to their parties and reach a compromise BEFORE entering Parliament again, whenever that may be.

It's interesting that Stephen Harper always does better in the polls when he pretends to be a Liberal. But as the gentleman above states, he's hoping that Harper does have a hidden agenda. Anyone following politics for more than a decade or so, knows this man won't be disappointed.

Reformer Patrick Brown from Barrie states pretty clearly his Party's goals. He says that Stephen Harper will NEVER allow economic growth, but will reduce the size of government, to alleviate intrusion into our lives.

That is Harper-speak for an end to social programs, including public health care and old age security. 'More freedom through less government' was the battle cry of the two organizations that he was heavily involved with: The Northern Foundation and the the National Citizens Coalition.

The NF was a white brotherhood that sought an end to foreign aid and for a renewal of Anglo supremacy. The NCC wanted an end to Canada, or at least the Canada we know and love.

Less government might sound attractive, except that it would spell chaos. We saw one step already implemented when food inspection was transferred to the people we were supposed to be inspecting. Seventeen deaths due to Listeriosis.

Can you imagine no universal health care, education or old age security? Those are all things on the NCC chopping block.

When Stephen Harper re-entered politics to head up the Reform-Alliance Party, he said it was because he didn't feel that the NCC had any friends left in the government. Well they've sure got lots of them now, including the biggest friend of all - our prime minister.

Hébert: Could old foes offer voters new deal?
By Chantal Hébert National Columnist
December 23, 2009

MONTREAL–If they want 2010 to be about more than the slow death of the 40th Parliament at the convenience of the ruling Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP need a game-changer.

These days, the Liberals are scouring academia for a Big Idea to feature at an agenda-setting conference in March and, in time, to champion in their next platform. If they look long enough, they will find one or more ideas that fit the bill.

But it is unlikely to matter; in the current toxic federal environment the worst thing that could happen to an ambitious concept would probably be to be adopted by one of the main federal parties. Without Stéphane Dion's well-meaning ministrations, for instance, the notion of a carbon tax would still be in the federal climate-change tool box rather than in the post-election trash heap.

If Michael Ignatieff and his new crew really wanted to think outside the box, Roy Romanow, Ed Broadbent, Alexa McDonough and Jack Layton would be the guests of the upcoming Liberal think-fest. And Jean Chrétien and other Liberal luminaries would also be in attendance.
The meeting would be turned into a convening of the elders of both tribes and it would focus on the unfinished business of last year's coalition pact.

The objective would not be to merge the two parties; their history and their culture are too different. Nor would it be to resuscitate the flawed opposition attempt at wrestling the reins of government out of Conservative hands; at this stage in the life of the current Parliament, a government defeat would trigger a return to the polls, not a constitutional showdown.

The point of the exercise would be to salvage the core ingredients of the coalition so as to put a new deal to Canadians in the next election.

Among the keeper items from last year's pact, the concept of a common government agenda focused on a limited set of key items stands out, as does a prenegotiated place for each partner within a future coalition cabinet and the maintenance of the two separate caucuses.

The biggest difference would be that this plan would not be a contingency one, to be pulled out of Layton's back pocket only in the event that the Liberals narrowly lost an election to the Conservatives. Another major difference is that it would not involve having the Bloc Québécois as a silent partner.

To put their coalition on the next ballot, the NDP and the Liberals would have to strike an electoral coalition and agree to run only one candidate of either party in each of the country's 308 ridings. Such a proposal would involve a lot of give-and-take – not least of which at the grassroots levels – and much heavy lifting on the part of the Liberal and New Democrat elite to make it happen. It would require nothing less than a dramatic change in the federal culture.

But that change is increasingly overdue.

The alternative is to continue on a downward spiral to ineffective minority Parliaments and/or virtual one-party rule under the Conservatives.

Over the past 25 years, the Liberals have lost all but one (2004) of the campaigns they fought against a united Conservative party. They are now a spent force in large areas of the country. The dice are loaded against their return to power, especially with a national majority.

Yet, the NDP is nowhere near being seen as a serious contender for government. And its fallback role of influence in a minority setting has turned out to be highly overrated when dealing with a government that would rather render Parliament irrelevant than allow the opposition to be relevant. From co-writing a budget with Paul Martin five years ago, Layton is now down to hoping for progressive policy crumbs to pick off Stephen Harper's table.

Seven years ago, Harper put his leadership in the balance of a major reconfiguration of his side of the federal scene.

His success in that endeavour, combined with the enduring presence of the Bloc Québécois, fundamentally changed the parameters of the federal electoral game. Instead of responding with new original moves, the Liberals and, to a lesser degree, the NDP have persisted in playing checkers on what had become a chessboard.

These days, a disquieting number of New Democrat and Liberal political operators are eyeing with envy the hardball partisan tactics Harper routinely uses to advance his vision of a dominant federal Conservative party.

It is his willingness to take bold risks to reshape the political landscape to his liking that they should want to copy.

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