Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dobbin and Rebick Weigh in on Election Results

I've read both Judy Rebick's and Murray Dobbin's views on the election results. I agree and disagree with their opinions.

Murray Dobbin writes: Harper's majority: What's Left for us

He feels that Stephen Harper will immediately begin deconstructing the country, if for no other reason than pure vengeance. I think he will go slower. There's no urgency now. Jack Layton will be wet nursing his new batch of MPs, and will offer little resistance to his agenda.

He also feels no sense of loss at the Liberals not returning, but sadly we did lose two of the most progressive: Mark Holland and Gerard Kennedy. Mark Holland was a strong advocate for criminal justice and spent a great deal of time in Kingston fighting to restore the Prison Farms. I'm afraid that dream is now dead.

And the worst of it is, that the Conservative who replaced him was brought to power by the gun lobby. Not a good sign. A victory for Republican values.

Judy Rebick writes: The morning after: Where are we and where do we go from here?

She reminds us that Harper now has unfettered power and will use it to proceed with his agenda. She also laments the loss of progressive voices found within the Bloc.

However, I think she's a bit too optimistic about what Jack Layton can actually accomplish here. I think this is a tragic blow to the progressive movement in Canada. Even if by some miracle, Layton could ride Conservative scandals to victory at the polls, his hands will be tied, with Harper controlling both the Senate and the Supreme Court.

I'm afraid he'd be spinning his wheels.

I think what is more likely to happen, is that Harper will again move incrementally, appearing to be pursuing a moderate agenda. However he will not be able to abandon the abortion issue. He has too many social conservatives in his caucus, and they will not sit back now that they have a majority.

So we can expect the re-criminalization of abortion and possibly gay marriage.

There probably won't be too many fights in the House of Commons, but during the last half of the mandate, he will start to court Quebec.

Supporters of the NDP may have anticipated that they would finally have a voice in government, as a result of the "surge". Harper will give them some trinkets with the promise of more if they go with him, and the NDP will be all but wiped out.

If there is a positive here, there are now more women in Parliament, though most of the Conservative women support the male agenda of ridding the world of those pesky feminists.

I am however, pleased that there are now four university students in Parliament. What an education not only for them but for us.

Let's hope they are listened to.


  1. A lot depends on what the NDP is able to do while in opposition. If Harper veers right and the media gives them a little slack, the NDP could emerge as a viable opposition party well placed for the next election. If Harper stays the course for the moment, moves his attack ads from the Liberals to the NDP, and the media follows suit by targeting the NDP and ignoring the government, then we're in more trouble.

  2. Unfortunately the NDP will always be viewed as socialists, with the ugly connotations and corporate money will make sure that they don't govern. Groups like the NCC and now Sun TV, will eat them alive.

    There was a time when labour unions fueled the party but unions aren't as powerful as they once were.

    Sadly politics are about money now and the Conservatives have a lot of money.

  3. Harper will paralyze the Committees and the Senate. If not abolish them purely and simply.

    He will name his pawns on the Supreme Court.

    One tiny positive: there are now 7 First Nation members in Commons. Unfortunately one is a Conservative.(Are you impressed by Leona Agglulak, who sent body bags to a reservation Manitoba?)

    First Nations can stage spectacular protests if they feel threatened. (They are already.)