Skip to main content

The opposition rallies as Harper struggles with new role

The opposition parties are gaining some success in painting the conservatives with the stench of pork barreling by favoring conservative ridings with funds, grants and projects.

It started last week when Gerard Kennedy revealed that more than three-quarters of funding handed out since 2007 went to ridings held by Tories. And again yesterday, when Moore the new Heritage Minister got worked over before the heritage committee, by Charlie Angus of the NDP calling the new $100 million fund for festivals, just more pork-barrel photo-ops.

This is a good strategy on the part of the opposition, because it is easy to prove and is indefensible for the conservatives. All the expenditures are there in black and white. It also plays well with the provinces that have been accusing Harper of politicized exclusion for the results of the last election, specifically Quebec and Newfoundland Labrador and could bode well in preventing further conservative gains in Ontario, the conservatives chosen battleground next time around (Ontarians as a rule like believing they are special).

Unfortunately the opposition is having less success in revealing the conservatives economic mismanagement over the last two and half years, that has worsened the effects of the recession that we are now entering. The fact that Flaherty had already moved the country into a deficit position has been obscured by the stimulus spending package and the much lamented deficit budget.

However it is not for a lack of trying on the oppositions part who continue to highlight the flow of negative reports from the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page. Even Paul Martin got into the act yesterday by placing half of the expected deficit right on Flaherty's shoulders.The problem here is that the real numbers, at least until the March year end, remain obscured and besides most Canadians are more worried about their personal budgets.

All in all a good couple of weeks. We now have a functioning opposition and a prime minister who has gone into hiding. Although you really can't blame Harper, as he is unfortunately in a position where he has to learn new skills.

After two and a half years of ideological partisanship riding on the remains of the former right of center Liberal government's fiscal policies, the recession is now forcing Harper to play a more humanistic, non partisan role. One where he must demonstrate his concern for Canadians who have lost their jobs, regardless of the fact that they live in areas that Harper does not necessarily like. He should also demonstrate some humility for his pompous and arrogant proclamations throughout the fall, about how Canada would be sheltered from the harsher effects of a world wide recession.

Obviously, these new skills do not come easy to Harper and now with the glaring comparison to Obama's persona, south of the border, you can understand why he might be taking a time out from parliament's question period, maybe to get some professional help or possibly an offsite workshop on emitting empathy.

Of course it could simply be the fact that he dropped his law suit against the Liberals over the Cadman tapes and even though they might not be able to question him about what he meant by those remarks, I'm sure the NDP or Bloc would like to.

I for one, would like to hear his explanation, again.



Popular posts from this blog

Election close call, Omar, Bob and move over Warren

Wow that was a close one:
With the NDP leading in the polls at the beginning of September, I started to prepare myself, for the very first time in my life, to vote for the NDP. Mulcair looked good enough for me, with some of the best lines about Harper's Government during most of his interviews, except that he would always add the phrase, "just like the liberals" to the end of it and I thought, if I'm one of those Harper hating, Liberal voters that you probably need to vote for you, why the hell are you insulting me with this partisan bullshit.


That is the number of Syrian refuges that the Harper government has brought into Canada.

From the Globe and Mail:
However, the government is facing criticism because 2,374 Syrian refugees have so far been settled. Of that number, only 622 - or 26 percent - were assisted by the government. The others were privately sponsored by individuals or non-government. The others were privately sponsored by individuals or non-government organizations. The NDP argues that in addition to private sponsors, the government should immediately accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said the target should be 25,000 government-sponsored refugees, which he estimates would cost Ottawa $100-million.In other words the Harper government that banters around the 10,000 plus refugee number has brought in 622 refugees or about 170 families.

The other 2,352 so called refugees that Harper has allowed to emigrate to Canada consist of wealthy Syrian Christians who paid their own way in, hightailing …

Surprising how some tunes are just timeless