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Party Politics remains ABC to me

I have held off posting about the conservative’s budget, the disolution of the coalition, the Liberal party’s supposedly tepid recomendations and the NDPs not so tepid and somewhat over the top reaction or at least that is the way it seems after reading the many articulate, analytical and in some cases, angry posts on ProBlogs, all this week.

The reason for the delay, in my case, was that although anticipated, the end of the coalition was disappointing and the changes proposed in the budget so wide spread that it really took a while to comprehend the full ramifications, which admittedly I still don’t think I have fully grasped.

Surprisingly, even to me, my first response after the Liberals announced that they would back the budget, albeit with some provision(s) was to join LibBlogs. You know commit, pick a party, work for change and all.

However as I continued to read more posts throughout the week, the problem in committing to the Liberal Party (one that I have locally canvassed for in two elections) became, that I too would feel obligated to become an apologist for party strategy and with a budget that is so packed with programs extending the support of conservative ideology, you are immediately faced with the red herring argument when criticising it, of then, why did your party support it.

Unfortunately the answer because it was the best thing for the party at this time, sounds too callous, or that it was the best thing for the country at this time, somewhat negates your criticism.

I even thought of joining the Dippers, albeit for a short time. The problem here is that I’m really not a very good socialist. Lot’s of empathy for the homeless, workers, womens rights, daycare, a strong social net, decriminalization of marijuana et al, but I have spent too many years trying to make a buck, working for large corporations, or running my own company that I even have empathy for CEOs and their corporations (not so much for CFOs and Harvard MBA types though, they are the plague of the waning years of the 20th and so far all through the 21st centuries).

Besides the NDP reactions to the passing of the budget now seem as transparent and self serving as the Liberals conditional support. I mean if you had advertising dollars why didn’t you run ads to counter the conservative’s coalition attack ads, that have been on air since November and why waste your dollars now, attacking the Liberals. No I just don’t think I would make a good party member, as I don’t see things in black and white, everything to me is unfortunately 256.

The budget offers up a menagerie of spending programs designed with some intent, as most conservative programs have been, when it comes to spending our tax dollars, to buy regionally strategic influence that favor their party's long term objectives. The collapsing economy and good gonvernance be damned, the elusive, majority, mandate is always the focus.

The ill advised at least in this economy selling of yet to be disclosed assets (look out CBC), the reversal on pay equity , a half hearted attempt to assist the unemployed (no expansion on eligibility or rates ), outright, arrogant, political payback to Quebec and NL for the last electoral result, while at same time setting your sights are the now suddenly important Ontario voter. Oh and my personal favorite, an environmental PR investment of $375 million in carbon capture and storage technology for Alberta.

Yep, why not use a recesssion with its built in excuse for deficit spending for the good of the party. It ‘s the coservative way. Refunds on Home Depot rennovations, though I guess Loews benefits too. And tax cuts to the down trodden middle class, who still have a job and are not yet forced to try and sell their home in this market.

It looks like the conservatives think that those of us in the surburbs won’t loose our jobs in the next two years and are not concerned about the future cost of paying for these expenditures with the eventual claw back of funding for social services and benefits.They forget that we have lived through that before. Except this time it will be worse, at least as long as this neoconservative party still exists.

No I can’t join a party, but I have made a donation to two of them. For me it is still ABC (anyone but conservative) and where I presently reside, that means that the Liberal candidate would get my vote. If I move somewhere else in Ontario before the next election it could be the NDP that I support or if I moved to Quebec, a passing thought every now and then, I would even have an additional choice.

I am not trying to be holier (heh heh) or more rightgeous than the bloggers that have come out for one party or the other, it is just that right now, we still have a common foe here and a hopefully a common objective.

Get rid of Harper.



Ian said…
I am 100% behind the "get rid of Harper" sentiments, I just don't see Mr. Ignatieff doing that until it's in his best interest. Hence why outside of Quebec, there's only one opposition party (unless the Greens get it together and run in a riding where they can win).
Anonymous said…
JAWL: I can tell you why the NDP didn't spend money on ads to counter the conservatives anti-coalition ad. The Iggy coup. It was clear as soon as Dion was turfed and Rae and LeBlance were forced to abandon their leadership runs that the coalition was likely not to happen. They weren't going to waste their ad bucks when Iggy was pontificating about "a coalition if necessary but not necessarily a coalition".

Clearly neither Layton or Duceppe would close the door before Iggy announced his final decision but as you point out, no one was surprised when Iggy killed the deal.

As I have said elsewhere, of course the NDP looks at the political ramifications of its choices, they are a political party not a not-for-profit lobby group. So when Iggy made it clear that he was walking away from progressive policies and progressive Canadians, it is both the principled and politically appropriate thing to do to criticize him.

Layton and Duceppe both articulated their parties' criticisms of Harper and the budget and because Iggy has chosen to support that budget with no real amendments he and his party have to wear those criticisms as well.

I am not an ABCer for one simple reason, the LPC is once again in the hands of the pro-business wing. That wing and Iggy did everything in their power to pull the wool out from under Dion and they jumped on the opportunity of the 'coalition crisis' to solidify their hold for quite some time to come. If progressive liberal supporters what to be more than a rump in their own party the people running it need to feel some hurt (both in fundraising and at the ballot box) until they do they will continue to use progressive money and votes but completely ignore their values. Current LPC/OLO attitude, screw progressive supporters, they will be too scared of Harper to vote for real change.
What a lot of garbage.

We had a chance to get rid of the Tories this week, and the Liberals balked.

Fourty-four times in a row the Liberals voted with the Tories.

Voting Liberal isn't ABC anymore. It's AGAC - As good as Conservative.
Oemissions said…
The whole thing has become not only disgusting but semmingly HOPEless.
I think I'll move back to Quebec or maybe out to Newfoundland.
Anonymous said…
I found the original post a lot better than the comments. (Attack ads outside an election are now the principled thing to do... rolling eyes.) Most voters are not committed to one party, so it is good to read a blog from that perspective.
Anonymous said…
Anon 2 (from Anon 1)
The NDP is a political party and part of its job is to frame the debate. It would be pointless to frame the debate months from now. If the media actually provided more coverage of the NDP (instead of reporting Canadian political system as if we were the US and only had two parties) than perhaps the ads would not have been necessary but that isn't the case.

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