Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Return to Harperland and the Great Progressive Depression

Well I'm finally back home in Toronto, after spending two weeks in Scotland, and a few days in Montreal.

And although I'll miss the excitement of the Scottish referendum campaign, and the uplifting spirit of the Commonwealth Games.

I brought Clyde, the thistle-headed games mascot home with me, and hopefully a haversack of hope with me as well.

Because goodness knows this Harperland needs it eh?

For after spending two weeks on a cloud, I have returned to find many of my NDP and Liberals friends in the worst state I have ever seen them.

In a deep depression, bitterly disappointed with their leaders, and threatening to tear up their membership cards, spoil their ballots, or vote for some other party in the next election.

And of course, the cause of this upheaval has been mostly caused by the timorous way Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair have reacted to the horror of War on Gaza...

I understand that disappointment. You know how I feel about all those slaughtered and wounded children. 

And it should have been possible for the two party leaders to act like real friends of Israel. By supporting its right to defend itself, while calling for restraint, and criticizing its atrocities. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s refusal to push for a ceasefire is not unexpected. More concerning is the way that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and, to a lesser extent, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have failed to counter the Harper government with a strong message that Israel’s best interests are not served by the assault on Gaza.

The leaders of the opposition parties should take inspiration from other friends of Israel who recognize that the war in Gaza can only increase Israel’s international isolation and foster radicalization among Palestinians.

But while all that is true, it doesn't justify threatening to spoil ballots, or splitting the vote by voting for the Greens or the Marijuana Party or whatever.

Not when we ourselves are fighting a war for the survival of our country.

And only one of these two leaders can win it...

For while they both may be flawed, and since my kinder gentler world is so far to the left of both of them it might as well be another planet, they could never fully satisfy me.

They both have their good qualities. I admire Mulcair's combativeness, and Trudeau appeals to my deep desire for generational change.

Or for a very different looking kind of Prime Minister...

And both Trudeau and Mulcair have infinitely more respect for our precious Canadian values, than this ghastly leader...

That monster, that maniac, who must be defeated at all cost by one or both of them, if this country is going to survive.

And the ironic part, and also the good news, is that even as so many progressives are in a deep depression, our chances of defeating Stephen Harper and his foul regime have never been better.

He is mired in scandal, with the full impact of the Senate horror show still to wash over him. Or engulf him.

He's been slapped silly by the Supreme Court. His job creation policies are a total failure

Canadian employers created barely any jobs in July, surprising forecasters and reinforcing the Bank of Canada’s decision to keep interest rates low. Statistics Canada’s monthly tally of hiring and firing produced a net gain of 200 positions last month, as a 60,000 increase in part-time jobs marginally outweighed a 59,700 plunge in full-time positions.

So much for Great Economist Leader.

And his desperate attempts to smear Justin Trudeau have only made him look like even more of a disgusting bully. Or just DESPERATE.

With good reason. 

It appears that the Canadian public are now moving to the centre and left and this may arguably be a response to increasing fatigue to being governed from the right when Canadians are actually moving in a more progressive direction. 

Far from there being any apparent ascendance of the Conservatives as the new natural governing party, their reign appears to be closing and the recent surprising (though not to us) election of majority Liberal governments in Canada’s two largest provinces, may well be a harbinger of the end of the period of conservative political dominance in Canada.

For no matter what he does his popularity just keeps tanking. So sick of him are Canadians

Golly. If that's a reason to be depressed I don't know how I'm going to handle the good news eh?

Oh well, I'm happy to report that Clyde is adapting well to his new home in Harperland...

Although his English...or Canadian... needs a little work.

But he does have the right idea.

Cheer up eh?

Focus on our Canadian war.

And on the real enemy.

Defeat this monstrous leader...

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  1. Unfortunately, Simon, what Mulcair and Trudeau are doing is something that, as a long-ago immigrant, I've noticed most Canadian politicos do, and that is keep silent and let the other side hang itself in matters of policy...
    Like it or not, the tendency on the wee left, or what I call the picket fence crew, is to stay silent and let Harper keep piling the dirt on his own coffin...not a great deal for supporters to respond to, is there?
    Unfortunately, it's the Canadian way...and it is no wonder that so many are disaffected, I know I am..
    I admire very little about Junior Trudeau, especially his tendency to react like his dizzy mother instead of in a measured and intelligent way, like his father.... As for Mulcair, he couldn't catch a break from the media if he bought every information source in this country, and you know it...for better or worse, Trudeau is their darling, and Mulcair will be ignored unless it is some juicy 'scandal'
    Canadians, as always, must do a bit of their own homework, and come to their own conclusions..
    As for our so called 'left' responding to Israel's atrocities by supporting Israel and condemning their actions...sounds a bit oxymoronic, no? You either think it's swell to murder children and civilians in supposedly safe places, or you don't, end of...
    In my family (half of them are Jewish) it's really simple..anti-Semitic? Hardly...anti-Israeli aggression and genocidal tendencies? Absolutely and unequivocally...the Canadian public would be happy to find a leader who would articulate that sort of policy, no matter what side of that picket fence he (or she,) is on...Elizabeth May had no problem doing the right thing...why all the silence from our so-called leaders? Hmmmm, see above...

    1. Anonymous1:21 PM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. hi mizdarlin....I made my position clear in that post. As I have made my position on the slaughter of the innocent clear in other posts. When I mean supporting Israel I mean its right to exist, not support for its occupation policies. One can argue about whether it should have existed until the cows come home, but I find those arguments lead to bad places and since Israel does exist, and like Palestine is not going anywhere, I'd rather focus on the way out of this nightmare. Also, as you point out, this is Canada, and although I am extremely idealistic I am also extremely practical, and I know you must play with the cards you are given. There are many things I can think of to improve this country, but right now I am totally fixated on only one: the defeat of the Con regime. For without that there can be nothing good, and every things else is in vain. So I don't disagree with you, I just can't help thinking of the next move. We're in a political war, and we must let nothing get in the way of winning it, for defeat is not an option.
      Finally, I feel your comment about Margaret Trudeau was a bit intensive. Margaret wasn't dizzy, she was young, lonely, and bipolar. She is now an absolutely wonderful warm woman, who labours to get the word out about mental illness. And while Trudeau was brilliant, he was also cold, so I'm glad Justin has Margaret's genes in him. We need more cold fish in this frigid country like we need a hole in the head...

    3. Anonymous11:26 PM

      dear Simon --- I'm confused as to how the Harper should be defeated apart from exposing the total corruption and heaping well deserved scorn on those Cons. My concern is the weaknesses of the Trudeau Liberals and Mulcair NDP fighting for the same centre-left vote and allowing the odious Cons to win up the middle as they did in 2011. If the Liberals and NDP were united for 2011 we would have had a PM Layton, albeit for only a few weeks. As it stands now Harper has a chance to repeat his 2011 result in 2015.

      When will you begin to support either Trudeau or Mulcair rather than concentrating your worthy efforts attacking Harper? It seems your commentary is rather repetitive and numbing if I may say so. When will there be a positive tack to your comments? Thanks.

    4. hi're right after more than eight years of blogging against the Con regime I do repeat myself. I am conscious of that, and it bothers me. But whn you blog on a daily basis, even when you are tired, its practically inevitable, and I'd rather hammer the same message home, that stay silent like so many. The reason I haven't thrown my support behind the NDP or the Liberals is because I have always tried to be as non-partisan as possible, because it's very likely that whoever wins will have a minority government. So the NP and the Liberals will be forced to work together and I feel like I can best serve our cause by serving as a bridge between them. And also because I never will give up my dream of seeing progressives united. To be honest I am also conflicted as I explained in my post. Both Mulcair and Trudeau appeal to me for different reasons, so I can't make up my mind which I prefer. But I will make up my mind before the election campaign begins, and when I do I will let you all know....

    5. Anonymous2:28 PM

      Simon, your ambivalence over Trudeau and Mulcair is exactly what the hideous Cons are depending on for Canadians at large. This uncertainty will split the centre-left vote and allow the Cons to win up the middle again.

      Your justifiable anger against the Cons is becoming counterproductive and polarizing the Con vote while wavering between the Libs and Dips. Do you not see the problem?

      Your attacks on Harper are welcome, but soon you will have to stand up for either Trudeau or Mulcair, or else your message will be helping Harper in a perverse psychological manner. It's time to stand up for your next leader of Canada.

  2. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Canada has become a total cesspool of corruption especially since, Harper's so called majority. Never, has Canada sunk this low. Harper is a fascist dictator, from way back. Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. We also know, Conrad Black was a member of Harper's Northern Foundation. He was Harper's propaganda machine and the way, Black was permitted to come back into Canada.Then there was Wolfgang Droege and his Heritage Front.

    Elizabeth May is a good decent, democratic Canadian. She really does care about this country and the people in it. Harper loves Harper and that's all Harper cares about, he is your typical sociopath.

    That the monster Harper is still in office? Tells me all I need to know about Mulcair and Trudeau.

  3. Anonymous2:56 PM

    Welcome back to Hogtown Simon . Thanks for raising my spirit and making me smile.

    P.S. I love your new Scottish friend :-)

    1. hi anon...well thank you !!! I'm totally exhausted, but happy to be back. It may not be the happiest place on earth right now, but it is home. And yes isn't Clyde great? I was actually sitting in the big square in the heart of Glasgow when the real Clyde went by standing on the top of a double-decker bus with a film crew rolling. And when I waved back the film crew turned their cameras on me. So maybe they'll make a documentary about the games, and I'll get my three seconds of fame !!!! ;)

    2. I love Clyde. I have ferocious Tory-eating friends from Clydeside.

    3. hi lagatta...Isn't Clyde great? And yes, you don't fool around with the boys (and some girls) from Clydeside. And as the SNP likes to remind people, there are more Pandas in the Edinburgh Zoo than there are Con MPs in Scotland....

  4. Anonymous5:17 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Anonymous5:18 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. The two comments above were removed for being too Con. No further Con comments will be allowed on this blog. I find they drag us all down, and should be more properly scrawled on the walls of a toilet...

    1. Anonymous4:53 AM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. The comment from anonymous at 4:53 was removed because it was too Con and homophobic. Cons are the scummiest most evil creatures on earth and they will not flourish here...

    3. e.a.f.6:31 AM

      Thank you Simon. It really was troublesome to read it and then feel compelled to respond. Now we can get back to sane discussions.

  7. Well said Simon.

    While I was not happy with what I saw come out of our opposition leaders mouths on this issue it was by no means anywhere near enough for me to forget about the real threat we CAN do something about, namely the Harper threat. I have watched this exercise in pain and misery we call the Mid-East crisis for decades now, and while I abhor what I see happening I also recognize there is little I can do about it living here in Canada. The same cannot be said when it comes to choosing our federal governments, that is something I *CAN* have a direct impact on, same as every other Canadian voter, and I am not going to let my disappointment with the failure on this foreign policy issue, even one as painful as this one to watch, change my determination to make sure Harper and the CPC is GONE in the next election. For me that as I've said means supporting the Libs and Trudeau because I just do not see the necessary support nationally for the Mulcair NDP (if Layton couldn't manage it with his at the top of his game and against as weak a Lib leader as Ignatief in 2011, how can anyone seriously believe Mulcair can do so much better against a much stronger Trudeau, especially when the polling data from ALL the polls for well over a year now show that to be wishful thinking at best, utterly delusional at worst).

    The first step to changing our foreign policy is to changing our current federal government. I personally am not as convinced that Trudeau's view is what he really wants as I am of Mulcair's, in part because I suspect Trudeau was making sure he gave the Harper smear machine no room to work on this issue against him, whereas Mulcair made it party policy long before this latest crisis to muzzle dissent about Israeli government policy within the federal NDP to the chagrin of more than a few old time Dippers. That said, I do not know I am right about Trudeau, but even if I am not, and what he said truly reflects what he thinks it still is not enough to turn me away , and to be brutally honest here I am disgusted with anyone that claimed to support Trudeau/Libs or Mulcair/NDP because of how bad Harper was/is suddenly finding this to push them away from such support, because then to my mind they were never serious about stopping Harper from doing any more damage than he already has done. Those kinds of Harper "foes" are the ones who helped him get to where he is in the first place IMHO.

    So again Simon, well said, and I am glad you wrote this because it needs saying, and I think these days more progressives will tend to hear your voice then mine, given I am seen by too many as a tired old Liberal shill/operative out to destroy the NDP, yadda yadda yadda...*sigh*. Thanks again for having me!

    1. hi's always a pleasure to read what you have to say, and you are always welcome here, even if you are a tired old Liberal shill. ;) You summed up my feelings well. The horror of Gaza affects me deeply, and I will not shut up about it. But while I am helpless to do anything about it, I am not helpless to help defeat the Con regime. And at this stage in our history we must not let ANYTHING distract us from that objective. And yes, as you say, if we want a different and more Canadian foreign policy we need a new government...

    2. Anonymous2:21 PM

      Well said, Scotians, but I am concerned about the Mulcair NDP viciously attacking Trudeau both in Quebec and the RoC. Mulcair hates the Liberals and their privileged leader Trudeau; he won't go down in Quebec without a vicious fight.

      I can see the NDP as the main attackers against Trudeau because the NDP must hold and consolidate their position in Quebec and work on winning in the RoC.

      I'm not so concerned about the Harper Cons as I am about the Mulcair NDP attacking Justin in a most vicious manner to hold on to their OOP status and that depends on holding on to their Quebec MP base.

    3. Anon:

      And your point differs from how the NDP have acted in the past three federal elections how exactly? I don't see it as such a major issue this time for a few reasons, specifically the lack of personal warmth and connectivity that Layton had and brought to the NDP sales pitch in Mulcair; Trudeau is by far and away the most charismatic federal leader out there, and his having grown up the son of arguably Canada's greatest PM, certainly greatest in living memory gives him a credibility unlike anything anyone has ever had which makes him far harder to destroy the credibility of despite his lack of leadership experience prior to becoming Lib leader; and the fact that Harper has held office continuously for almost a decade and in this majority came more out of his pretense than ever before and revealed that he was the grave threat to Canadian values and policies so many, particularly the Libs, were making him out to be which makes him less appealing AND undercuts his strength in destroying other leaders.

      As for the Quebec fight, well, I am not as sure that is what some people think, because the NDP drew a lot of their vote from the nationalist side, not the federalist side, and with the collapse of the CPC in that Province the only real option for the federalist vote at the moment will be the Libs. Yes, it will get ugly, but ironically I suspect the more Mulcair tries to get in the dirt with Trudeau in Quebec the more in the end he will weaken himself and his party and strengthen the appeal of Trudeau.

      Trudeau has a message of positivity that feels genuine to people, something long absent from the federal political scene from a leader of one of the two main governing options historically, and given the clear undercurrents of outrage, disgust, and anger in the wider public towards the way the Harper Government (tm) has operated and Harper himself specifically I really think it will have an appeal much stronger than normal, much like Obama's in 2008 after the 8 years of Hell known as the Cheney Presidency fronted by GWB. Trudeau also speaks of governing with a team, as a team, which is our traditional approach to governing, he also speaks to valuing citizen input, and does so more convincingly than wither Harper or Mulcair does for those not already partisans of any of the three leaders.

      to be concluded...

    4. Conclusion:

      The NDP pushed its luck too far after 2011 IMHO, it would have been one thing if Layton has stayed leader, but with his death (which coming so close after the election makes it very hard for a lot of Canadians to believe he didn't know he was sick on the campaign trail and hid it while running for PM, which I know has irked more than a few that I've spoken to that voted NDP down in my region) followed by the assumption of the leadership by an outsider (which Mulcair is for many old time Dippers, being a Quebec Lib with little to no connections to traditional NDP environs/communities aside from his time as Environment Minister in Quebec) the NDP is not in a position of strength, and there are clear rumblings within the party core base questioning whether this is an NDP they recognize and are willing to follow.

      The NDP and Mulcair grew arrogant and fell into the trap they always accuse others of falling into, namely believing in their own entitlement to their perks and that they were now the natural next governing party once the Harper CPC fell. They like Harper and the CP Csay Trudeau as a lightweight, well so did former Sen Brazeau before that charity boxing match and look what that got him, Trudeau is impressing people far more than his detractors appear able to even perceive, let alone believe, they are so locked into their own belief in his shall we say insubstantiallity.

      So I am of the opinion that the NDP will do as you suggest, but I also suspect it will not work out the way it has in the past few elections for them, indeed I predict if anything it will backfire on them. However, I do suggest that you underestimate just how much the Harper/CPC machine will target Trudeau, in no small part because they can see that the Mulcair NDP is not as capable of doing so as the Layton NDP had been in the last few elections.

  8. e.a.f.6:33 AM

    If the boys don't watch out, voters will wind up voting for Ms. May and we could have the first Green Party government in Canadian history,. It would be funny and it might just help things along here in B.C. as we learch through our environmental disaster in Likely, B.C.