Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Why the Coalition Should Topple the Cons
I guess this photo-op sums up how I feel about today's Budget. It was supposed to be an informal snapshot of the Harper Team working on the nation's business. Only a CBC reporter on their news channel came up with a detailed map showing where everyone should sit or stand.
So it was hardly surprising that the budget itself was nothing but a giant PR exercise.
It spews money in every direction to try to buy votes. It depends too much on shared funding from cash-strapped municipalities, its tax cuts are peanuts that will cost us dearly later on. It does almost nothing to encourage a greener economy. And it continues this foul Con government's war on Canadian women, with nothing for childcare spaces, and an assault on pay equity.
But its most catastrophic omission is that it it fails to adequately reform the Employment Insurance system and prepare it to cope with the enormous tide of human misery that could be coming its way. Because as I pointed out yesterday EI in Canada these days is completely inadequate.
Cuts in the early 1990s mean barely half of the country's unemployed today – and fewer than a quarter in Toronto – are eligible for benefits. Those lucky enough to qualify often get far less than poverty-level incomes. And for almost everyone scrambling to find work as the economy crumbles, benefits run out too soon.
And if more people don't become eligible, and benefits are increased, millions of Canadians could be forced into lives of grinding poverty, welfare rolls could swell, and our whole safety net could collapse.
Whatever Michael Ignatieff decides to include in his amendment tomorrow it must include a demand to reform the EI system. And if the Cons don't agree, then the opposition should topple them, and the Coalition should form a new and more Canadian government.
Because abandoning millions of Canada's most vulnerable citizens to the horror of what could be a brutal soul destroying economic apocalypse is simply unthinkable...if we are to continue to call ourselves Canadians.
The Coalition for Change has done some amazing things already in its short life.
It has changed the political dynamic in this country. It stopped Stephen Harper's attempt to destroy our political system. It made him grovel and beg for his job.....and violate everything he ever believed in.
It has made his fanatical neocon ideologues look like IDIOTS, forced them to pretend to be ConLiberals, and come up with money for such things as social housing...which they NEVER would have done otherwise.
Now it must do even more. At a time of national emergency, when so many Canadians face unimaginable misery, Canada must be Canada.....not a neocon jungle.
If the Cons don't do the right and decent thing. Defeat them. Crush them.
Finish them off....