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....


  1. Formidable post,Simon!

  2. The reason the Liberals, bloc, and NDP formed a coalition was do to women's rights, workers' rights, and democracy. It had to do with economic justice for the many.
    If Iggy accepts this budget and does not demand economic just for workers and women, he is saying that the "many" are less valued.
    At the end of the day, Harper cannot be trusted. What is all this stuff targeted to the middle class with jobs?

  3. If the Cons don't do the right and decent thing. Defeat them. Crush them.

    Finish them off....

    Absolutely! You called it what it is, a PR exercise. Hullaballo's pointed out the incredible discrepancy between the amount of money earmarked for labour compared to what was earmarked for banks and investment companies. The stark contrast is obscene.

  4. At this time we don't need money throw out without any thought of our
    future social and economic needs. Flaherty's matching municipality
    infrastructure spending,will create not is going to create lots of
    poor located shiny new highways/transit-ways and burn up our economic
    reserves so that we will not have it to meet real social needs of our
    ageing population to create real stimulus of new business and

    Creating opportunities for new businesses and expansion requires
    lowering barriers to entry and lowering collective costs. Flaherty's
    budget has completely missed the mark on both accounts and worst still
    it creates a deeper economic hole without improved economic

    In a few years we will have a few shiny new highways as monuments,
    perhaps some white elephants to. Cities looking to improve their
    efficiency need redevelopment around efficient transit systems which
    improve mobility of everyone, rich, poor, old, and young. Efficient
    transit enables students to more education opportunities, more
    employment opportunities without disrupting social networks, and
    social opportunities to old, young. These improved education and
    employment opportunities are achieved at less cost than owning
    personal transportation. We currently have holiday from high oil
    prices, demand requires a return of much higher oil prices than we
    have today. With a lower cost of living we are able to lower our cost
    and increase our global competitiveness. Redevelopment required for
    efficient transportation requires taking into the account the social
    value of land location through land value rather than property taxes.
    Without the required redevelopment money transit-ways will also be
    wasted from under usage. If we solve the problem of inefficient
    redevelopment we will also insure transportation infrastructure
    spending is efficiently allocated.

    We need to invest in education of heath care professionals today to
    minimize cost of caring for our ageing population. By preparing now
    while students are looking further their studies to weather the
    economy, we not only provide education for necessary jobs, we will be
    able to meet future health care demands at lower cost.

    Efficient economies require competition from low barriers to entry
    which provide greater competition. There are many examples of high
    barriers which limit competition in the Canadian marketplace and
    increase supply chain cost which in turn drive business offshore to
    more competitive marketplaces. Wireless internet devices/networks are
    an increasing growing market. Unfortunately wireless internet is not
    competitive and this cost makes it harder for individuals and small
    business owners to compete in the world market place.

    Increasing wireless competition can be obtained by separating wireless
    tower ownership from retail customer wireless sales, much like
    separating long distance carriers from retail telephone increase
    carrier competition. Instead of selling spectrum licenses, regulate
    the wireless quality and facilitate bulk wireless bandwidth sales.
    This will enable retail cellar companies and retail wireless internet
    companies to purchase bulk wireless bandwidth in regions they wish to
    provided service from competing tower owners. The opportunities here
    are enormous and are likely to play key role in the wireless
    technology boom we are about to enter. By moving to competitive
    wireless data model Canadian company will gain head start and by
    through this competitive marketplace be prepared for world
    competition. Government regulation is required to prevent tower owners
    from withholding bandwidth sales and to insure bandwidth quality.

    Throw the business development which will grow a competitive
    marketplace we will have stronger economy in the future.
    Transportation infrastructure and housing are needed. Unfortunately
    this budget is very inefficient at both stimulating economic growth
    and meeting future social needs.

    To effectively simulate the economy and prepare to meet future social
    needs this budget must be rejected.

  5. Anonymous6:09 PM

    "If the Cons don't do the right and decent thing. Defeat them. Crush them.

    Finish them off...."

    lol... and you guys think Harper was Destroying Canadian Democracy! by trying to end people's tax money going to political parties.

    Do you take lessons from the BTs or when you call them hypocritical is it just you looking in the mirror?

  6. Hi Oemissions....thanks a lot. As you probably know I usually lead with my heart...with sometimes disastrous results ;)
    But this time I think my head came along for the ride and I challenge anyone to dispute the facts....

  7. Hi Jan...the Harper budget is nothing but smoke and mirrors designed to make it appear like he's doing something.
    They ripped off the few good parts from the Coalition plan, but there is no coordinated drive, the tax cuts are just a nod to their wretched neocon base, and when you look at the real stimulus itself...it's just PEANUTS. If things really go south we could be in for some really awful times...

  8. Hi Beijing...yup you noticed it too. I'm not an economist... but after looking what other countries are doing I have to agree with something Robert at My Blahg said.
    It's a stimulus budget prepared by a bunch of people who don't believe in stimulus budgets.
    Until we get rid of these incompetent ideologues anything could happen...

  9. Hi Socially Active....Wow. I was just telling Beijing I'm an economic dummy. But after reading your comment now I feel like a GENIUS :)
    Seriously though you are absolutely right. This economic emergency should have been used to retool us for the future...instead of throwing money in all directions.
    The image of shiny highways at a time when we should be getting away from the tyranny of the car is very striking.
    When you see what they are doing in some parts of Europe and you see what we're not doing it's very depressing.
    If ever Canada needed new thinking, now is the time...

  10. Hi Da Wolfe...I mean finish them off as a government by uniting the 60 plus per cent of Canadians who are centre-left and don't vote for Harper.
    And yes I do believe that Harper's decision to change the funding rules overnight would have seriously damaged our political system by giving the 30 percent plus an unfair advantage over the others.
    If they had suggested the funding plan be phased in over say five to ten years it wouldn't have particularly bothered me. But they didn't.
    And no I don't take any lessons from the Blogging Tories. I'm nonpartisan so I would if I could find any. But so far no luck... ;)