Sunday, August 30, 2015
What I Believe This Election Should Be About But So Far Isn't
It has to be the strangest election campaign I have ever known. In the condo jungle where I live it's hard to know one is even underway. There are no lawns, so there are no lawn signs.
I have received only one pamphlet, from the local Con candidate. Which I quickly turned into a paper plane, and floated out of my window.
In the fond hope that it might land on someone's head, and gently remind them that we are in a battle that will determine whether this country lives or dies.
For that is what bothers me the most about this election so far. That even though the stakes are so high, the campaign messages are so small.
Now that the Duffy trial has recessed, the debate seems to be all about the economy, and balanced budgets and deficits.
Which may be important, but by themselves could never motivate me. Because for me this election should be about much bigger things.
Starting with Stephen Harper's serial abuse of power.
Victor Juhasz/National Observer
Because without a healthy democracy all other things are irrelevant. And real change will never happen.
It should be about the future of our threatened medicare system.
Which Stephen Harper has been stealthily strangling from the moment he came to power. But is so far not an issue in this campaign.
It should be about pensions, the ones Harper doesn't believe in...
Because if more is not done to improve them, millions of Canadians will be condemned to end their lives in poverty and misery.
It shouldn't just be about the middle class. It should also be about the poor who are suffering the most.
The election should also be about the Con regime's foreign policy which has shamed us in the eyes of the world.
And of course it should be about climate change, which even though it's the biggest threat we face as humans, is being all but ignored. Even as the forests burn and the oceans rise.
But most of all, this election should be about the country we want to be. A country of Canadian not Con values.
It should be about a shining vision of something better. One that can raise us out of the gutter of partisan politics, or naked greed. And help inspire the idealistic young to join in the struggle.
So in that regard, I've got to say, I'm with Jane...
For let's be clear, without that stirring idealism, or the idea of belonging to a noble cause that is bigger than yourself, many of the young will not be moved. And neither will many others.
Which is exactly what Harper wants...
And the good news? Despite all our mistakes, despite the toxic partisanship, despite the smallness of the campaign so far, we seem to be winning.
The Duffy trial has hurt Harper...
Trapped him in his web of lies, and revealed the inner corruption of his monstrous regime.
His phony reputation as a Great Economist Leader is being slowly shredded...
His polls seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
And the winds of change are still blowing in our favour harder than ever.
But still we can do better.
Let's raise our sights. Let's make this campaign a battle to save our country.
And stop Harper.
Let's fight the real enemy instead of each other.
Let's change the future and make every vote count...
And let's make sure that this time, after such a long nightmare.
We raise our precious flag high.
Go forth bravely to defeat the monstrous Con regime.
And all vote for our Canada...
Our big beautiful country is in terrible danger.
And history will never forgive us, if we are too small to save it....
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And of course, call a halt to ecocide!
I guess part of the explanation for the lack of vision in this campaign, Simon, is the toll that nine-plus years of Harper rule have taken on the Canadian psyche. For nine long years we have been subjected to the Con message of worrying only about ourselves, forgetting about the fact that we live in a country bound by values and traditions that were forged long before Harper and his ilk came along. The message that government is bad, taxes are bad, social programs are bad has sunk into our consciousness, and now the other 'leaders' are simply pandering to that cribbed vision.
BTW, one thing I would add to your list is pharmacare, an idea whose time has surely come.
The only economic action plan the Cons ever had was to pump 5 to 10 mil barrels of oil per day and use some of the proceeds to ensure their long prosperous future by subverting anyone considered non essential or a possible threat; this included most Canadians. The sudden collapse of oil prices completely caught them by surprise and threw their strategy into a temporary tail spin. Hopefully Canadians will use the opportunity to give them the boot and strengthen parliamentary procedures that will prevent the PMO from seizing control of our democratic system in the future. Now that the Cons have shown the way, it must be a real temptation for all parties to stay in power by tampering with the rules of the game instead of the more traditional kick back / organized special interest methods of supporting the party's next election. Time will tell if our next leader is up to the challenge and enacts legislation to close the door on this type of strategy.
I'm Voting for Canada!
Interesting that you seem to reflect what I feel, Simon.
Remember how Trudeau had gone off topic in the debate during the section on Democratic Reform? Instead of going after Harper's systematic abuse of democratic principles, he had gone after Mulcair on the 50+1% issue/Clarity Act, created confusion when the moderator did not remind him that he was off topic (it took Liz May to scold the participants for doing this), and ended up giving Harper the opportunity to mock both himself and Mulcair for feuding like little kids on a non existent (i.e. sovereignty) issue.
You would think that the smart thing to do would have been to continue to educate the disengaged public, some of whom are just starting to pay attention and wake up to the abuses of power by the PMO in the Duffy affair. You would think that he would spend the next few days after the trial had recessed to remind voters of what had been brought up and how it is important to get our country back. Instead, he immediately switched the channel to deficits and balancing the budget. All this noise over what was essentially a very small deficit that he was proposing to run over the next few years. In other words, all this noise over what appeared to be a concious attempt to drive a wedge between the policies of his own party and those of the NDP.
Sad, isn't it, especially when we are now hearing that Harper is using ex military people to remove a member of the public from asking a question ? What good is balancing, or not balancing the budget, if we lose our democracy, eh?
I will not be voting for the Harper Government this election and will be spending some time on various news sites and blogs campaigning against them.
I do not think they have followed through on the promises they made in the 2006 election campaign.
In case anyone is interested (in addition to using this website and entering various search terms into the main search engines) I am using the following sites to gather information and news stories on the Harper Government to use in my campaign on the internet:
Is there any other sites anyone can add to this list?
Twitter search - Harper
"Create a National Security Review Committee to ensure effective oversight and a greater degree of accountability and transparency regarding Canada’s national security efforts."
The fact is the SRC only meets a few times a year (once?) and is badly underfunded. It CANNOT ensure effective oversight.
Last February Toronto Star columnist Tom Harper said on CTV's Power Play that SIRC (Security Intelligence Review Committee) is understaffed and underresourced, and "even the current members are saying that, and they're an after the fact review. They are not an oversight mechanism. But this is legislation that's being legislated by the clock. Talk about ramming it through. He's (Stephen Harper) turning Parliament into a drive-thru in his haste to get this legislation passed, and we're not going to get amendments or any kind of oversight."
The real campaign won't get underway until after the labour day weekend. Harper called an early election but strategists know you can not run a campaign with all your workers going flat out for that long. people can do it for a month or so, but for a couple of months, you achieve burn out. that's just the human aspect, then there is the financial aspect, which of course doesn't concern the cons. right now people are on vacation and its been hot so don't expect there to be lots of sign crews putting them up. Strategists know people forget, so why waste big bucks now. the real crunch will come in Oct. .
In B.C./Alberta there were very few signs as a drove there and back in Aug. There are a few more signs up on Vancouver Island now, but not many. You see more I Vote CBC or I Vote for home deliver for Canada Post, than actual party signs.
Parties are just trying out a few things right now. Next month the real fun starts and the real knives come out, not to mention a new trial. This time its Bruce Carson and although most have forgotten about him, it maybe more damaging than Duffy's.
hi lagatta....yes I uncluded that one, but could have added so much more. This isn't a government anymore, it's a criminal conspiracy and a fascist pantomime....
hi Lorne...I think you're right. We have been ground down by so many years of Harper rule, we have come to accept what was once unacceptable as somehow normal. And yes, his malignant influence is driving our politics in the wrong direction. As for pharmacare, I couldn't agree more. I see it as an integral part of medicare. For what good are doctors, if patients can't afford their medication. The Canadian Medical Association estimates that one in five Canadians on medication are in that position. But I believe the number is much higher. And while we're at it, I would also include denticare, because teeth are part of the body, and improper care can lead to many complications. Some people will say we can't afford it. But we can easily afford it, if as a society we have the right priorities...
hi RT....yes, their economic strategy was brutally simplistic and shortsighted, they failed to protect our manufacturing sector, they cost the country 400,000 good jobs, and in ten years in power failed to come up with a new industrial strategy or prepare us for a greener future.They have failed absolutely, and you're right we need to curb the presidential powers of the PMO, and return our country to a true parliamentary democracy...
hi Kathleen...Good for you !!! That makes two of us...;)
hi anon...I couldn't agree with you more. What good is balancing or not balancing a budget, if we lose our democracy? What good is fighting ourselves when a mad dictator is torching our country? If only for this time, we need to put your country first. To do anything else is simply insane, and we will regret it forever...
hi anon....you can find more material on National Newswatch http://www.nationalnewswatch.com
And on progressive sites like Leadnow and the Council of Canadians. The more informed Canadians are, the sooner we will restore our country and its values...
hi David....the lack of oversight is one of the worst aspects of the new and unnecessary powers we are giving our security forces. Interestingly enough even some Conservative groups agree with that. It should be obvious that without proper oversight, we will end up making the same mistakes as the British and the Americans.It couldn't be more obvious and it couldn't be more dangerous...
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