Archive for the ‘ Election 2008 (Canada) ’ Category

Will He Resign & Should He?

Liberal leader Stephane Dion is expected to announce his resignation as leader of the Liberal Party on Monday. Rumor has it anyhow, that the rising chorus of dissatisfaction makes him staying on nearly impossible. I really wonder if we aren’t really giving the man his due? Naturally, as leader, the ultimate responsibility is his, but was it his fault for the defeat, or was it his advisers and party planners?

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion is expected to announce on Monday that he will resign as party leader, after a growing chorus of MPs have been calling for him to step aside, including two party veterans and a newly elected member. (source – CBC News)

I can remember back in the day when a leader was given time to adjust, to formulate policy and not be under attack from within, least until after more than just one election. Then too, let’s look at those who are calling for the resignation. I mean Bob Rae? A newly elected member? Seems a bit suspect to me, but then we do iive in a very unforgiving world.

I think Dion was a good leader, but he didn’t have the killer instinct needed to combat the nastiness of Stephen Harper. Question is though, was it all his fault or did his advisors drop the ball as well? I mean in all honesty, I liked the idea of his Green Shift Plan, because I KNOW it is going to be needed, and if we delay it too long, it will cost a hell of a lot more, than doing it now.

The real issue is that we need a street fighter to lead not just the Liberal Party, but all of the Opposition Parties, inclding the NDP Party. Given how Stephen Harper has turned off nearly 4 out of 10 voters, and has only managed to win with less than 4 out of 10 voters, it is obvious that for anyone to dethrone this puppet of big business, will have to be fiery, and imaginative. While I believe Dion is imaginative, he simply isn’t fiery enough, to inspire people to get out and vote for him.

So, yes, he should probably resign, and do so with dignity, unlike how the Conservatives do things. The real question is, will there be anyone to step up and fill that essential criteria? I don’t think Bob Rae or Ignatieff is the answer. Perhaps the Liberals should be looking deeper than a big name leader, or maybe not?

Justin Trudeau comes to mind.

The way he spoke at his father’s funeral, how he stood his ground in choosing where to run for Parliament, and how he refused to back down from it, simply to gain a seat at any cost. That speaks volumes these days, given how ethics, values, & morals, seem to be non existent. I don’t know if he will run, or should, but damn it could be an interesting mix. Young Trudeau versus the nasty Harper would be interesting to see; After all Pierre Trudeau did teach his kids well, but in all honesty, not this go round will that happen.

So who then? I guess we will have to wait and see, once a leadership election is called, but hopefully it won’t be a long drawn out affair like the last one. I would much prefer a shorter run towards the convention, and more on air debates, than last time. 

At the same time, I’d really like to see a change in attitude with all the opposition parties. To see more real differences between them & Harper. Frankly that shouldn’t be as hard as it has been, given how there are real differences between them. I would hope that the Liberal Party will step back up, to regain its middle of the road status, and to once more lead Canada. We are truly going to need some real leadership once we get rid of the bigots and racists that now hold power.

Time may not be on any new leader either, given how volatile the economy is, and how the upcoming budget could be a make or break moment for this latest Harper government.

What Have We Done?

Harper’s Conservatives get 143 seats, Liberals drop to 74, Bloc gets 50 and the Green’s are shut out again. At the same time, only 6 out of 10 Canadians voted for anyone. It makes me wonder, if that isn’t perhaps the whole plan behind the attack politics of the Narrow Minded? The so called Conservative movement that has mastered the fine art of making everyone afraid of the other guy, while never explaining their own policies.

All I know is that we have, collectively, returned a party to power that is anything but representative of old time Canadian values and morals. In truth I find the Harper Tories to be mean spirited, and more akin to the Bush Republicans. He is the new wave, the Sarah Palin for Canada, and as we are entering a very dangerous time for the world, I really don’t believe they are the right choice.

Am I bitter? Perhaps, but more disappointed than anything. The problem in defeat is trying to move on, and I don’t know if that is possible with someone like Stephen Harper. The man shows no humilty, instead exhibits a lot of Bush’s arrogance. It makes it hard to swallow, but it does make one a bit more determined to push ahead, to ready for the next battle. How soon that will be is hard to say, but a lot is now going to depend on the collective leadership of the Opposition parties.

What went wrong that more seats were won by Harper?

It is going to be the question being sought for weeks to come and I think we can expect some fallout in who will lead the opposition parties. I think Duceppe is safe in his position, and I think Layton will weather any fallout. Can Dion retain his leadership will be the hard one, but he is a tough fighter, so time will tell there. I am disappointed in Elizabeth May, but I think she was under a huge handicap given how the media basically ignored her and her party.

A lot of soul searching needs to be done, by not just the political parties but I think by us, the voters. We let ourselves down, because way too many stayed home during a time when we should have been flooding the polling stations, to give a real voice to our concerns. I think that too many used the excuse that it wouldn’t make a dfference, so we ended up with another Harper minority.

This could be interesting, because I think this winter could bring home to a lot of people, just how huge of a mistake this has been. Part of me hopes I am wrong, because a lot of people will suffer for this horrendous error.

Harper Gains Victory

Well, the results are coming in, and the media should be happy, they got their Conservative Minority government, thought I wonder, did they even know what it will mean?

This is not a happy night, but the people have spoken. I don’t know where the other political parties will go from here, but I suppose politics in Canada has just joined the policies of Defeat. A vote for Harper, a larger vote than before, shows that Attack Ads work, that Nastiness wins the day, and that is a sad state of affairs.

Harper is my Prime Minister, but it doesn’t make me proud of being Canadian. From the hassle of the new ID at the polls, to the gimmicks and phony emails, Harper has won re-election. How it plays out will depend on the Economy, and if it plays out as it has in the United States, it won’t be a pretty picture.

Good Luck, this could be a rough winter.

It Is About Leadership

Today is the day, and I am hoping that people have long memories. I am praying really that we all sit back, and look beyond the fear commercials, the attack ads, that signify a Stephen Harper ad. It also signifies more than that, it signifies an attempt to obscure the issues, rather than answer them.

Leadership is not just about sticking to a plan, but being willing to accept that other’s may have a better solution. Even if it comes from your rival. Again, something Stephen Harper does not do. Instead, he sticks to his plan, whatever it is, even when it is proven by all that it isn’t working. He will not change it, unless the polls tell him to. Just like George Bush, and we have all seen how that has worked out for the United States, and THE WORLD.

This election was called, according to Stephen Harper, because he couldn’t work with Parliament. He felt that he needed a mandate, which in all fairness, might be true. However, why couldn’t he work with the other Opposition Parties? Did he break his last election promise, because the Liberals & NDP were blocking all of his programs, or was it simple an attempt to sneak one in?

Think about it, because given how quickly the Economy went into the dumper, from having a huge surplus just a few years ago, one has to wonder what Stephen Harper isn’t telling us. Does he know that we are actually in a deficit, or is that just the opposition parties hype?

Stephane Dion on the other hand, has shown amazing calm in this election. He has stuck to his plan, just as Harper has, but unlike Harper, he has defended it. I am still trying to figure out what Harper’s plan is, let alone figure out if it is the right one. Dion at least has put his out, and has made some good points on it.

He didn’t panic, but showed that he could adapt to a rapidly changing situation. Jack Layton & Elizabeth May also were quite able to adapt, to tweak their plans to meet the challenges the downturn created, yet Stephen Harper refused to even acknowledge there was a problem, until the day of the Debate, just a week ago. He refused to even discuss, as of today, just what his plan is to keep our Economy out of trouble, while Dion has calmly moved ahead, listing jobs, talking about the infrastructure. He had talked about restoring government oversight on the fuel industry, while Stephen Harper says the market will sort itself out. Just as George Bush has said for years now.

Jack Layton has hammered at Harper, about how he has favored Corporate Interests over the good of the nation, and he is right. I am not so sure I like his style, but then again, maybe it is the style needed to put Stephen Harper in his place, which is RETIREMENT.

I don’t know about you, but frankly I wish we had a real choice these days. I simply don’t understand how anyone can want to be Prime Minister, but be so gutless. The plans are not plans, really, though I will say that Elizabeth May & Stephane Dion come close, they just don’t, quite make it for me. Jack Layton is too much show this time, too little last time, so maybe third time around he’ll strike the right balance.

Dion is calm, and he does come out fighting. I rather like his passion too, and even in his broken English, you can see how much he cares for Canada. I see it in flashes with Jack Layton, with Elizabeth May, but I don’t see it with Stephen Harper. I have never seen it actually, only disdain for the others, hatred for Dion. I don’t understand that, I mean okay, they are on opposite sides, but why hate?

You know, the funny thing is I am a Conservative. I am more inclined to support fiscal policies that are more tightly watched than say under a Liberal Government, or an NDP Government. We have had both here in BC, but I have to say, the policies of the Real Conservatives have always attracted me. Yet, ever since Brian Mulroney and their close association with the Corporate Elite, I find myself drifting away. What today’s Conservatives stand for scares me.

I haven’t seen such anger, such hatred in a long time. And not just about the other side, but about issues that for the most part, Canadians took in stride. Tolerances of DIFFERENCES were always something uniquely Canadian. Yet today, under Harper we have lost that ability, have become very polarized. I find that unsettling, specially if we head into tough economic times. It is in those times when minorities suffer the most, because they get the blame for the ills of society.

Being both Gay & Jewish, that has real meaning for me as I look to the future. At least with someone like Dion, Layton and even May, I sense a better chance of not just avoiding those economic times, but that if they happened, that minorities wouldn’t be the target. I don’t get that sense from Stephen Harper. In fact I get the exact opposite feeling. I feel threatened, as both a Jew and as a Homosexual.

That is the bottom line I think. Maybe it is paranoia, but I don’t think so. Stephen Harper is too close to those who preach hate, who practice hate, who exhale hate with each breath. They do it, because they fear those who are different. They claim a religious mantle but the truth is, they are as far apart from GOD as any person could be. They use it as a way to make their campaign of hate, of intolerance, palatable for many. After all, a real believer doesn’t hate. Yet that is what I saw in stephen Harper’s eyes each time he looked at those who disagreed with him. Just as I see it in his policies that are shrouded in secrecy.

Vote your conscience, but vote. I hope it will be ANYONE BUT CONSERVATIVE.

Voting Issue 1

Okay folks, today is the day, so GET OUT AND VOTE no matter what. If it is rainy, snowy, whatever, this is your country, and YOU DECIDE WHO WILL RUN IT FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS, SO VOTE!

So there are lots of issues that have come up this election. Let’s discuss a few, to sort of help us decide who we will put that X beside. Will it be a return of the Harper Regime, that really takes it cue from the Do Nothing Congresses of the United States, or will we opt for change, and VOTE FOR ANYONE BUT CONSERVATIVE?

Right now I bet one of the most important issues has to be the Economy.

I suppose it comes down to some simple truths. Who do we trust to keep our economy on track in this wild and wacky climate of panic, that has gripped the world? Some say it is the doomsday scenario, that the world is headed to a financial melt down. SO WHO DO YOU TRUST TO GUIDE US THROUGH THIS MESS?

Stephen Harper has been in charge for nearly 3 years. He has taken a robust economy, with a big surplus, and today we aren’t even sure we have a surplus. Our Industry is tanking, because of his support of the Bush Economic Plan, which is de-regulation and corporate profits before anything else.

Until last week, Stephen Harper was still quoting George Bush’s line about the economy being basically sound, and now he admits that it isn’t as sound as he first claimed. In fact, until the day before the debate, he didn’t think it was worth any added time for discussion, dismissed Jack Layton‘s call for a meeting between leaders, and has still rejected a call by Premiers to meet on the Economy. Yet on the day of the debate, it suddenly became an issue, thanks to the polling numbers.

Not sure that makes him very trustworthy or safe to have in charge of an ever changing economy.

Stephan Dion has not been in charge, but he is passionate about Canada, and despite the tough economic times, he is determined that we need to shift from fossil fuels to a more environmental plan, that will, over time remove our dependency on fossil fuels. To that end, it is different, and also perhaps expensive. However, he is claims he will balance the cost between taxing business that pollutes, to tax rebates to make up for increased costs to the citizens.

Dion makes the case that either we pay for it now, or we will really pay for it later, meaning it will be much more expensive, and in more than just taxes. Plus, you have to admire someone who thinks he is doing the right thing, even if it may mean costing money.

I like Dion’s calm and steady approach to the crisis. He was able to quickly come up with a plan to insure we didn’t fall into deficit, unlike Stephen Harper. Now while Harper calls it panic, I call it adapting to change, before it becomes overwhelming. That is something both George Bush & Stephen Harper have failed to do. The signs have been there for some time, but both Bush & Harper have ignored them, have failed to put into place mechanisms to help prevent what is going on today.

Dion shows his ability to act quickly, when needed. That is leadership qualities we need.

Jack Layton really hasn’t talked much about the Economy. He does have an environmental plan, that is more about the environment, than the economy. However he does take the stand that corporate tax breaks need to be re-directed into other areas. I like that because while the economy falters, corporate profits seem to always be going up. Doesn’t make sense to give them more tax cuts, which Stephen Harper wants to do.

I liked how Jack Layton has stuck to his guns, has questioned the lack of planning by Harper, but I am not sure he can effectively deal with the crisis facing economies world wide. I agree, tax cuts to business needs to be ended, as that entire policy simply has proven to not work. However, I don’t quite see how he plans to get our industries back.

It is nice to want more doctors, but where did they go? How did we suddenly get less doctors, and I think the real shortage issue is the hours most doctors operate on. Family Doctors seem to work on average here, about 25 hours per week, but last time I checked, a normal work week was 40 hours.

His attacks on the daycare issue forgets one simple point. He voted with Harper to defeat the Martin Government, that had an accord reached that would give real daycare to single parents, very much like his current plan. So that isn’t really a Liberal fault, but partially his.

I do like his prescription drug plan, and I do believe he will stick to his word, something Stephen Harper has yet to do. So that too makes Jack Layton a worthy leader, however I am not so sure about his team. Dion does have a much better, much more experienced team to work with, than does Jack. Still Jack Layton & the NDP would be much better than Harper.

Elizabeth May is hard to understand. I mean to begin with the Media really hasn’t given her a fair shot, and has pretty well limited their coverage to Harper, Dion, Layton,  & Duceppe. I am rather miffed about that, because she is running a full slate of candidates, while Duceppe is strictly running in Quebec.

The Green Party is well known in Europe, and from what I have heard from friends who live there, they have done amazingly well in managing the balance between the Economic needs and the Environmental needs of the region. I only wish we had more details given to us, from the media, but then, Harper & Layton weren’t about to let her into the debates either. So I wonder, what were they afraid of?