Monday, October 13, 2008

thanks given

picture from Garth Turner'स blog (ask him where he got it)

Almost there. Thanks given for that. On Tuesday, we will go to the polls as the markets continue to roil and twist. It's great that we will have a PM that talks soothingly of us not being the US, and that his steady hand on the tiller is just the ticket in an incomprehensible future. I was so reassured when he spoke of no bail-outs for banks - no socialization of the risk that some of us have so "astutely" avoided. I was not even surprised when "we" bought a bunch of unknown quality mortgages from our Big 5 Banks - that collectively made over $19 Billion in profits last year, and record, multi-billions in profits for the last ten years. (almost the $24 billion that we just gave 'em!) Reportedly, they are backed by CMHC/YouAndMe. I'm wagering that they are the 0% Down-40 Year Amortization variety. 40% of mortgages last year were of that flavour.

Harper had no platform until 4 days ago. He expected that his millions of dollars of negative campaigning against Dion for the last two years would let him cake walk it. He thought that the average Canadian is a willing denizen of a "Northern European welfare state", and more than a little slow in the head. That is the thing about narcissistic, sociopath, ideologues - they truly revile "ordinary" people, and think that we are stupid. We are (collectively), but not that dumb. Only about 30% of the population that are first past the post (because they have been tied to it) are.

On Friday came news that Harper's own special FBI forensic audiologistic super-G-man with all kinds of fancy oscilloscopes, and anti-matter x-ray glasses (and whatever else they have down there in Warshington) determined that the Zyartuk tape of Harper discussing the (alleged) attempted bribery of Chuck Cadman - is authentic, and not tampered with in any way. Harper now will not answer any reporters' questions in the last two days of the campaign. I guess it must be pretty awkward for him - running to be PM, and all - to answer questions about perjury, and bribery - not to mention interference in the workings of Parliament. Those are criminal charges by the way. Transparency, Accountability, and Standing Up and Urinating on Canada.

I am still undecided. I know that I will definitely not vote Conservative. The candidate was too arrogant, or was not allowed, to show up at the all-candidates meetings. That seems to be a very strong pattern, and who would vote for that? I'm still pretty partial to a semblance of democracy, and to the illusion that my vote is a sacred trust. I don't have any use for Harper, or any on his front bench. They are, the bunch of them, bellowing, bellicose, buffoons, and I dearly hope to see them disappear up their own Points of Order.

It won't be Liberal, because the candidate is a twit. I'll say no more than that.

NDP? The most likely, and probably, most effective prospect for MP. But the platform, and the leader, are...um, unlikely, ungainly, unrealistic. Romantic though, and Layton was good with the platform-under-the-sweater quip.

Green is good. I like the leader, and I like the platform, but the candidate was uninspiring.

I liked both the Marxist-Leninist lady, and the Communist guy, a lot, but I don't do "isms" of any kind. I might vote for one of them though, just to please my unruly rebel side.

The Libertarian was a joke. I was probably the only one who clapped for him. Hey, he had the guts to run, and paid the registration fee, so I thought he deserved some recognition.

So there you have my point of view. I hope that I have not gagged too many with my rants. I hope that you have read beyond my own diatribes, and cast an informed ballot - no matter who it is for. I just hope that it isn't for those guys - you know who. I am glad to live in a riding where my vote will have little effect on whether or not a Con gets in. I'm glad to not live in Van.-Quadra, or other of those tight ridings. Then I would feel compelled to hold my nose.

I thought that the quote below (from MacLeans) summed it up more concisely than I.(but with regrettable formatting)
comment by RyanD on Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 1:48 pm:

Soccermom- “Harper’s too good of a PM for this whining, entitlement-driven country anyway.”

Well, apperantly you and Harper both agree on the fact that you hate the country he wants to lead (see “failed European welfare state comments, etc…). Geee….I wonder why Canadians wouldn’t want a PM who doesn’t like them?!
Just to be clear, what do you use as your criteria for “good”? Is it the plagiarism (also see- “theft”), the desire to send adolescents to jail for life (except in Quebec because it might lose him votes), the support for a disasterous war (Iraq) that he now denies even though it is on the record. Maybe it is putting people in cabinet who leave top secret documents with their criminally connected girlfriends or tell business not to invest in the country’s largest province. Or, perhaps “good” is what we use to describe a sitting PM who breaks his own election law to call an election that will likely give us what we had before he called the election (thus wasting 300 million dollars). On the other hand I was very ammused by his choice to run constant attacks on his opponant while saying little or nothing about his own plan and only releasing a minimal platform with 5 days left before an election. Of course, who can forget the greatness that led to squandering a nearly 12 billion dollar surplus on tax cuts that NO reputable economist think will help (though it is a good way to buy people’s votes). Wait…the really good part must be when he tried to bribe a dying man to vote with his party (supreme class there) or the fact that he and his party defrauded tax payers to help fund their ads in 2006. Maybe he was at his best when he gave his MPs instructions to intentionally obstruct the work of the House of Commons (Canada’s main instrument of democratic expression).

The other leaders may beI’ll tell you this much- the only time I’ll ever say “Good” about Harper is when I say “Good Riddance!”

Then again I am probably just being a whiney and entitlement driven. The nerve of me thinking I am entitled to have an honest, decent human being as my PM. You’re right Stevie is far too “good” for me! (sic)
Then there was this from a Conservative blog which does not deserve a link. I thought it only fair to show the Conservative mindset too. I had to recognise the clever word play, even if the message is rancid.

OMMAG said...
That's just the physical manifestation of his New Handicap .... it's leprosy ... he's not the Lyin King his the Leper Prince... so start feeling sorry for him and vote liberal...

3:13 PM, October 12, 2008

24 comments:

Strataman said...

I'm in mass confusion I don't much respect people with masters degrees in arts (Dion), think people with Masters degrees in Economics (Harper) are exactly the kind of people that put us into this financial mess, I don't think anything of Layton who wants to bail out over paid auto workers who make primarily gas guzzling anti-green vehicles, and what's her name in the Green party is a lost cause. What I would like to see is a perfect tie between the Libs and Cons cause it would be fun to see the confusion, and hope that the other parties are exactly split on who they support so no one can form a government, THEN the GOV General can rule for 6 months! I think she would be better than all of them! :-)

Rob said...

soli:

I'm just musing, but I think you're selling Harper short. I'm not saying he's the perfect leader for a country that doesn't deserve him or anything, but I am saying he's a very smart politician (where were the Cons 5 years ago? Big change in fortunes when you look at it like that, no?) Couple boo boos -sweater, for sure, and suggesting that there are buying opportunities (as Theo Caldwell wrote, sometimes the truth isn't helpful - lots of people are saying its time to buy - its hardly a radical suggestion). Still, he's defending against a 4 on 1 and doing pretty well. Next year at this time I expect he'll still have his job (part leader and PM).

The outlook isn't so rosy for Stephane Dion, who I'll bet is toast (unless Jack Layton really lays an egg). JMHO, but the Libs made a big error when they picked Martin - the man couldn't complete the palace coup, and became PM when Chretien decided it was time. That's not a sign of a winner. Then, to replace him, the Libs picked the 3rd place finisher. Who can really claim surprise that #3 doesn't perform like a 1st round draft pick?

I also think you're short selling Jack Layton. I think he's almost as good a pol as Harper - better at glad handing and being personable, and equally cagey, but he picked a very poor product to sell. Still (like McCain in the US) he's doing a great job with a weak hand (in fact he's playing a weak hand even better than McCain -in case you haven't thought of McCain as doing well, imagine you were running for President on the heels of GWB. Would you want the Republican banner or the Democratic one? I'm surprised that McCain made it so close, though I think its clearly all over now. I hope Obama is all that we all, well, hope he'll be).


May, for me, is interesting only inasmuch as the Central Nova race goes. The main thrust of her politics are too easy, I think, for other parties to swipe, meaning her days are numbered. She may also be looking for work after this winter.

I think the real fight here is between Layton and Dion, and I think the prize is second place, and I think Layton and Harper saw that clearly from the start. It benefits both of them. I think the Liberals really haven't yet grasped the challenge that they face. I think Layton as done very well. It will be interesting to see if he equals Broadbent's number of seats, and equally interesting to see if he disavows a coalition with the Libs. Entering into one would torpedo Harper, the devil incarnate enemy of the people, but I think it would handicap Layton in his true quest to elbow the Libs out of the way (a coalition will end poorly for Layton).

I can hardly wait for tomorrow, and I'm especially interested to see what happens with the vote swapping - what a wicked internet innovation! Try as you like, you'll never keep the great unwashed completely under control!

My call - Harper minority, with a couple seats less, NDP net gain, Lib. net loss, Bloc net loss (minor), May not elected. Dion talk of coalition, NDP says no.

solipsist said...

rob - sadly, I think that you have it pretty-much nailed, on all counts.

patriotz said...

. Still, he's defending against a 4 on 1 and doing pretty well.

You're talking as though having four opposition parties were a disadvantage for Harper, rather than a huge advantage.

If there were only one opposition party that would mean 35% Cons and, um, 65% for the other party. Game over.

Rob said...

Patriotz:

"You're talking as though having four opposition parties were a disadvantage for Harper, rather than a huge advantage."

Not really. You're hearing what you want to hear. The best analogy is a sports one: we've got one goalie (Harper) and four shooters. Is the goalie at a disadvantage? Not really, unless he's a crappy goalie. If he's good and the shooters are middling, then being a goalie isn't a disadvantage. His job now is to play defence, and he's doing it alright.

When Layton and Dion attack him for not playing offense ("hey! where's your platform!?!?!") its a good soundbite, but it doesn't make playing defence (not releasing it until near voting day, and then in bits and pieces) a bad idea. Its like yelling at Luongo "Hey, give me something to shoot at you big baby!"

If you take a simplistic view of saying we've got, on the one hand, the Conservatives (the bad, the evil, the retrogressive, the pro-Bush, the all things evil), and on the other, the left (the good, the hopeful, the loveable, the caring, the progressive, the all things good), then your analysis works. But there's at least one obvious problem: if the opposition is leftist, is monolithic, or if it even has anything substantial (that is, anything big enough to matter), why isn't it united?

I think you're also overlooking huge regional voting pressures.

So, you're right, if the opposition wasn't 4 different parties Harper would face a different challenge (and maybe even a tougher challenge).

But remember - the Conservatives aren't really that right wing. They aren't that different from the Liberals. They're all competing to spend more of our tax money. Nobody's really talking about staying in Afghanistan until the job is done, bringing back capital punishment, creating some sort (any sort) of abortion law, reducing the size of government or spending less. There's a reason why the "hidden agenda" claim elicits two responses - those who fears it exists, and those who fear it will never appear!

So, what am I rambling on about? How do I tie it together? Right now its advantageous to Harper to face a disunited opposition, true. It was advantageous for the Libs to face a split Conservative movement in the past. But, change the environment and the alliances change. Remember, Mulroney's govt. was really just a Conservative + Quebec coalition, right? That was the innovation that got him to the top. Isn't Harper working that angle hard as well? There are certain combos that get you to the high 30s percentile, and they aren't always right/left splits.

Also, don't forget, Chretien faced 4 opposition parties and only needed, what, 38% for a majority. It has always been thus.

solipsist said...

Also, don't forget, Chretien faced 4 opposition parties and only needed, what, 38% for a majority. It has always been thus.

The thing is, it was the "right" that was fractured, and even if they had coalesced, they could not have formed gov't. The "right" has been in the minority in Canada for a long time (40-50 years) - at least on the social front. Chretien may have only got 38%, while the Bloc (socially progressive) got another 20% (?), the NDP, 15% (?), with Reform/Alliance/PC dragging up the rear. (all %'s are numbers pulled from my adze)

Dang, lost my comment in the preview...

10 minutes or so 'til the polls close. I think that people are going to vote against Harper - as they voted against Mulroney - and we are going to have a Lib minority. Failing that, look for a coalition, or an accord of some type. Nobody wants Harper, except the demented.

solipsist said...

That was brash, and I have a feeling that I am horribly wrong.

Saints preserve us, it looks like we live in the land of the demented. It is too early to know anything yet, but what I am briefly hearing between the radio, the missus watching the TV, it is sounding frightening.

kabloona said...

Well, that was a good waste of $350 million. So Harpo's "gimme my majority gambit" failed....unfortunately, so did the prospect of any real action on Climate Change. Well, now the Cons will be blamed as the country slides into recession, and Flaherty runs a deficit.

Also, looks like Garth didn't take Halton.... probably all those shoebox dwellers didn't dig his bearish R/E message.

:-(

Strataman said...

"That was brash, and I have a feeling that I am horribly wrong."
Yep! :-)

Anonymous said...

Last night senator Larry Campbell suggested that all three heads should roll.

Layton because he just can't move his party beyond that ceiling. Harper because he had a clear shot at forming a majority and blew it. Dion because he just can't get people behind the Liberals. He figured Duceppe to be the only safe one.

I think the senator is right. None of those three leaders should be honking their horns today.

Rob said...

I think Campbell is wrong. Harper is safe as can be in his leadership seat. I feel a little scared saying this, as the tlkaing heads in the media seem sure that he's on thin ice, mind you, Hughy Segal/David Emerson both seem quite content. I think they should be. 5 years ago the Tories were still on the outside. Incremental conservatism (the type that never actually gets here) is paying off at the polls. Killing your leader ecery chance you get', on the other hand, isn't paying off. If the Tories dump Harper, they deserve to lose (and that's whether you like Harper or not).

The Tories say they never seriously hoped for a majority, and I somewhat buy that. They did screw up in Quebec (a politically savvy province), but also, I think, they learned a lesson about tangling with Danny Williams. Williams is a natural pol, and a good fighter. The Tories would have been better off to co-opt him, I think, even if it meant eating some crow and being a bit of a chronic whipping boy (what provincial Premier can resist that!).

However, I think all opposition parties have to re-think campaigning on the idea that Harper is scary and going to sell our country/gut our programs etc. It seems clear that the more people see Harper the less he scares them. He may not make them smile, but that's not the same as scaring them. Spending more nd at a faster rate than his predecessors makes it tough to label him as an anti-govt. right winger. In fact, it seems as if the opposition didn't really disagree with his spending money - they just wanted to spend it on different recipients.

Here's what the Tories won: time. If they waited until next year its very likely we would have been in a worse economy. Chances for an incumbent conservative in that environment are not good. Now the Libs have to replace a leader, pay off debts, and get organized. Tories won two more years, minimum. I think there's some wisdom to the idea that the longer Harpe is a minority PM the longer he'll be a majority PM. (We'll see - its all speculation on my part).

Layton may have some explaining to do, but he made some gains, to be sure. He's a good politician doing the best he can with a poor product. I have to admire that he never stops - his victory speech and stump speech are pretty much exactly the same. Who would replace him?

Dion? Dead man walking. He says he'll work with Harper and Dosanjh and Hedy Fry immediately contradict him. He's done.

May? Gone, I think. It looks like there is dissension in the Green ranks.

Can the left unite? I think the Green vote can be stolen by one party, but they have to really make a smart effort. Can the NDP and the Libs unite? Do they want to? The Reform to present day Tories was a long, long, hard road. Think back on Preston Manninn and "The West Wants In". That had to be 15 years.

Soli-

The Bloc paints itself as progressive, but let's not forget that they came out of the Quebec wing of the Tories, and are about Quebec first, progressiveness second. If Harper could crack that 'hood he'd have a majority, but I think Duceppe beat him, at least partly, as a local boy (there are, after all, conservative Quebeckers).

All in all, I'm happier with a minority than with a majority. Fun election to watch, that's for sure!

solipsist said...

All in all, I'm happier with a minority than with a majority.

I am too, but I would have been even happier with a coalition. Harper seems to think that he has a "new mandate", (with just 36-odd% of the vote), and that is going to make the coming Parliament even more fractious, and dysfunctional. I would have liked to see the Cons lose a seat or two - just to impart a bit of humility onto them.

I will dissect a bit later, when I have the time, and then back to the topic we all love - REAL ESTATE!, and financial shite (lots of that to talk about).

Anonymous said...

Rob says,
I think Campbell is wrong. Harper is safe as can be in his leadership seat. I feel a little scared saying this, as the tlkaing heads in the media seem sure that he's on thin ice, ...


Surely, you jest. How many shots at a majority government does he get?

Harper got to chose the election date, and he picked it strategically. He figured he could face the weakest opponent, just before the economic meltdown, right after a long weekend Thanksgiving. And he couldn't even pull a majority out of that.

Imagine what would happen if Harper had to face a real contender.

No, the senator was right. All three heads should roll.

Rob said...

Solipsist:

I think the "mandate" talk is code for "I squeaked out an election win, and by God, if you guys torpedo me and take us back to the polls the electorate is going to make you pay"; I think its moot, anyway, as the Libs have to get a lot of stuff in order before they can get back in the ring. In real terms there's no mandate when most of the population votes for someone else.

I think I won my office prediction contest - Bloc down (there were, by 1) Libs, down, NDP up, May not elected. I goofed by saying the Tories would stay even (I'm a little surprised at the gains) and that the Greens would get at least 1 seat (seemed safer than betting on a shutout). In other words, I wouldn't ahve been surprised if the Tories had lost a seat or two, if only from anger about calling an election with predictable results for pretty naked political reasons.

Anonymous:

I don't jest at all, but I think I read you incorrectly the first time. I missed the meaning of "should" as in, should be gone for calling a needless election and instead thought you were saying the Tories would get rid of him for not winning a majority.

The first (they should all go) is a matter of opinion. Politics is, above all, the pursuit of power, and we legalized it and gave it special treatment a long time ago. It cost $300 million plus, but whose fault is that? You should have given him a majority last time! :-)

The second (the Tories will get rid of Harper) just won't happen unless I'm very much mistaken. I think he'll be around for a long time (to wit, what would he do with a real contender? What, you know where one is hiding?)

solipsist said...

rob - the "mandate" talk...

I think you are right on that, but the electorate may not respond as expected, as they did not this time 'round. Canadians tend not to be easily cowed.

The Libs are in a mess - of their own making. Until a real contender for leadership shows up, they have further to fall, in my view. Harper has an incremental plan, which is quite advanced, and now he is going after the Senate. One of his (Flanagan's, really) plans is to kill the Liberals. It is some kind of pathology, as far as I can tell.

It should be pointed out that the Cons got ~20 more seats with just 1% more of the popular vote than last time. Although I like May, and the Green platform, I have always been suspicious of them, and it could be argued that if the Greens had voted Lib, we would most likely have a Liberal gov't, and perhaps even a majority. Sadly, our chance at a shift to a "green economy" - complete with tax cuts - is now gone with Dion.

Harper does have a "plan", but that plan will cost us big-time, and there will be no reduction in GHG, and no tax cuts, green grants, etc. We need a new vision, and direction for Canada, and I think that Dion's was the most likely. Too bad that so few actually have the time, or inclination, to enlighten themselves. (note - my argument for the Green Shift is economical, rather than ecological, so let us leave off the debate over global warming/climate change)

We are stuck with Harper and his henchmen for quite some time to come, unless the "left" coalesces, and they will still need the Bloc.

The party cannot really get rid of Harper, because he is the party. The Cons are more bereft of talent than the Libs by a long measure.

And for the love of Pete, can we desist with the "Tory" label? This crowd is not the Progressive Conservatives.

By the way, rob - I completely agree with you about the "mandate", and such was my intent. I actually went to my concise Oxford looking for a line to illustrate the difference, but was unsatisfied, and so, dropped it.

rob said...

"One of his (Flanagan's, really) plans is to kill the Liberals. It is some kind of pathology, as far as I can tell".

Killing (figuratively) your political opponents is fair game. Good on Harper for doing it. Competition is still a good thing, and he's a winner. Don't want him to win? Give him some competition (Chretien never seemed particularly intimidated by Western Conservatives).

Pathology? Incremental? What makes you say that? :-) Just because he didn't adopt the "Look at me on a Jet-Ski" approach and instead 1)merged the 2 parties, 2)made McKay, Day and eveyone else reliable lieutenants instead of contenders, 3)consigned Joe Clarke, once and for all, to the dust bin, then 4) got Paul Martin in his sights and destroyed him and 5) bought himself some more time with this last go 'round? He is a disciplined, intelligent political operative, no doubt about it. He'll sacrifice real conservatives ("hidden agenda? I sure hope so!" types) to move everything to the center, and so continue to win.

Is this really bad? Not by definition. If he sells out our birthrights and merges us with the Americans, yes, its bad. But, if he simply makes us more competitive, more prosperous, and more relevant, then its not so bad. (He hasn't done either yet. So far he's been the highest and fastest spending PM we've had, and we've still got more of our people living on the street than we did when I was in my 20s).

As a wise man once observed: if you want to predict what a man will do, look at what he's done. Harper has not privatized much,has grown government, hasn't cut spending, has gone up against the States on Arctic sovereignty, and has given Quebec more power, hasn't beaten the abortion ban/capital punishment revival/gay marriage ban drums.

He's incremental, but is he a conservative?

I like what I see as the revolutionary shift in tax thinking that the Green shift represented (and we can ignore the economics and evironmentalism of it for the moment). Imagine: taxing what you don't want and not taxing what you do want. Not exactly positive reinforcement, but its at least straying in that direction. We didn't use to feel that way. Profit and higher incomes were bad words, and things to be discouraged. Its interesting that grasping for the brass ring brought up a concept with such profound implications. (Apparently Sweden has raised income and payroll taxes as carbon consumption fell, but perhaps we could avoid that by taxing something else we don't like once carbon is taxed to...um...death).

"The Cons are more bereft of talent than the Libs by a long measure".

I'm not sure I agree, and I think the box scores support me a little, however election night polls seemed to consistently give Harper much higher scores, personally, than the party itself got, so you might be right.

(Thanks for this blog, btw. Great discussion, pretty low crazy rant quotient).

solipsist said...

rob -

Is this really bad? Not by definition. If he sells out our birthrights and merges us with the Americans, yes, its bad.

The fact is, the SPP and NAU, and Amero, and everything else that I have written about is factual, and easily verified. Just change "SPP" in the search box to "NAU", and then, "Amero", to go further.

Am I the only one who can see this? This whole "credit crisis" is the Problem. The Reaction is panic, anger, disbelief. The Solution is greater trading blocs, with common currency, harmonized regulations, Perimeters, let your imagination run free...

Problem. Reaction. Solution. Rinse and repeat endlessly.

The Tail Wags the Dog. Hollywood spells it out, and hands it to us on a silver platter, and we are wowed by the stars, and special effects. I am not the only one to remark on media bias and manipulation.

As a wise man once observed: if you want to predict what a man will do, look at what he's done. Harper has not privatized much,has grown government, hasn't cut spending, has gone up against the States on Arctic sovereignty, and has given Quebec more power, hasn't beaten the abortion ban/capital punishment revival/gay marriage ban drums.

He has off-loaded more and more powers and responsibilities to the Provinces, killed the ability of gov't to raise revenues for social programs that we are going to need very soon, and a host of other things that I don't have the time to go into right now. Everything else that you mentioned is distraction-appeasement. The only real reason that we don't hear to much about a lot of that, is because Harper and his handlers have learned to keep the muzzles on. Every time the muzzles slip - including Harper's - we see a glimpse of the real agenda, and attitude.

Further, the last thing that should have been done is to give more powers to any province, let alone Quebec. That is about to bite him in his arse.

The Cons are bereft of any talent beyond survival and deceit. !Abre sus ojos!

Thanks for the reasoned discourse Rob. I just wish I had more time.

Rob said...

solipsist:

SPP was started by the Liberals. Its hard to argue that its part of a hidden Harper agenda.

Amero? NAU? Could happen. My point is simply this: Harper isn't as conservative as many think, and is very political. I think for your fears to be realized he needs to have a larger goal than he actually has.

Off topic, (sort off), great show on the American Experience about LBJ. Texas politics! Awesome! It was hard to imagine that the real killers of Kennedy weren't a bunch of good ol'Texas boys. If you ever get a chance to watch it, take a look.

solipsist said...

Rob - I know that the first SPP move was by Martin, but to be pedantic, it was not the Liberals who started it, it was "business" people - of which Martin is one. Read; CFR, Bilderberg, etc.

Harper's agenda is not "hidden", it is hidden in plain sight. The problem is, nobody is interested. Further, I would say that Martin and Harper inhabit the same area of the right of the spectrum, just that Harper is much more socially conservative. The Liberals "have been" right-of-centre. Harper is the biggest spending PM in our history, and that rather reminds me of Bush II. It is what he spends on; cops, war machinery, corporate subsidies, etc., that I find objectionable. And, he was president of the NCC, which was formed in the sixties, by American insurance companies, to combat social medicare. The NCC's scope has broadened since then, but privatised health care is still at the top of the agenda. Incidentally, the NCC has had no president since Harper "left". It is my belief that he just took a leave of absence.

Harper has shown himself to be corporatocratic, and autocratic. He does have a larger goal than you seem to realise, but if that was succinctly shared, the people that did vote for him would likely balk - because it is antithetical to what 80% of Canadians believe in.

I'll check out that movie you spoKe of. Thanks.

solipsist said...

Rob - I just came across this article by Linda McQuaig that speaks to Harper's (not so) "hidden agenda", and as I wrote previously, it is not really hidden, but is in plain view. All it takes is for people to open their eyes, and minds.

Rob said...

Solipsist:

Maybe I've got a little more faith in our country. I can't see it becoming Pentagon North, and I'm not generally worried when someone from Toronto raise the alarm on an assualt on our agreed upon Canadian values. They usually strike me as pretty out of touch.

We sent soldiers to Afghanistan with green camo and Iltis jeeps. That's been a pretty standard MO for us back to the Ross Rifle. I'll worry about $490 billion when I see it.

solipsist said...

I can't see it becoming Pentagon North

I agree Rob. That was an unfortunate (hysterical, even) turn of phrase. (Linda McQuaig is Linda McQuaig, and needs a dose of salt in the reading), but I was alluding to my point that Harper's agenda is not really hidden (any part of it).

But what of someone from Vancouver (me) warning of an assault on our agreed upon values? I know, I am just an anonymous blogger, with little more than a cursory understanding of things, but my record isn't so off.

I have always had great faith in Canada, but I am starting to lose it.

rob said...

Solipsist:

"But what of someone from Vancouver (me) warning of an assault on our agreed upon values? "

I guess the key concept there is "agreed upon". We probably agree on somewhat less than some would think.

We've been discussing the military, so I'll run with that (and hope it works!) Is Canada's role traditionally that of a peacekeeper? Is peacekeeping, as opposed to combat operations, a traditional Canadian value? (You can guess that my answer is "no", although I fear what baggage I'll be saddled with as a result).

solipsist said...

Is Canada's role traditionally that of a peacekeeper? etc.

I would agree with you, and say "no" as well, Rob. Our reputation - forged during WWI - was for being tough, fearless, fair, and honourable. The Kaiser's men were actually afraid of Canadian soldiers, and, as you may, or may not know, the term "storm trooper" was originally used by the Joymins to describe Canadians.

However, throw in a Shadane Arone, or two, complicity in the torture of Afghan "detainees", complicity in the torture of Canadian citizens in Syria (and elsewhere?), abandonment of Canadian citizens lined up for execution in foreign lands, abandonment of Kyoto-type principles, and a whole bunch of other nice stuff, and you have a sullying of Canada's (and Canadians') reputation(s).

Those are the 'agreed-upon principles' that I am talking about.

And Rob, Canadians don't show fear...