Monday, February 12, 2007

Harper Does a Muroney and Sets Out to Buy a Quebec Election

The Cons announcement of the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change is coming out of part of the anticipated 2006-07 budget surplus and will be part of the March budget. Truth be told, it is another reinstated, rewrapped Liberal climate change program presented in a blue ribbon. It is based on political opportunism wrought by the standard shallow Con sense of whatever they can adopt from the old Liberal regime they cut, then imagine as their own and call it a new environmental policy of “Canada’s New Government.” (sic).

A total of $1.5B will be distributed on a per capita basis amongst the provinces. I wonder if they will use the old provincial population figures. That means Alberta gets screwed on the per capita formula (again) because the rapid population growth in the province in the past few years will not be accommodated in the old census numbers? That was an old Chrétien Liberal trick designed to short change Alberta.

The census people are even saying the numbers from 2006 are not accurate anyway. Is there any institution left in our society that has not screwed us around one way or another? Please Prime Minister, don’t pick up that policy chicanery of the Chrétien Liberals too. Please don’t let it be said that you are now screwing the west too!

So Harper is now sending $350,000,000 cold cash in Quebec to buy their loyalty but at least without the fraudulent subterfuge of the ad scammers. Harper is doing this cash timing scam straight up. It is a cynical attempt at purchasing Quebec support couched in an Orwellian label of an ecoTrust…soft on the eco and not worthy of the word “Trust.”

The money, we are told, is to come from the surplus of 2006-07, which is not yet known but is already spent. Prudent, Mr. Prime Minister, mighty prudent. Too bad the surplus doesn’t go against the national debt which is a smarter solution. As I recall Harper promised any interest saved as a result of debt pay down would mean lower taxes for all of us taxpayers.

NOPE – let’s not fritter the surplus amongst Canadians by lowering taxes as originally promised. Remember the day when Cons told us a government surplus was simply caused by over taxation? Will that promise of tax reduction simply have to wait? Let’s go buy us some Quebec votes instead. And how do you square that circle? It is the Mulroney years all over again, this time Harper style?

Different issue entirely we will be told…this program is necessary to respond to the top priority of Canadians. Refresh my memory, is that top priority the environment or to pay Quebecers immediately to get Prime Minister Charest re-elected? I am all in favour of re-electing Jean Charest - but do we have to do it this way? Do we have to buy Quebec again? Harper says this way we can avoid another referendum? I think it is a cynical playing of Quebecers for fools and ought to have the same backlash of Quebec sense of insult that Adscam did.

Let’s deal with the real issues of a distinct Quebec society honestly and openly and give them a real reason to feel included in Canada. This scam is just Harper submitting to the classic political extortion patterns of the past – and before it is even threatened this time. How prescient of you Prime Minister Harper.

Quebec was believed to have had a “price” for loyalty to the Confederation in Chrétien’s day. He wantonly and wilfully turned a blind eye and enabled Adscam as a result of that mistaken belief.

Harper is redoing the Mulroney pandering without the intrigue and insult of the CF18s fiasco. NOPE Harper is doing the very thing – pandering to Quebec for the purposes of power. That was the final straw that spawned the Reform party in the first place. Spare me. It is game show politics…the price has to be right?

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Next posting! I feel the need to weigh in on “activitist political appointees” who are being chosen based on their partisan pedigree and being charged with the duty of picking an “independent” judiciary. Will they be activist enough to protect citizens from abuse by the state or intellectually lazy or inept legislators? This new committee to recommend judicial appointments is an exercise of pure political power and is of a scale to make one weep!

This development for me goes over the line, and confirms that the Harper Cons are not only not yet ready to govern with a majority in the next election…they are not fit to govern period in a modern progressive democracy.