Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't Ask Harper to Fire Ritz - Defeat Him AND Harper TOO - at the Polls!

The Liberal and NDP calls for the firing of Minister Ritz is pure histrionic politics. It is all about putting the heat on in an election and not anything about enlightened politics. It is just being pushed to keep the media focused on the character flaws of Minister Ritz. It serves to call out Mr. Harper, thereby exposing some of his character flaws too.

The MSM and the Blogs will keep the Ritz issues and events, and the other like them, alive during the campaign I am sure. Nice to see the CBC TV interviewing the families of some of the 17 deceased Canadians on the news tonight. It puts a human face and some of the context on the pain of those who families have been victimized by this food inspection deficiency and bad government policy.

Harper was out to save some money by reducing our food inspectors and turning them into paper report auditors by taking them off the plant floors where the problems occur. Harper has proven that he thinks good politics is the same as good government. That is rarely the case, as this tragedy - and failure of good government - illustrates dramatically.

Harper is not going to fire a Minister in the middle of a campaign for mere crassness, insensitivity, stupidity and boorishness. Get serious. Those are some of the qualities that many of Harper's hard line supporters and War Room types seem to admire in Conservative candidates.

I don't think the grassroots founders of the old Reform and Alliance types, who are the heart and soul of the current Conservative party are happy with this kind of politics. I think we can expect lots of those founding Tory supports to switch votes or at least stay home this election, as a result.

If the good citizens of North Battleford have had enough of being embarrassed by Mr. Ritz they will tell him so on October 14. In the meantime, as a Minister in the Harper government, his insensitive comments and plastic apology are instructive to the rest of us about the quality of mind and flaws of character we find in many, but definitely not all, of the political players Harper government.

If Ritz is typical of many of Harper's team, and why wouldn't he be, it is no surprise that Harper wanted to shut up most of his Cabinet and all of his Caucus since be became the Conservative leader. His PMO prepared and approved all official speaking notes for everyone in the Conservative cause. Those partisan speaking notes were almost always uttered by some lackluster Parliamentary Secretary or, worse yet, Peter Van LOON who was the dependable boor to be found“Harping” half truths in Question Period.

Harper's Caucus and Cabinet is chorus line of mimes and mutes. They are not obviously not ready to govern and are too dangerous to be given a majority. Harper's unbridled personal political aspirations are to be either our Emperor or our "President." His is not interested in the nobler role of our servant-leader. To me that means he too is unfit to govern.

When you elect someone to public office to represent you, you are giving them your consent to have power over you and to speak on your behalf on the many critical policy issues of the day. You also are giving them the power of discretion and decision. You empower them to make value choices and trade offs on your behalf and in your name. Those value choices are inevitably between competing interests and are never easy - but citizens expect them to be made in service of the greater good. Not in pursuit of some personal political power trip.

Harper's superficial, or sinister, sense of governance is shown in some of his campaign promises. For example he saw tinkering with two points off GST as all you needed for a winning and effective national tax policy. His chest-thumping about a minuscule and meaningless reduction of $150 per year for seniors as a substitute for sound social policy is embarrassing. Then we have the laughable tax credits of a maximum of $750 as an inducement for first time home buyers masquerading as an economic stimulus. It is shabby and sophomoric.

Under the circumstances and given the weakness of the Canadian partisan political leadership, we have few alternatives except another minority government, be it Liberal or Conservative. That means while we Canadians did not want this election in the first place, it will not settle anything of significance. But that is the price of political prudence and the best outcome for Canada - this time.

We can’t forget that we Canadians have enjoyed the pleasure of paying for the $400,000,000 price tag for this pointless unnecessary trumped-up Harper inspired election fiasco. We must remember that at the ballot box in this election. This election has been perpetrated by "Harper the Misleader" and launched solely in the service of his lust for power and the personal political hubris.

Thanks Mr. Harper. Thanks a bunch. Next time lets have an election that is about Canada and Canadians and not about him. Wouldn't that be refreshing!