Sunday, March 27, 2011

DAY ONE: Duceppe Calls Harper Out For Lying

The 2011 Canadian election campaign is off to a predictable start with Harper calling the election "unnecessary" and trying to raise the spectre of governance by a coalition that includes "socialists" and "separatists," as something Canadians have to keep in mind when voting.

 So let's do that. Let's face the supposedly frightening prospect of a coalition. Why is it such a terrible idea for these three parties to form a coalition and what evil might befall the Canadian people? Mr. Harper's criticism is that the Liberals and Bloc would be at loggerheads and nothing would get done other than raising your taxes and spending your money. That's as deep as it's going to get for this Prime Minister this campaign. There will be invective, insults, smearing and demagoguing, if the first campaign day is any indicator. All this from a man who is spending $30 billion of Canadian taxpayer money on a sole-sourced contract for stealth jet-fighters that don't fit Canada's current military needs.

As for the dreaded coalition, the three parties who would form this coalition as being either center or left of center on the political spectrum so they're natural allies and altogether including the Green Party they just happen to represent (at least by the last election's overall vote percentages) sixty-seven percent of the voters. Fully two-thirds of the Canadian electorate are voting for centrist or left of center policies. Are their voting rights being trampled?

Do two-thirds of the Canadian public not have the right to see policies that they advocate and vote for come to pass? Are they supposed to abandon the multi-party system that is far more expressive and reflective of the differing political views held by Canadians so that they can defeat one autocratic, fear-mongering man? That would be terribly short-sighted and ultimately a loser for those of us who cheer on and advocate for progress and progressive policy.

The issue is absurd on its' face in that having been in the minority these past five years, Harper could not have governed without the assistance of socialists and separatists and liberals. It's how Parliament functions in a minority government. What makes this doubly absurd is that Harper actually tried to form a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc back in 2004 and while he says only the party that gets the most votes has the right to govern he was clearly thinking something else back in 2004. Today, Mr. Duceppe presented the evidence and proof positive that PM Harper is being two-faced about coalitions.

His duplicitous actions here in what is his campaign's first thrust should be important to voters. It speaks to how he governs and it is illustrative of what kind of man he really is under the veneer of quiet calm. In his very next move he launches more attack ad fantasies about coalitions and impugns Mr. Ignatieff in carefully orchestrated attack ads. This along with his arrogant assertions that he deems this election unnecessary all the while a compliant media pretends that these are real issues but the PM's blatant double-standard and fear-mongering as he launches his campaign are unimportant.

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