"Canada is quietly becoming a basket case"

September 13th, 2008 
Leave your comment Posted by Scott Tribe
Published in Canadian Politics, International Politics

Sober reading from Slate Magazine:

Since 2004, a succession of unstable minority governments has led to a constant campaign frenzy, brutalizing Canada's once-broad political consensus and producing a series of policies at odds with the country's socially liberal, fiscally conservative identity. Canada is quietly becoming a political basket case, and this latest election may make things even worse..

A not so subtle reference to the Conservatives in that last line. What exactly is making Canada a basket case? Well.. our former fiscal prudence is going by the wayside thanks to the Cons:

In June, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that Canada—for years the only G8 country to post regular budget surpluses—was likely to fall into deficit this year, thanks to a reckless cut to the national sales tax.

The Conservatives attempt at being Big Brother is also being noticed, as is their subtle attempt to re-open the abortion debate with Epp's private members bill C-484:

In February, the government proposed denying funding to films and TV shows whose content it deemed "not in the public interest," sparking cries of censorship from a sector that has historically received public support. In 2007, a member of the governing Conservative Party proposed a bill that would reopen the debate over abortion, a topic that governments both liberal and conservative have avoided for decades.

And Harper's insistence on being a northern clone of George W. Bush is also noted:

The country is projecting its uncharacteristic behavior abroad as well. After decades of encouraging countries to increase their foreign-aid spending, Canada cut its own, from 0.34 percent of GDP in 2005 to just 0.2 percent last year. Long a beacon of human rights, Ottawa announced last fall that it would stop advocating on behalf of Canadians sentenced to death in other countries. And Canada is now the only Western country that still has one of its citizens held in Guantanamo, but Ottawa has refused to press for his release.

Oh yes, Canada's "back" to being noticed, Harper.. for the wrong reasons. There is an encouraging poll out today though. A lot of Canadians can't stomach the thought of Harper winning a majority:

The poll showed that more than half of Canadians — 54 per cent — reject the idea of a Conservative majority government, while 35-per-cent support it. Also, 38 per cent of Canadians reported they would be prepared to vote strategically, by switching their vote to another party, to prevent the prospect.

I'd prefer him removed from government all together, but this is a good start.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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