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Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Joy In Mudville...

"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at, you know, a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough, when they know those subsidies have actually gone up – I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," Harper said in Saskatoon, where he was campaigning for the Oct. 14 election."

And the other shoe drops.

For a long time we've been wondering what was going in our Prime Minister's head as cut after cut found its way home in the Canadian Culture sector. "Does he know what he's doing? Is he aware of what this will do to us?" we whispered while under our breaths another possibility seeped out amongst the masses, something that chilled us to the bone: 'yes, he does, and he doesn't care'.

It comes to me after taking some time to recalibrate that I find myself in an interesting predicament. I find myself trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel as I learn that, hey, apparently we aren't the only ones under attack over here.

In fact, there's been a lot of interesting (in the Chinese sense) stuff going on since the Conservatives formed their minority government back in 2006.

And so, though PM Harper got me all riled up with these recent cuts and calling us artists 'elitists', I'm starting to see a bigger picture on the horizon.

It's not pretty.

As I find myself staring at page after page of the facts - what has already occurred and what was planned under his 'minority' government - I'm finding myself wondering: If he justifies it all in his head by calling us artists 'elitists' what does he and his Conservatives think of all the others?

You know, the environmental experts that've been muzzled.

Or the scientists who had essential funds cut from the already-strained CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research).

Or the women's lobby groups who've had their funding cut.

Or all the immigrants effected by the legislation his Conservatives snuck into Bill C-50.

Or all the 'ordinary Canadians' who are now doubly screwed thanks to their bungling of the Canadian Economy.

Aww shucks.

And here I was thinking we were special.

Apparently not.

Turns out PM Harper and the Conservatives have had quite the axe to grind, and maybe, like Denis McGrath says "It's just our turn".

Does that excuse him from collecting that $295,000 (plus perks) pay cheque while calling a vast swath of people who regularly make around or less than $20,000 a year 'elitist'?

I don't think so.

And though some might cry "But Stephen Harper's running our country!" to explain the massive pay-grade gap.

I can't help but retort: 'Into what?'

See, even as the second largest landmass in the world, there's only so much ground he can ram this country into.

I mean, for a guy who got into power by screaming about corruption, he's certainly no stranger to it himself.

Surely you remember the Great Election Kickback Scheme and the Cadman Affair.

The NDP's been kind enough to make up a cute (and orange) fact sheet just for all the little scandals and outrages you may have missed. (I am not advocating for the NDP, just to be clear).

And, hey, if you need something a bit more recent, let's talk about the tainted food scandal. You know, when Conservatives got together and lowered food inspection standards while deciding that the Meat Processing Industry would be just fine monitoring itself ('cause it's always a good idea to let large companies decide if they're breaking the law or not).

I wonder how all the people who picked up Listeriosis feel about that.

You see, even when his administration is not trying to get legislation made that would allow for search and seizure without a warrant or evidence.

Even when his administration is not trying to open its citizens up to poorly made copyright reforms that - in order to enforce - would open the doors for the creation of an online 'big brother'.

Even when his administration is not trying to turn our lakes into toxic waste dumps.

Stephen Harper and his Conservatives are BAD for Canada. They're bad for the citizens they claim they're helping and they're bad for industries they're supposed to be protecting.

I normally abhor people who tell me how to vote, I've made a point of not doing it myself.

But I can't just sit here silent, I can't just sit here and type away hoping that we'll eke this one out.

Do not vote for the Conservatives.

Go HERE and find out if you're in one of the many Battleground ridings across Canada. You can find out which riding you fall into HERE. Whatever you do, where ever you can, if you can stop a Conservative majority, if you can cast a vote that will prevent more of this over the next 4 years - do it.

Good Luck,

1 comment:

Elize said...

I'll admit to NDP camp-ing. Or even Green camp-ing. I'm a bit left-end, though, so I'll just hang out over here.

The issues in place are that those "ordinary people" that Harper's hitting on in these rhetoric dumps? Do. not. care. They don't care about women. They don't care about arts. They don't really care about science all that much because they're (a majority of the time, anyways) healthy.

What they do care about is that tax cut. They want to see a decrease in the amount they pay. They want to see more come directly to them.

We're in a recession, gas is up and all those "ordinary people" that Harper is pinging on just what they're money, thank you. They didn't sign up to involved in any of this crap and funding and stuff. It's not their deal after all.

It's an us/them divide that's all about the instant gratification. It's very hard to move beyond that when these "ordinary people" don't feel that the money they put out is coming back to them, and no wonder. It's the middle-middle class here -- not Harper and his ilk, surely, but up to now Harper's been good at pushing that motice -- and the middle-middle class pays a good chunk of the taxes and they feel screwed.

What can fix it is stopping tax loop holes so that they can't be exploited anymore (that would stop Harper and his gang from not paying taxes though, and is unlikely to change).

The rhetoric to push here is a hard one to find. It's difficult to go beyond. People who are on the Conservative camp, or teetering toward it, are doing it for themselves and their families with the economy dipping.

The problem is that people don't get -- and won't for questionable reasons -- is that if you don't put money *into* the economy nothing goes up and the recession continues. That's why when fiscal conservatives get in the debt always gets higher even if they claim it won't...