Sunday, May 15, 2016

Son of a B#%ch, I Had it All Wrong

I honestly thought the Liberals won the last general election. I could have bet the farm that a Liberal government was sworn into power last November. At first it sure felt like the Libs had swept into power when the government promised a climate change policy within 90 days, lifted the censorship of federal scientists, declared a tanker moratorium, restored research funding, revived the census and all those lovely little gifts. It was a dream.

Then something happened. We still had this young guy, Slick, as prime minister. Those were his lips moving, his voice talking but the words that came out were, sure as hell, Stephen Harper's.

It was as though Harper reversed Slick's promise of a climate change policy. It seemed like Harper's hand guided Slick to have the Liberal caucus support the Tory motion to censure the BDS, Boycott/Divest/Sanction, movement. The spirit of Harper was alive and well when Slick and Co. upheld the Saudi Death Wagon deal, the youngster even throwing in the Harperesque vignette when he dismissed them as mere "jeeps." The Northern Gateway pipeline was dead, there'd be no supertankers plying British Columbia's pristine but treacherous northern waters until Slick's inner Harper burst through and put a wet blanket on those policies. Slick even retained Harper's "stacked deck" National Energy Board. Now there's a real message in that.

Oh yeah, as for that promise that the Liberal government would always accept science and follow science unlike that science-hating Harper, well the science was warning Ottawa for more than a decade that man made climate change was turning the boreal forest into a wildfire time bomb. Yet, when Elizabeth May brought it up, Slick made sure to slap her down for it. Harper couldn't have done it better himself.

We should get Slick a bracelet that reads "WWSD" - What Would Shifty Do? When he needs to tweak something or recalibrate some policy or just lie about something; when he has to face the tough issues, as soon as he detects his knees buckling he can focus on that bracelet and - voila - he'll know what to do.

So much for a Liberal renaissance. It's still the Tories running Canada.


Northern PoV said...

"It's still the Tories running Canada."

See shark. See Mound jump shark. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Until the people of Canada realise they have to give up some of the luxuries of life , we will have no change of government policies only government party names.
Only Liz May has what it takes but unfortunately too many people think she and her politics are too flaky.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason for the saying "Liberal, Tory, same old story." History shows that when in power, their policies and actions on the big issues are almost exactly the same. Yet, in every election, the low-information swing voters convince themselves "this time it will be different".

Anonymous said...

"So much for a Liberal renaissance. It's still the Tories running Canada."

LOL. This comes from someone who thinks Paul Martin is the best finance minister in history! Brian Mulroney has been prime minister for the past 32 years.

The only way to kill this atomic cockroach is with some kind of electoral reform (ANY kind). That way Canadians can elect a government that represents their interests as opposed to always getting stuck with government that represents establishment interests. It's called "democracy."

No Liberal renaissance can begin without it because the Liberals have to split the Red Tory vote to get power. If Justin changes this, he changes everything. (Too bad the Liberals are alone in taking electoral reform seriously.)

Anonymous said...

Well Anon hate to burst your bubble but Paul Martin was the best finance minister that we have seen.

Still think that the NDP would have been a better choice, but Mulcair was too honest when it can to face coverings in Quebec.

You can't expect people to give up their meagre luxuries of life - you need to offer viable choices.
Ever feel that the rich have gamed the system so that they get money back on electric cars? Those rebates of $5000 and more would pay for a used car for most...

Anonymous said...

"The only way to kill this atomic cockroach is with some kind of electoral reform"
"ANY kind".
ONLY with the PR system (flavor is immaterial)which would guarantee that seats won directly proportional to the votes.

P.S. Junior is still better than that vindictive psycho. At least monument to victims of communism is gone from the SC lawn ;-)

The Mound of Sound said...

Well, that's nice. I predicted, with pretty good accuracy, the comments this post would trigger. Thanks all.

Anonymous said...

If we had ranked ballots, Harper would've lasted less than 2 years. Instead we got stuck with a Harper decade and a Harper dictatorship.

Ranked ballot voting ends the need for strategic voting. Allows people to vote on policy rather than voting to stop the Cons. It ensures center-left ridings are represented by a center-left MP. Even fringe parties get representation for their alternative votes.

The establishment is attacking the system because they know it will end their stranglehold on government. The idea it would put the Liberals in power forever is based on junk statistics. Bring that to a high school math teacher and you will be laughed out of the classroom.

So much ignorance, so little time.

Anonymous said...

Which neoliberal finance minister was the best in history? Michael Wilson? Jim Flaherty? Paul Martin? Hmmm. That's a tough one.

Paul Martin tackled the massive deficit caused by Mulroney's whopping income tax cuts for the rich by slashing spending for everyone else. And by downloading costs onto the provinces. And by turning an unemployment insurance program into a tax on poor workers and raiding the UI fund of $40-billion.

He cut enough spending he could cut afford to slash corporate taxes!

So I stand corrected: Paul Martin was the best neoliberal finance minister in Canadian history!

Pamela Mac Neil said...

"It's still the Tories running Canada."I agree, but with a smile.

Anonymous said...

"So much ignorance..." of Anon @ 12:29 PM, May 15, 2016

Ranked ballot guarantees more of Junior's "majority"...


Anonymous said...

Like I said, the nonsense being spewed in the establishment media (in an attempt to kill all forms of electoral reform) is based on junk statistics that make absurd assumptions no mathematician would make. These false assumptions are:

1) Those who voted Liberals would've made them #1 on their ranked ballot. The NDP was leading for half the campaign and half the Harper term. Many voters would've preferred the NDP on daycare, federal carbon pricing, reversing Harper's corporate tax cuts, restoring health transfer cuts, etc.

So the center-left vote would've been much differently distributed. The NDP may have come out the lead center-left party. (Strategic voters ended up backing the Liberals as the safer bet to stop Harper.)

2) The Cons would've run the same polarizing campaign. FPTP rewards polarizing politics. Ranked ballots punishes them (extremists lose out on alternative votes.) All the simulated Liberal seat gains come from Conservative losses. Fact is the Cons would've run a different campaign, albeit reluctantly, to target alternative votes.

3) The Liberals would benefit from being the middle party. The historical trend in Canada is to two conservative parties. So instead of the Liberals going right-of-center to split the Red Tory vote to stop a Con majority, they would be forced back to the center-left as the Red Tories form their own party. Australia, for example, which uses ranked ballots, has 4 conservative parties.

Fact is the Liberal party can only benefit playing both sides against the middle using FPTP. Polarizing politics also works well for them, handing them the center-left vote without having to earn or represent it.

In short, although ranked ballots do not ensure proportionality, they do require that a party or parties receive 50% of the vote to form the government. There are no false majorities in Australia. It puts an end to all minority party dictatorships (according to the historical record.)

Anonymous said...

BTW, the only change ranked ballots would make to our existing system is requiring that MPs EARN their seats with a majority of the vote. It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that this could somehow distort the will of voters more than FPTP.

How do voters benefit from getting stuck with MPs they don't want and didn't vote for? This is the landslide mechanism that produces FPTP false majorities. Ranked ballot voting stops it dead in it's tracks.

Establishment media lies about ranked ballots are no different than the lies they spread about proportional voting. They want FPTP because it gives them control of the government. Period.

Anonymous said...

Agree with this post 100%, which is unusual for me.

However, it follows the facts as I have seen them and leaves a few others on the table to be dragged up when the rah rah Liberal Crowd a la iPolitics refuses to believe the evidence of their eyes and ears.

As for Paul Martin, I have no time for the man and never did. Smarmy and overly ambitious. Anonymous 12:35 pm sums him up well. But neglects to mention the annual 2% cap on spending for Indian and Northern Affairs that has remained for 20 years. Martin now runs some Native education charity to assauge his conscience, one presumes, and for the tax write off. But CSL is still worth a billion $, so he isn't wondering where his next porterhouse steak is coming from.


As for our resident National Gadfly and Master US Bootlicker, JT: Gronk.

Steve said...

Maybe we have our own version of the men in black that school the new leader that he who has the gold makes the rules.

The Mound of Sound said...

"Agreed with this post 100%, which is unusual for me."

Really, Bill, I imagined you instinctively agreed with me. Well, I feel "dissed."

The whole point of posting my opinions and insights is to encourage readers to share theirs. If they didn't I would simply be talking to myself and my kids are already starting to worry about that.


Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 5:54 pm
"although ranked ballots do not ensure proportionality"
Take it easy on dismissing the value of proportionality...
Proportionality is THE very cornerstone of a true democracy.
Libs are so keen on clinging to power via ranked ballot that they are trying to exclude Greens and NDP from key parliamentary electoral reform committee.
Proportionality would also ensure end of the grip of establishment on political parties...

The Mound of Sound said...

A..non, I'm leery of anyone who claims they can define "true democracy." The manner in which votes are cast is just one facet. Your absolutism could lend itself to mob rule as readily as anything that could be defined as true democracy, if that concept could even be defined.

Is liberal democracy "true democracy"? What of other forms of democracy? What about the connection between the vote and the person installed to legislate?

People who pursue blinding purity can sometimes wander into some pretty radical views. Absolutism lends itself to that very outcome.

Surely the classic, 2-party state is a true democracy. It must be. You either vote for A or you vote for B, the votes are counted and the popular will is apparent. Yet we have graphic proof that does not assure democracy will prevail.

Many years ago CBC's immensely talented interviewer, Patrick Watson, did a lengthy series on the subject of democracy. For people like me who then believed as you do now it was an eye-opener. It's too bad those works are permanently out of circulation. Oh well.