Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Has Stephen Harper Crossed the Floor?

This thought crossed my mind a few days back when Harper sought to muzzle the old social conservative Reform/Alliance core of the party but today's Throne Speech sounds like it could have been written by a Liberal leader.

The committments are admittedly vague but they seem to touch on most of the key notes:

- aid to Ontario's auto industry. That will probably await Obama's decision on what to do for Detroit.

- ensuring the "social safety net" is as effective as possible (lots of wiggle room) there to meet the needs of those who lose their jobs.

- a promise to see 90% of Canada's electricity generated from "non-emitting" power sources by 2020.

There was, however, a little Republican gimmick slipped in as well, a brief mention of giving the private sector a greater role in administration to "deliver better services at a lower overall cost." That one, I'm sure, is going to be contentious particularly if it leads to attempts to dismantle our public healthcare system. At the moment, however, I doubt Harper would be that bold. His approach is always incremental, finding a way to back into his objectives.

All in all, there wasn't much Sturm und Drang in the Throne Speech but, as Harper told the party faithful recently, this is no time to act like a Conservative.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to read something from you regarding our health care system and what will happen to Canadians if we are plunged into a system like the one south of the boarder. I have friends in the US and some struggle to meet $500.00 a month health care costs. A. Morris

The Mound of Sound said...

One thing Steve has shown is a finely honed survival instinct. He's struggled to reach 40% of a highly indifferent electorate at the polls. If he wants to invigorate voters, messing with healthcare is just the ticket - for everyone but Steve Harper. Especially in tough times when Canadians face a great deal of uncertainty, trying to squeeze in private healthcare might leave the Tories close to where they wound up in the wake of Mulroney. I think they'd even take a battering in their Alberta sanctuary.

Anonymous said...

It's US dems squeezing the PM using Jack and pals. Obama was carbon credits and foreign aid cash.

She was put there by Martin and won't leave. It's like her CSIS work at CBC, billions for nothing.

We're already paying Blair and Martin's GDP tax and now we're paying the IMF GDP tax and we have to run a deficit and buy US auto workers pensions. Americans need to social security pension their people with a decent amount, like the money that the auto makers are getting for those pensions.

The GG needs to tell us how much her trip to Africa cost. It was classified when someone asked. The PM should sell CBC and save us 1.1 billion a year.