Saturday, August 29, 2015

Paul Martin Gives Tommy Angry Beard a Well-Deserved Kick in the Ass.

Paul Martin was the finance minister who plucked the federal government from the brink of fiscal chaos. It was a tough time for all including the provinces, even the Canadian Forces, but he balanced the budget and paid down $90 billion of our national debt. He kept the bankers in line and when he handed the reins to Harper he bequeathed a full treasury ready to absorb the brunt of the great collapse of 2008.

Put simply, Martin pulled our fat (yours and mine) out of the fire. Which is why he deserves to be heard on the mess we're in yet again and where we're headed.

The public has grown used to the Harper government’s mantra on deficits, but should be startled by what they hear from New Democrats, he said.

“That Tom Mulcair is now a student of Stephen Harper’s economy makes absolutely no sense,” said Martin.

“Where is the conscience of those who belong in the NDP? How can the NDP party — those who’ve worked it for all these years — stand for the fact that the party is now holding hands with the Conservatives and saying that our goal in the next mandate is to do absolutely nothing?”

The current Conservative government has ground the economy down so far, trapping our most vulnerable of citizens in the process, that the next government has to act and that the NDP doesn’t understand that boggles the mind. Conservative obsession with eliminating the deficit down to the final decimal point is more than short-sighted. It’s yesterday’s war.”

Further evidence of how Mulcair and Harper are on the wrong page with their babble about balancing budgets comes from a new poll that finds Canadians believe their country is in a recession and support the federal government running a deficit to stimulate the economy.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I've been pretty tough on young Trudeau but I will give him credit for his commitment to a major, 3-year infrastructure programme. Sure he'll run a deficit but that's not the point. It's like bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. Harper's "throw a deck on the cottage" stimulus budget of 2009 was bad cholesterol. It was money squandered, gifted away, with no lasting return. Infrastructure spending, of the sort Harper didn't have the vision or courage to implement, is good cholesterol. It's money invested in public assets - highways, bridges, overpasses, power grids - that bolster the economy and reap returns for decades.

Of course, with this latest poll, the bearded chameleon may change his colours as effortlessly as he has on other situations in the past.


Toby said...

Mulcair and Trudeau look to be switching positions, Mulcair to the right and Trudeau left. I wonder how each of their parties see this.

What disturbs me about this election is that it is about three men. That's all. There is nothing about anything else. In my riding there are a few signs, mostly NDP. That's it. Nothing else. Worse, there really isn't much talk about issues. Oh, Harper says it's about the economy and security but he's not willing to really get into it; he only deals in simple platitudes. The big issues are being ignored.

The only voice speaking truth to power is Liz May and she is being kept in the wilderness.

LeDaro said...

Mound, I understand Mulcair initially wanted to join Cons but was not welcomed. Then he went for NDP and ironically became leader. Between the three Justin Trudeau looks better. Mulcair's sole purpose is power and public does not matter other than their votes. It is hoped that Greens will get more seats.

Another interesting whispers are that Cons are talking about a new leader. It looks Cons do feel that Harper will be cooked in this election.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Toby - our political apparatus has accepted Harper's shift to the Right despite years of polls upon polls showing that Canadians remain centre-left. That was the fundamental reason I'm no longer a Liberal. I didn't leave them. They left me. I went to the Greens to "park" my vote but then found it the only genuine alternative to these three grey suits stuffed with wet cardboard.

Mulcair, like Harper, are talking over the heads of the Canadian people. That's why we'll see no attempt to restrain creeping neoliberalism from them.

Trudeau has plenty of room in the spectrum abandoned by the NDP where he can address concerns that resonate with ordinary Canadians. As I've written so many times, we're just getting our feet wet in a new era that will require solidly left of centre government if we're to avoid some sort of market fundamentalist feudalism.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ LD - I agree that Harper's days are numbered. Here, on the island, the Tory campaign effort seems utterly dispirited. In the past they came charging out the gate when the writ dropped.

I'm getting the impression that, on October 19th, a lot of Tories will be staying home, sitting this one out.

Anonymous said...

@ Toby
It is about issues. NDP promised PR. I will keep Mulcair by every strand of his beard to the account.

Paul who? A convert who sold Petro-Canada to placate banksters of Bay Street? My schadenfreude is somewhat satisfied by the fact that, as a payback, those banksters pulled the rug from under him and stabbed him in the back.

Anonymous said...

MOS: You make many legitimate points about the lamentable shift of the NDP to the right. And also about giving Paul Martin credit for paying down the debt and balancing the budget.

But let us not get carried away beyond that, eh?

Martin had balanced the budget on the backs of the provinces by cutting transfer payments drastically to the provinces. And he also raided the EI funds to the tune of some $50B to balance the budget. Remember this: ?

Harper had simply learnt to do the same things from Martin, especially by raiding the EI funds too as the same article had pointed out. Of course, the pathetic thing is that Harper could not even balance the budget despite doing that, having run now a likely 8 consecutive deficits and having blown away the rainy day fund of some $13B that Martin had left him, which, again, Martin had accumulated on the backs of the provinces.

Considering that Martin was likely the Father of the balancing the budget at any cost neoliberal thing, it is a bit rich for him now to pretend that he was Mr. Progressive, eh?

What we are now witnessing are two opposition (and some would say, neoliberal too) leaders trying to position themsleves as the viable alternative between the King of Deficits and the King of Austerity (Martin).

In that respect, I can see why you are pulling for the Green. Except that I also remember that the VP (I think) of the Green Party had come out strongly in support of the Israel war criminal acts against the people of Gaza (for which he was kind of forced to admit that it was not the party policy, if memory serves).

But it does leave open the question as to how much unquestioned support there really is for Israel among the GP members, no?

The Mound of Sound said...

A..non. I'm intrigued to learn how exactly you intend to hold Mulcair to account? What exactly have you got in mind, anything you can share with us plebs?

@ Anon 10:37. You have a feeble grasp of Martin's progressivism. The Kelowna Accords are a good example of what you conveniently overlook.

And, yes, the Green Party was quick to deal with the Israel issue, to the point of telling that individual his position was incompatible with belonging to the Party. How much unquestioned support is there? That's a bit spurious isn't it? Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

Anonymous said...

Paul Martin is a founding father of bringing neoliberal economics to Canada. He turned the Liberal party into the Brian Mulroney party. He brought in spending cuts, cuts to provincial transfers, and corporate tax cuts Mulroney could only dream of. He cemented in place Mulroney's reckless income tax cuts for the rich. He looted the UI fund of $40-billion dollars. He handed down a $14-billion surplus instead of spending money on social programs like daycare promised originally in 1993.

Only a rabid partisan could be so obtuse as to consider these policies progressive and have the gall to criticize others for being neoliberal. You have absolutely no idea of what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

If anyone deserves a quick kick in the ass it's Paul Martin. Why didn't he implement the Kelowna Accord or child care legislation when he had the chance? Because he is just another neoliberal dickhead.

Anonymous said...

" What exactly have you got in mind, anything you can share with us plebs?"

Just watch me...

The Mound of Sound said...

Brilliant analysis, Anon 12:49. Isn't there a bus depot bathroom you should be adorning with your insights? Really, you're as disgusting as you are puerile.

Scotian said...

Anon 12:49PM:

If the Kelowna Accord was only the feds then you can make that criticism, but wait, it was a pan Canadian all Provincial government buy-in as well as the feds, which took YEARS to negotiate and build. Yet Layton could not wait two to three months to allow it to be implemented so it could not be so easily undone by a different government. As to the child care, on that you have a better case but even there a weaker one than you think. First, other aspects were getting funding restored at least somewhat before starting a new expensive social program. Remember the point of the cuts in the 90s was so that once the books were in better health money could be reinvested to rebuild on the exiting framework, as opposed to having the IMF come in and wipe out those programs altogether in the austerity approach, and by the time Martin came to power this was starting to be done. Sure, they hadn't made up for all they had cut, but they were moving in the right direction, and one of the main reasons Layton made up that pretext to bring the government down on (Medicare funding, gee , how much better deal were they able to get since then for medicare, hmmmm? Especially given that the PM is a former head of the organization created to destroy medicare?) was he feared even a few more months might give Martin the chance to rebuild his reputation enough to hold onto government, which was clear to political observers at the time.

MoS is correct, Martin overall did more good than harm, not because cuts are always so wonderful, but because at that time we really were facing a serious possibility of having put books put in order for us if we didn't do it. I am low income well below poverty line disabled, I am in the economic group that was most at risk either way, and I tell you that I preferred to see Martin and Chretien hollow out programs yet still leave them as opposed to IMF simply wiping them out.

So no, Martin does not deserve that kick, he deserves a hell of a lot more respect than he is likely ever to get, and not just on the economic front. What if instead of calling the Gomery Inquiry he simply swept it under the rug like so many other scandals? No, he went for accountability despite knowing it would cost him and his party because he believed it important. He also deserves respect for wiping out the traditional Liberal fundraising source from corporations despite it also putting his party at disadvantage because he believed it important enough to force the party to learn to shift to being funded more from smaller donors and therefore reducing the influence of corporate money.

to be concluded...

Scotian said...


This is part of my problem with the NDP and Dippers, they cannot see the positives within those outside their own circles, and denounce, denounce, denounce, all those not of their tribe despite factual realities. You know who that looks like? CPC/Harperites, that's who. Partisans in general tend to be a bit hard to argue with, but in the past I used to be able to get partisans to acknowledge facts if I pushed hard enough and was able to present them enough. These days though that is far harder, and of the three main parties the one's whose partisans I still find the easiest to get through are the Libs, and not by a small margin anymore either. Not saying they make it easy of course, partisans never do, but at least I can still get somewhere some of the time there, the other two parties alas, not so much.

Martin has major credibility across partisan lines in the wider public because most Canadians understand what he did, why he had to do it, and respect the fact he didn't just waste it (unlike his successor). Which he earned. Which Dipper denigration only further undermines their own outside of their hardcore believers, which given the need for the NDP to get the voters to trust them on economic responsibility grounds is not the smartest thing, and to claim this is about a matter of principle given all the other principles the NDP has cheerfully abandoned in the last decade in its pursuit of power is also hard to stomach for many.

crf said...

A comment above says Mulcair promised PR.
He also promised no Senate.
I won't mention the clarity act further than in this sentence.

That's at least two promises that violate the constitution.

The mixed-member form of P-R privileges political parties in selecting MPs. The constitution says that only the right to vote qualifies a person to stand for election and sit in the house of commons. Mulcair's proposed system reserves seats in the House for people who are electors and additionally members of a party selected list. Other forms of PR do not have this property (for instance the STV system which had been proposed in B.C.)

We don't elect political parties in Canada. Only individual citizens. For all its merits, the simple PR system proposed by Mulcair seems to have a fatal flaw. It can't be overcome with happy thoughts.

It is a requirement that Senators be appointed by the Governor General should there be a vacancy. And the GG acts on advice of the PM. So it is unconstitutional for there being no appointments: the PM must advise the GG on appointments to the Senate.

Mulcair proposals are unfortunately akin to the populist unconstitutional shenanigans practiced by some US politicians, like teaching creationism or privileging Christian symbolism in public functions: they try to do it (often for earnest, well meaning reasons I imagine), only to have it struck down by the court system, in a massive waste of time and money and needlessly hurt feelings.

Mulcair, I think, is a nut. He'll just continue the Harper legacy of constant battling with the courts over unconstitutional laws.

Now, I'll probably end up voting the NDP candidate in my riding (Randall Garrison): he hasn't really distinguished himself (which is hard to do in opposition) but at least he isn't a nut: hopefully NDP MPs can talk some sense into their leader. Mulcair main job, should he become PM, is to run government efficiently and fairly. This is what Harper hasn't been doing, and why people want to get rid of him. Making new laws shouldn't be a priority, and windmill-tilting at the Senate and at Canada's constitution should be ruled right out.

Anonymous said...

"Mulcair main job, should he become PM, is to run government efficiently and fairly. Making new laws shouldn't be a priority..."
The biggest deficiency in Canadian "democracy" is lack of PR.
PR which is constitutional. And not so complicated , at first.
STV was rejected in B.C. only because most folks could not easily grasp it.

The Mound of Sound said...

I suspect, A..non that Chris is right. To shift to some form of PR would require a constitutional amendment and I doubt Mulcair would be able to get the consent of necessary quorum of premiers without reopening another round of constitutional horse trading. He'll never get PR and abolition of the Senate. The premiers won't buy it.

From what I've seen it appears Mulcair fully realizes he's playing to a profoundly unsophisticated crowd or gullabillies.Tell them just about anything, feed them convenient talking points with just enough fact to disguise the nonsense and send them on their way.

Read that analysis by Yves Engler. He's got the experience and credibility that eclipses all of ours put together. The man considered Canada's Noam Chomsky has no hesitation in labelling the NDP leader as a full blown neoliberal - because he is. For some reason that causes Dippers' heads to explode. Oh well. Although I have to say I find it as illustrative as I do amusing.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Chris. I've been wondering whether the GG, in the absence of nominations from a prime minister, can apply the "vacant field" rule and appoint senators of his own account?

For example, what if we had a string of prime ministers, all of the same party, who decided not to replace senators from a particular province? Let's say they said no more appointments for the Maritimes. What then?

Gyor said...

If you think Paul Martin is to the left of Tom Mulcair I simply can't take you seriously anymore.

Paul Martin as finciance minister cut 40% from the social safety net, causing chaos at the provincial level in the process, once out of debt he focused on giving money to the rich instead of rebuilding what he'd destroyed, as Prime Minister he went to war in Afganistan, and what disaster that was.

Seriously Paul Martin was to the right of Stephen Harper, Harper used stimulus spending to get out of the first recession, abit poorly, Paul Martin used deep cuts to healthcare, education, ect...

And yes during the last year of his rein as Prime Minister he had a death bed conversion, to sum degree, in order to entice voters back from the NDP.

I lived through the nightmare years caused by Paul Martin and its side effects such as Mike Harris " common sense revolution" and that is why I will never trust the Liberal Party and the rotten corruption that continues to fester inside it.

As for Trudeau's sudden left turn (which if you saw his record even recently should tell you it has more to do with his drop in the polls then any change of heart), I've lived through throw the Liberals turn left, govern right show before, and I'll be damned before I see the Liberal Party in government again.

So your free to try and sell your revisionist history, but don't expect those of us who remember how the Liberal Party actually works to be fooled.

I've lived under the Martin/Chrenien years and now the Dalton/Wynne years, so I know the deception that lies at the heart of the Liberal Party.

I will drink a toss to both Mulcair's victory and the Liberal Parties defeat on October 20th.

Gyor said...

A shift to PR does not require a constitutional amendment, no legal minds worth speaking of, including most who don't support PR as an idea, suggests that it does. Even the Liberals and CPC are claiming that, because its not true and every single constitutional scholar would tell them that.

Abolishing the Senate yes, that requires a constitutional amendment, implementing Mixed Member Proportional Representation no.

Scotian said...


As if you are the only one to live through those years, you do realize just how incredibly ARROGANT and EGOCENTRIC you are sounding there, right? You claim MoS is revising history, well what about your blatant LYING about what he said in his post? I see nothing about where he claims Paul Martin is to the left of Mulcair, what I DO see is that he says that Martin has earned the right to be taken seriously on fiscal matters given that not only did he pay down the debt and eliminate deficits at a time when that was seen by the wider Canadian public as necessary (see, I and MoS ALSO lived through those years, and we both remember that this POV was not simply imposed by Martin and Chretien but was part of a wider overall mindset in that period of western history), he also kept our banking sector from buying into the crazy American created and European jumped on deregulation and insane market game playing with debt, not least with derivatives, which all the neoliberals were calling the shit including our own Harper, but Martin resisted to much derision. IOW, Martin deserved to be taken seriously because it was his policies and actions which saved us from the worst ravages of the 2008 financial sector crash, especially since with Harper in charge we were never going to get any sensible economic medicine even in the minority.

So for you to boldly denounce MoS here while doing so with a flatly fallacious premise and say it makes him someone you cannot take seriously, well all you truly do is show why others should in fact not take YOU seriously. You have shown yourself time and again here and elsewhere to be a hard core and more than occasionally shrill Dipper partisan, immune to facts about the changes to your party that are blatantly obvious for all to see, and which has been called out not merely by their opponents over the past decade but also by many older school Dippers unhappy with what they have seen, and the way partisans like yo ignore that or worse denounce them for not staying silent and aiding in the selling out of principles for power is truly disgusting. Not to mention hypocritical, and sanctimonious hypocrisy at that when you try to attack others for their supposed placing lust for power ahead of principles. You cannot seriously believe what you spew, and if you do, then it is you that has so undercut his credibility because of the levels of dishonesty that run rampant in your writings, both on your views and the views of those you attack, be they politicians or fellow citizens.

to be concluded...

Scotian said...


As I noted earlier in this thread, this behaviour eerily matches that of the old Reformer/CPC partisans for the past decade or two. You are in fact one of the better examples of this in action, as well as your amazing ability to see the motes and logs in everyone elses eyes yet fail to see the clear cut forests in yours and those whom you support. You are not merely partisan, you act as if you are preprogrammed much like any cultist (in your case everything is either left or evil and only the pure as you define them are true leftists, such a narrow and limiting way of looking at politics), and I don't care what party or leader someone like that supports, I will always find them to be unworthy or respect for their views because of that inability for true critical thought, including the critical thought of their own preferred side.

I've been more and more supportive of the Libs over the last decade, yet I've NEVER pretended they didn't carry their own faults and issues, especially in the last election where the ONLY good thing I could say about Ignatief was that he wasn't Harper and even with all his massive issues would be nowhere near as bad/destructive as more Harper would have been. I never pretended that there wasn't serious flaws and problems with Ignatief, but I saw then that the only way to actually prevent the Harper majority was to support him and his party, instead of what we got. I dealt with demographic realities as shown by voting history, and only in the last election does the NDP start to get truly near credibility as a possible governing alternative, and how much that was because of Layton himself and because of Ignatief (the 2 men I most blame for the Harper majority, with Layton first and Ignatief right behind him) making it a unique result is yet to be seen, in part this election will do that. IOW, I show I am not a blind partisan, whether you agree or not with my positions, you could learn from that, but of course you won't. Tell me/us again why anyone unwilling to play honest when the evidence is literally right in front of them to verify as you did with what MoS said vis-a-vis Martin deserves any respect or credibility, I can use the laugh.

Sorry Gyor, yet again in your zealotry and your inability to accept you are not entitled to your own facts in such a blatant way underscore why it is no-one should take YOU seriously, not MoS, who has a much better record of follow the precept of being entitled to his opinions, but not his own facts. Not to mention that projectionism which has been so common in the movement conservatives in NA for the last few decades. Dark mirrors indead.

The Mound of Sound said...

Gyor, expand on "no legal minds worth speaking of." Let's begin with the very top legal minds that you consider ARE worth speaking of. How about just your top 10. Add links to their constitutional opinions which are undoubtedly published. Or are you, like Tommy Angry Beard, just blowing smoke up everyone's ass to hope you'll prevail?

C'mon - names, credentials, statute citations, case law, everything that should be at your fingertips.

Unless, that is, you're just a shit-eating troll. I'll check back tomorrow morning for your enlightenment. Stay frosty, chum.

Anonymous said...

"Brilliant analysis, Anon 12:49. Isn't there a bus depot bathroom you should be adorning with your insights? Really, you're as disgusting as you are puerile."

Whoa, settle down their big guy. You hate Tommy and you've got a hard on for Paul. Got it. Paul took the hatchet to social programs because, well, because his ownership of Canada Steamship shares means he doesn't have to worry about anybody but himself. And he's still a dickhead.

I will cry myself to sleep, lying on the benches of this bus depot, while pondering your hurtful remarks, while I wait for the morning bus.

P.S. - you really should invest in a blood pressure monitor.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon: it's "settle down" there, not "their," And, having spent my share of restless nights at Third World airports waiting for the flight to come in who knew when, trust me - it's not going to hurt you. Good luck with the morning bus.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.37 am here. I was going to reply to your assertion about my feeble grasp about Paul Matin being a progressive but I see others had already addressed that point so I will not belabour that issue.

I do, however, wonder why you consider my question (it wasn't even an accusation) about the level of questioned support for Israel among Green Party members spurious? If I had been a member of a group whose leader had supported the beating of their wives, then yes, your question about whether I had stopped beating my wife would have been legitimate. So in fairness to you, I have never been a member of such a group. Can you say that you have never been a member of a group that had supported the perpetration of war crimes against the Gazan people?

Unknown said...

Anon 12:49 Paul Martin did not implement the Kelowna Accord, because he lost the election, you know the one where Layton collaborated with Harper to bring Paul Martin down and Harper won. Harper shelved the Kelowna Accord.Also Neoliberalism existed long before Paul Martin, even as far back as Trudeau.

Anonymous said...

'Anon: it's "settle down" there, not "their,"'

But you are their 'big guy' aren't you Mound. If you want to play the role of misinterpreted spelling Nazi, that's your right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Consult a lawyer if you don't know what that means.

Unknown said...

Anonymous, I think Mound is a lawyer, a litigaion lawyer if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Paul Martin looks ridiculous in his hypocritical criticism of the NDP. When in power, Martin continued the Conservative agenda of handing corporations whatever they want, including treasonous trade deals and cuts to public services. Martin is a rich, elitist tax evader.

I'm sick of the Liberal lies and dirty tricks during election campaigns. The sleazy, promise-breaking Liberals really are not much better than their ideological brothers, the Conservatives.

The Mound of Sound said...

Did you remember to stop for dinner, Anon, or were you content to feed on your emotions?