Little Fish in a Giant pond

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Of Leafs and Liberals

Have you ever heard someone say "I will be a Liberal (Conservative, New Democrat, etc.) until the day I die"? I'm sure most of us have.
I recently had the pleasure of watching one of my favourite bloggers give the scolding of a lifetime to a "loyal" Iggy supporter. Don't get me wrong, our party's leader is far better suited to lead this country than the whimpering coward who currently occupies 24 Sussex, and I have every confidence that Iggy will teach Harper a lesson or two about democracy come election time; but that's not the point.
My point is that unwavering loyalty is for dogs. Sure, I'll be the first person to say that you shouldn't abandon a party that otherwise suits you just fine because of one or two minor disagreements, but to unwaveringl support a party or person without question just because you always have in the past is lunacy! (my continuing support of the Toronto Maple Leafs notwithdstanding)
I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada by choice, a choice that I am free to change at any moment of my choosing. I support my party, my local candidate (Julie Bourgeois) and Michael Ignatieff because I believe in social justice, the rule of law, government accountability, international peacekeeping, the rule of law, sound financial management, and putting the country's interests first!
To my Conservative friends, know that I have a lot of respect for you and what you believe in, no matter how much we may disagree, but the fact is that the party of Sir John A., Dief the chief, and Brian Mulroney (disgraced as he may be, he still did or at least attempted to do some good things for this country), is no more. Your party has been taken over by an ultra right wing band of demagogs who care nothing about this country and have become far more authoritarian than the Liberals you so loathed when you were in opposition.
Stephen Harper has completely abandoned any of the well intentioned (though possibly miguided) principles of the Reform movement for renewing Canadian Democracy and has instead gone in the complete opposite direction. For example:
  1. As leader of the opposition, he criticized Paul Martin for not going far enough in bringing transparency to the Supreme Court nomination process, then once elected, reversed Martin's reforms and went back to the old process (though admittedly he did choose a fine jurist).
  2. Despite being required to respect the Kyoto protocol by a parliamentary motion, and even legislation, he has refused, not simply failed, but openly and deliberately refused to follow Kyoto. Even if you're still clinging to the notion that all of this climate change "nonsense" (i.e. science and facts) is a made up conspiracy, does this not at least offend your sense of right and wrong? Do you honestly believe that any political party or person should be above the law? Do you not see that whether you like it or not, the opposition parties have been delegated by a majority of Canadian voters to speak for them in Ottawa?
  3. Harper along with many of you criticized Jean Chretien and Paul Martin for calling elections at their whims simply because they believed the moment was ripe for them to win another term, but that did not stop the PM from stomping all over his own fixed date election legislation and declaring a snap election.
  4. On the night of his reelection, he promised to work with the oppositon and then immediately proposed a budget that would bankrupt them. When that blew up in his face and the opposition threatened to form a coalition (which would have been the most democratic government Canada has ever had!), he declared it a "coup" as if his minority government somehow had more right to govern than a coalition with more than 60% of the population's votes, and prorogued parliament in order to avoid the vote of no confidence. Talk about a sense of entitlement!
  5. I suppose that brings me to his latest attack on Canadian Democracy. With all kinds of questions lingering about how his governement may have exposed Canadian soldiers to war crimes prosecution (the very troops he purports to "stand by"), he ran and hid from our elected representatives. You cannot possibly believe that he is above reproach, can you? If not Parliament, then who is the Prime Minister accountable to?

I wish that was the end of the list, but I'm afraid it is only the Reader's Digest version. If we are going to save Canadian democracy, all Canadians (Conservatives, New Democrats, Sovereignists and Liberals alike) are going to have to draw a line in the sand when parliament eventually resumes.

To Michael Ignatieff and the other opposition leaders, I implore you, please bring down the Harper government as soon as possible! You may never get the ideal shot, and I can almost promise you that Harper will not simply give it to you. Winning an election is never an easy thing, especially against an opponent who will do anything to win, no matter what the cost to the country, but sometimes David has to take a stand against Goliath.

By the way, did anyone catch the Leafs/Sens game last night?

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