Well a historic election has just taken place in Canada. The Bloc was decimated in Quebec, and almost wiped off the map. Newfoundland told Conservatives what to do with themselves. The Greater Toronto Area is painted blue and Toronto has gone NDP Orange. Also, it looks like we have our very first Green member of Parliament. So what went wrong for the Liberals? They took their support for granted. Canadians were looking for change and they did not see it in the Liberals, in Ontario. Yes, there was a lot of vote splitting, however lets be honest. Ontario has been red for a long time. This is a breakthrough for the Conservatives in Ontario. The question is, can they live up to that support?
The G.T.A is an important battleground and they better take note. As for the NDP, they better not take their Quebec support for granted. The Bloc imploded, Liberals were yesterdays news and they did not like the Conservatives. So we are left with the NDP. Jack the time to start working is now. As for the Liberals, there is a lot of soul searching.
However I will offer this advice to all parties. (1) Liberals, you need to go back to your roots. Your party is not dead. I’d rather say that it is in hibernation and healing. Canadian’s have not forgotten you, rather the opposite happened. You forgot them. Remember who you are and what you stand for. Otherwise, what is the point of the Liberal Party. It is time for you to reconnect. (2) NDP you have been given the chance to prove your worth, so do not disappoint. From the people I have spoken to many parked their vote with the NDP. Also, in Ontario, people simply love and trust Jack Layton. It will be important, despite a majority Conservative government, that the NDP choose their battles well and fight for those who voted for them. Less we forget, as often Canadians do! (3) Conservatives fought a simple and straight-forward campaign. You delivered your message and Canadians listened. We are concerned about the economy and trust in that has been given to you. However, do not take that trust for granted. A lot of Canadians still do not trust the Conservative Party and a lot of seats were gained from vote splitting. Be careful how you govern. Canadians are watching. Do not slip to the right with arrogance. As Harper said, keep a steady ship. If you can prove your worth maybe your quality will be remembered. (4) Finally, to Elizabeth May and the Green Party. You have made Canadian history! Despite the media ignoring you, thank you for running and not giving up. The Green Party should be a wake up call to ALL parties. People voted for Elizabeth May and the Greens across Canada. Their ideas and policies should not be ignored! Summed up in Elizabeth May’s own words “amateurs built the ark and professionals built the Titanic”. People are wary in Canada and if the status-quo parties cannot deliver, Canadians may decide someone else can.
Congrats to Prime Minister Harper, who has finally gotten a majority government for the Conservative Party. We will all watch, wait and see what policies are implemented and what happens in the next Parliament. See you in 2015!
We warned you during the election that the numbers did not make sense. As with others in the past who promised no deficits it seems that Harper has retracted on what he said during the election. Flip-flop? We focused so much on the Green Shift that other issues were put to the side. Now we are stuck with this situation. Are Canadians prepared for deep cuts to funding? Show me the money!
LES PERREAUX , KAREN HOWLETT , GLORIA GALLOWAY and BRIAN LAGHI
With reports from Joe Friesen in Toronto and Ian Bailey in Vancouver
October 18, 2008
QUEBEC, TORONTO, OTTAWA — Stephen Harper refused yesterday to rule out the possibility of a deficit next year despite his promise during the election campaign that he would not allow one if re-elected.
While the Prime Minister said he intends to maintain a balanced budget this year, he did not say the same for 2009-10.
“I don’t think we’re in a position yet to know all the information in that regard,” Mr. Harper said in Quebec City, where Canada is hosting a summit of French-speaking governments. “It would be premature to speculate on that. I will just say that the Government of Canada will maintain responsible fiscal policies and the Government of Canada will ensure that whatever we do is in the long-run interests of the Canadian economy.”
The government will unveil an updated economic statement this fall. Should revenues be affected by economic turmoil after this year, the Tories would have to choose whether to run a deficit, cut spending or find other revenue sources such as increasing taxes.
Jonathan Kay raises interesting points about the carbon tax and posits that it’s actually quite a “conservative” tax. I’d like to refer readers to Kay’s article, in which he makes a number of very valid observations – apart from the fact that Stéphane Dion should be sacked, he also reminds people that conservatism is not the mean-spirited ideology that the less-than-intellectual always make it out to be:
Many people casually associate the word “conservative” with unfettered capitalism and mindless consumerism. That is a fallacy. A true conservative in the Edmund Burke mold is suspicious of any revolutionary creed that challenges the established qualities of a humane society, especially a creed — such as unbridled materialism — that corrodes family life and human spirituality.
Absolutely true. This is why a real conservative won’t be the typical frenetic Bible-thumper, because he or she has realized that a fundamentalist Christian is often no better or worse than a fundamentalist Islamist, for example.
I fully agree that Dion deserves to be sacked — not only over his Green Shift, but quite generally. He’s not cut out for politics and should be sent back to his Ivory Tower at university where he belongs (or some Marxist summer camp in Paris) – back to your real roots, Monsieur Dion!
Having said that, it was a high-profile conservative who made a very strong case for shifting taxation away from income and on to consumption: David Frum, in his excellent book Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again.
So, a carbon tax is actually quite a good concept in theory, one that fits right in with the green-blue environmental conservatism championed by none other than one of Canada’s greatest politicians ever, if not the greatest, Preston Manning.
Manning formed the Reform Party in 1987. His chief policy adviser was Stephen Harper, a student at the University of Calgary and now the Prime Minister of Canada. Harper designed the Reform Party’s 1988 campaign platform. The Reform Party was a combination of fiscal conservatism and populism, though aspects of social-conservatism grew, branding the party as “very right-wing.”
You can’t do your job as Leader of the Opposition. I don’t know what you’re doing running for Prime Minister. It’s a very unusual political situation when every voter knows even before the federal election that Canada’s next prime minister will be Stephen Harper. Like or loathe it, the Conservatives will be returned to power on October 14.
But two other important questions are far from decided – who will be Opposition leader and whether it will be a minority or majority government.
After last week’s debate and two years of Harper government one thing is very clear – the only real federal opposition in the House of Commons is the New Democratic Party. And the only real choice for Opposition leader is Jack Layton.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion is a smart, decent man. But Dion and the Liberals don’t stand up to Stephen Harper – they prop him up.
On 43 separate occasions in Parliament, Dion’s Liberals voted to keep Harper in power and accept his very conservative legislation.
By continually abstaining, the “Official Opposition” has abdicated its important role of serving the majority of Canadians who reject Conservative ideology.
But it wasn’t just fear of losing an election that led to the Liberals becoming Conservative Lite – they actually agree with Harper’s wrong-headed positions on many key political issues.
Dion and the Liberals support Harper’s massive $50 billion corporate tax cuts that reward companies which have eliminated more than 400,000 manufacturing and forest industry jobs since 2000.
And the Liberals and Conservatives want huge tax cuts despite the fact that Canada’s tax rates are already lower than many industrialized nations, including the United States, Germany, Italy and Japan.
And Canada also has a much lower Goods and Services Tax than most countries.
Dion and the Liberals joined with Conservatives to vote to extend till 2011 the deadly mission that sent brave Canadian troops into a hopeless situation in Afghanistan.
Dion and the Liberals say they want a “Green Shift” and carbon tax to protect the environment but oppose a proposed NDP moratorium on new Alberta tar sands oil projects – Canada’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
TORONTO — Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is taking his Conservative rival to task for encouraging Canadians to take advantage of stock market opportunities created by the world economic crisis.
Dion says Prime Minister Stephen Harper is completely out of touch with the impact the financial turmoil is having on the lives of everyday Canadians.
He says Harper has flunked the first and most important test of leadership by failing to understand the fears Canadians have for their jobs and savings.
Dion is speaking to the same Toronto business audience where Harper unveiled the Conservative election platform and spoke about “buying opportunities” on the stock market the day before.
He says the Tory platform has no coherent plan to help Canada’s economy beyond meagre relief for the manufacturing and forestry sectors.
Dion says the Liberals have a solid strategy to protect people’s savings, pensions, homes and jobs.
Dion’s attack echoed almost verbatim one launched earlier today by NDP Leader Jack Layton, who assailed Harper for saying the stock market plunge presents “a lot of great buying opportunities” for investors.
“Mr. Harper said that an economic storm was no time to switch boats,” said Dion. “Well, I say, the captain of the boat is asleep at the wheel.
“For the sake of all Canadians, we need to change course, we need to change the captain, we need to change the whole crew.”
Poilievre says he regrets questioning merits of settlement with aboriginals
Juliet O’Neill, with files from Tim Shufelt, The Ottawa Citizen
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on the defensive yesterday over the remarks of a Conservative MP who undermined his historic apology to aboriginal peoples by questioning “the value for all this money” survivors of residential schools are eligible to receive under a compensation settlement.
Pierre Poilievre, the Nepean-Carleton MP who serves as parliamentary secretary, expressed regret for his “hurtful and wrong” comments in the House of Commons just moments before question period. But his brief apology had little impact on Liberal MPs, who branded his remarks disgraceful and racist and demanded he step down as parliamentary secretary to the president of the treasury board.
Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine said in an interview the remarks were “just really unfortunate” distractions from Mr. Harper’s apology, which was, in part, “about casting aside old attitudes and old stereotypes” like the ones Mr. Poilievre expressed. Chief Fontaine, who praised the apology during an appearance in the Senate with other aboriginal leaders, said the government apology remains “the important moment,” despite the MP’s remarks.
Mr. Poilievre also suggested aboriginals need to work harder rather than receive more money. He appeared unaware the $1.9-billion compensation settlement is the result of years of negotiations by government, churches and aboriginal representatives. The talks are aimed at reducing and containing a growing number of lawsuits over the mistreatment, including widespread physical and sexual assaults, of several generations of aboriginal children.
An Angus Reid survey suggests strictly on the “like-ability factor”, most Canadians would vote for Jack Layton as the next Prime Minister. The survey puts layton’s popularity rating at 36 per cent, ahead of harpers 32 per cent. But when asked who would make the best prime minister, Steven Harper remains in front.
The Jack Layton Show will go to air across the Astral Media Radio Newstalk Network on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time.
At the start of the federal election campaign, Newstalk 1010 CFRB extended an invitation to each major federal political party leader.
The invitation was for an opportunity to host a one-hour show, between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM, on a weekday, sometime during the 2008 federal election campaign.
“The NDP confirmed Monday that Jack Layton will host his own talk show this Wednesday.” said Steve Kowch, CFRB’s Operations Manager and the National Director of News Talk Programming for Astral Media Radio.
The rules are simple.Only the leader is in the studio to take as many calls as they can from Montreal, Toronto, Southern Ontario and Kelowna, BC.
Listeners will be invited to call a toll free number to speak to the party leaders.”
During the Ontario election CFRB in Toronto, CKTB in St. Catharines and CJBK in London aired talk shows hosted by the province’s main political leaders.
A new poll suggests the Conservatives have solidified a substantial lead over their closest rivals, thanks at least in part to a lack of confidence in Liberal helmsman Stéphane Dion. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll, conducted Sept. 10-13, gave the Conservatives 40 per cent support across Canada, followed by the Liberals at 26 per cent.
With Liberal leader Dion faltering and lagging behind Jack Layton in the polls, one has to wonder if change is in the air? We are already seeing old Liberal tactics; telling people not to split the vote, and cause a majority Conservative government. One has to ask, if this is the ONLY tactic they have to remain as the official opposition than maybe it is time for change? The Liberals are getting old and there is a sense amongst voters that it is “time for change” in Canada. Elizabeth May was seen as a possible alternative, however there is the feeling that they are in league with the Liberals, tainting the green image. Who knows what will happen on October the 14th, but one thing is clear, change is in the air. I am not sure if Canada is really ready to have an NDP government in Canada. The experience in Ontario maybe scaring individual voters, however I guess it does not matter since Bob Rae is now a Liberal? Maybe Bob Rae was never truly an NDP backer and we have never really seen what an NDP government can do. The question is, can Jack Layton deliver? Is it time for change? Is it time to for the new world of NDP Orange? Is it time for Prime Minister Jack Layton?
By: Andy MJ / a.k.a The G.T.A Patriot
Read more about the NDP Party of Canada below.
Through three decades of public service, and as Leader of Canada’s New Democrats since 2003, Jack Layton is delivering the kind of change that can make life better for you and your family.
Months after taking his place in Parliament, Jack Layton successfully rewrote the 2005 federal budget. In place of $4.6-billion in corporate tax giveaways, Layton secured investments in better priorities—affordable housing, training, public transit, energy efficiency, development assistance and wage protection.
At last: this was policy from the kitchen table, not the boardroom table, and ordinary Canadians responded.