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Old 11-27-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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Canadian politics maybe getting interesting!

So our moron of a Prime Minister announced via the Minister of Finance that they are going to cut public election financing. The way it works is that for each vote that a party receives during an election, it gets $1.95 from the government, which allows smaller opposition parties a somewhat equal ground. In total, this results in some $30 million overall, or about 10% of the overall spending during a national election. They are now claiming that since there is a recession, this magnificent sum of $30 million must immediately be cut from the Canadian budget.

The Conservatives, who raise more than 60% of their funds from large corporate donors don't give a shit about this money, so you can understand their motivations. Furthermore, the main opposition party, the Liberals, currently has a leader whom they are replacing at the end of April, so they are in the midst of a leadership race. Harper therefore thought that the Liberals would go along with this because it would not be in their interest to force an election.

But now the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc, who together have enough MPs to constitute a majority have given Harper until Monday to reverse his position or they are bringing down the government. This would mean a new election....which Harper could be hoping for since the opposition has no leader and no money. EXCEPT now the NDP is saying they will push for other constitutional means of preventing an election. They can do this by asking the governor general not to call an election.

The opposition parties can also unite and form a leftist coalition which would then govern through the Liberals.

Of course, the more likely outcome will be that the idiot Harper changes his mind by Monday having realized that he totally misread the opposition and stepped in a gigantic piece of crap. This will likely all cause a massive embarrassment for him in the end.

It's nice to know that the Conservatives are out there working on important things like stimulating the economy, and not being complete assholes.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
So our moron of a Prime Minister announced via the Minister of Finance that they are going to cut public election financing. The way it works is that for each vote that a party receives during an election, it gets $1.95 from the government, which allows smaller opposition parties a somewhat equal ground. In total, this results in some $30 million overall, or about 10% of the overall spending during a national election. They are now claiming that since there is a recession, this magnificent sum of $30 million must immediately be cut from the Canadian budget.

The Conservatives, who raise more than 60% of their funds from large corporate donors don't give a shit about this money, so you can understand their motivations.
Cuts both ways, the motivation of left wing parties to have taxpayer funding may be motivated by their fear that their ideas simply aren't popular enough to get enough financial support from the general public!

Why should tax payers have to fund political parties, concerns regarding large corporations controlling policy can surely be addressed by strict rules on disclosure and limits.
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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You can reasonably have that discussion, and you can come up with other ways of funding (there are a number of alternate proposals that have floated around and are worthy of discussion).

But that is not the point here. The point is that we are in a recession and our government, 45 days after being elected into a minority has chosen to do nothing productive, and instead is agitating the opposition with nonsense that has resulted in a massive backlash. They are doing it in the most brazen of ways because they thought if they could force an election and compete against a leaderless party and 2 other parties who have no funding, they could easily make up the 10 or so seats that they are missing from forming a majority. In this recession, they want to cut $30 million but are fine with forcing a new $300 million election - just brilliant.

For example, here are snippets from the National Post, a right-leaning paper:

Quote:
An election might catch the Liberals financially flat-footed and between leaders, but the public outrage at a election-triggering stunt perpetrated by the prime minister would unleash a backlash of historic proportions - and the reaction would be angriest in Quebec.

While the merits of political funding might be worth a debate during calm prosperous times, it has no place on an agenda that should now be devoted to important decisions.

The result of such reckless shenanigans would be a $300-million electoral exercise at the precise moment the country needs firm and united parliamentary leadership the most.

To put the entire federal bureaucracy on hiatus, which always happens during a writ period, so financially insolvent parties can clash over a $30-million savings, would trigger an unholy public brouhaha, not only against the unforgivable waste of money and time but for the risk of exacerbated economic damage while the MPs hustle votes.

While not as politically egregious, the fiscal update was almost as pointless as Harper’s move to use his economic update as stealth cover to sabotage his political opponents.

...

There’s a thin line between a government putting on its best face to stare down a gloomy situation and practicing fiscal delusion. With this document, Finance Minister Flaherty crossed the line.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:05 PM   #4
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Holy *#$, I knew about the proposed cuts to public election financing but hadn't realized until I read your post that the opposition is seriously considering toppling the Conservatives.

The Globe & Mail seems to update the situation on a regular basis:
globeandmail.com: Angry opposition parties holding coalition talks

And I must say, I was starting to warm to Harper in recent weeks - he seemed to be reaching out to the parties and the provinces in ways he never did in his first term. So much for that
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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We might have a constitutional crisis! Woo, King-Byng revisited, it's only been since 1926!
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #6
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Political schadenfreude.
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Old 11-27-2008, 10:24 PM   #7
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Ignatieff at the helm


(or perhaps Paul Martin? Apparently, Sheila Copps said some Libs are trying to bring him back )
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:25 PM   #8
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This made me laugh out loud:

Quote:
Conservative MPs seemed thunderstruck late Thursday by the possibility that their second term might be coming to an abrupt end.

Piling onto a parliamentary shuttle bus, they were heard incredulously asking opposition MPs if they're serious about forming a coalition.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Points to consider:

- During the election the Quebecois were for the Conservatives until they brought ideas of punishing criminals harder (Oh no!) and reducing wasteful arts spending (Oh no!).

The Bloc get most of their campaign money off of the taxpayer. With that gone it will be political revenge against a fake seperatist party that backstabbed Harper over entitlements. Try winning an election with a seperatist party and raising your own funds Bloc Quebecois!

- The liberals were getting ready to attack Harper on deficit spending that economists in the G20 requested, but by having a balanced budget with no stimulus it forced the opposition to demand a stimulus thus making them agree to a deficit (Awesome move)

Now if there is a ruling coalition of 4 left wing parties it will be the most left wing government in recent memory leading to, (guess what?), deficits.

Also the current stimulus and deficit is not having the effect in the U.S. as expected so waiting for Obama and looking at the U.S. results gives Canada an opportunity to avoid leaping over the cliff after them.

I think Harper is the smartest guy in the Parliament.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Cuts both ways, the motivation of left wing parties to have taxpayer funding may be motivated by their fear that their ideas simply aren't popular enough to get enough financial support from the general public!

Why should tax payers have to fund political parties, concerns regarding large corporations controlling policy can surely be addressed by strict rules on disclosure and limits.
Stop making sense!

Taking away taxpayer entitlements from government bureaucrats is like flushing cocaine down a toilet for cocaine addicts.

They go through natural withdrawal symptoms.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:16 PM   #11
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I think Harper is the smartest guy in the Parliament.
I think Harper thinks so. Which is why he acted this way without giving any real thought to it.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:26 PM   #12
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I think my post shows that there was LOTS of thought into it. If the left is going to attack deficit spending and defend deficit spending and maybe create a new government that gets involved in deficit spending it would be much better than incurring a deficit for the conservatives and getting attacked for it like ducks in a barrel.

I would love to see 4 left wing parties (which includes a crappy seperatist party) trying to run government and passing bad economic policies. They would be ruined in future elections. Canadians want an economic recovery and they won't get that with 4 left wing parties running the government. Remember most of the left wing parties ran the last election with platforms that have multiple times the spending of the conservatives meaning there would be a HUGE deficit if they won even with higher taxes. You can't collect much more money in a recession when companies have losses. You only pay taxes when there are profits.

Harper knows that politics isn't just about comparing ideas and getting the best ones. The best ideas have to compete against oppositions that flip flop and play games to force their opinions on the winning party. The left just wants "power". They obviously don't care about the taxpayer.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:30 PM   #13
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The left just wants "power". They obviously don't care about the taxpayer.
Hilarious given what the Cons are doing. Just hilarious.

So they're going to save a massive $28 million, which is what our budgetary spending is EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY. That's sure going to make a huge difference. And they are willing to risk another $300 million election to save $28 million. Brilliant.

Harper wants power and he thought he'd bankrupt the other parties in the process of getting it. He's also just basically lost all Con seats in Quebec, without which he can't get to a majority anyway.

Hugely bad and brazen move.
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:33 PM   #14
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You know, it's funny. By reading what you're (purpleoscar) saying, it would seem that a left-leaning party in power inherently means deficit spending.

However, it would seem—and correct me if I'm wrong—that the Conservative Mulroney years left the country more in debt and in deficit. This was followed by the Chretien/Martin years where the books were balanced, surpluses generated, and the economy was in great shape.

Was that all a dream?
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:15 PM   #15
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You know, it's funny. By reading what you're (purpleoscar) saying, it would seem that a left-leaning party in power inherently means deficit spending.

However, it would seem—and correct me if I'm wrong—that the Conservative Mulroney years left the country more in debt and in deficit. This was followed by the Chretien/Martin years where the books were balanced, surpluses generated, and the economy was in great shape.

Was that all a dream?
Was it a dream when seniors protested funding cuts from Mulroney? Yet cutting health spending was okay for Paul Martin.

Was it a dream when GST was introduced to pay down debt and Chretien was against it and now the biggest defenders of the GST are liberals?

It's politics and different administrations do different things. Why would it be a surprise that Mulroney is different than Harper and Chretien is different than Martin?

The truth is that liberals knew anybody in this situation may go into a deficit and they were being unfair (per usual in politics) by criticizing Harper for going into a deficit but when the budget was balanced and Conservatives only offered a stimulus when there was a need, the opposition attacked them for no current stimulus forcing them to agree with the deficit that would come naturally from stimulus spending at this time. The left is trying to have it both ways.

The left is playing games and Harper is not going to sit there and get shot like fish in a barrel with deficit criticism. Maybe Stockwell Day would just sit there and take it, but Harper knows real politik in Canada. All the Keynesian economists in the G20 are telling people to go into a deficit. I don't think it works but I'm not the "expert" telling the politicians. Why don't liberals stand up for a consistent message instead of talking about Mulroney. "Ah Mulroney the good old days when Conservatives fell into liberal traps." Not anymore. I would love to see 4 left wing parties (including a seperatist party) trying to the run the country. Do you think they can do a better job?

Anyways with the spending freeze in government employment spending it may irk entitled people who have fantastic pensions that private sector workers don't have access to, but why should people lose jobs and have to pay taxes on their employment income plus welfare payments for 2008 or 2009 while government workers can spend all their wages with a nice pension waiting for them and unions to protect their jobs? Bureaucracy is the new aristocracy and it's about time Canadians get fed up with the double standard. Screw campaigns funded by taxpayers (especially seperatist parties). There should be just one liberal party and one conservative party so we don't get horse trading style politics that reminds me of Italy, Israel and New Zealand. The voters want to see one clear plan and judge the results of that plan each election so their opinion of the best ideas wins.

Another point on climate change. If Obama and Europe and most of the world want to do cap and trade which forces Harper to embrace it then maybe it would be good to see 4 left wing parties introduce environmentalist policies that will constrict businesses that supply our energy during a recession instead? Then the conservatives can move that off the plate to the left. When that fails like it did in Europe then Conservatives will have an opportunity to be the cure. If the conservatives stay in power and adopt bad environmental policies that the world supported, how could Liberals and NDP say they would be different? There's so many political options available.
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