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The Lemming Party of Canada

accidentaldeliberations - ven, 07/24/2015 - 07:08
Shorter Scott Reid:
There is no indignity which we Libs we won't suffer, and no evil which we won't allow ourselves to be strongarmed into supporting, if it means marginally saving face for the leader irresponsible enough to embrace them in the first place.

Tough on Crime. Oh. Wait. Not "That" Crime

Dammit Janet - ven, 07/24/2015 - 06:17


The Conservative Party of Canada, aka The Party That Never Met a Victim of Crime It Wouldn't Bust a Gut to Stand Beside for a Photo-Op, must be gnashing its teeth.

It has brought forward a Victims' Bill of Rights raising the role of victims to USian levels of consideration in the justice system, but is missing out on a HUGE opportunity.

Sadly, pregnant women are often targets of violence.
Does it happen in pregnancy?
Tragically, yes. Domestic violence during pregnancy sometimes puts both the mom-to-be and her baby’s life at risk. Here's some of the evidence:
• Statistics Canada reports that 40 per cent of the Canadian women who were abused during pregnancy reported that the abuse began during pregnancy.
• Women abused during pregnancy were four times as likely as other abused women to report having experienced very serious violence, including being beaten up, choked,
• Of the women who were abused during pregnancy, approximately 18% reported that they had suffered a miscarriage or other internal injuries as a result of the abuse.
And there's been a recent, particularly horrible case that resulted in the deaths of both woman and fetus.

Friends and family of Cassandra Kaake are outraged that the accused will not face a separate charge of murder for the death of the fetus. They are clamouring for the return of "unborn victims" legislation, complete with petition, website, and heart-tugging moniker, "Molly Matters."

While the good people behind this effort seem not to understand the hornet's nest such legislation would kick open, opportunists from Big Fetus® like the Dominionist astroturf gang, We Need a Law Like a Hole in the Head, certainly do, and are exploiting the hell out of the family's grief.

All sad.

Except. . .

The Boys in Short Pants who must be tearing their hair that they are under an interdict from Herr Harper NOT to reopen the abortion debate.

Which any governmental backing of "unborn victims" legislation would certainly accomplish.

So, there's that.

A week in politics

Dawg's Blawg - ven, 07/24/2015 - 06:09
…rising slowly to its climax: a report that Stephen Harper now wants to abolish the Senate. His creatures there have been giving him a black eye, and only now has he looked in the mirror. Wow, what a shiner! Will... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

This lake is about to fall off a cliff in the Northwest Territories as permafrost melts

Metaneos - ven, 07/24/2015 - 06:00
Vancouver Sun
The Earth changes in ways we can fathom. It's not quantum physics. Us lay people should be able to understand this much.
The Earth changes. So too should we change.
Even speaking out can help. Raise your voice, even if only a little, in favour of the change which must come.
Otherwise, we place ourselves into a position untenable.
Do not let pessimism erode your heart, as misfortune has brought to the edge this lonely lake.
In your heart beats the blood of your antecedents. Their wisdom and strength, along with your own, can empower you to do what you are able.

Backlash Bites

Dammit Janet - ven, 07/24/2015 - 05:38
I know I said I was done with the sick puppies running the fetal gore porn campaign, No2Trudeau, but this is too delicious.

Terence Young, CPC MP for Oakville, said he wrote a letter to the Fetal Gore Gang.

Here it is. (Click to enlarge.)





Last paragraph: "Rather than changing the hearts of minds of people on abortion, these flyers will ensure most people will never listen to anything you have to say."

That's harsh enough, but consider the source. Campaign Lie gives Young cautious approval. (It seems he said abortion should be allowed for "rape, incest or disabled," displaying an unacceptable level of compassion.)

When even your usual allies are disgusted -- or getting so many outraged complaints from constituents that they feel they must say Something -- you might want to rethink your tactics.

Ha. Not this deranged gang. Watch. They'll double down.

Previous posts on No2Trudeau.

Facts Are His Enemy

Northern Reflections - ven, 07/24/2015 - 05:29
                                                    http://350orbust.com/

Stephen Harper claims that the upcoming election will be about security vs. risk. For once, Murray Dobbin agrees with him. What Dobbin is opposed to is Harper's claim that his Conservative government is the unquestionable home of security -- be it economic or national.

Consider Harper's  -- and other past governments' -- economic accomplishments:

When it comes to economic and social security, the vast majority of Canadians haven't been this insecure since the Great Depression. It's not as if we don't know the numbers -- 60 per cent of Canadians just two weeks away from financial crisis if they lose their job; record high personal indebtedness; real wages virtually flat for the past 25 years; a terrible work-life balance situation for most working people (and getting worse); labour standard protections that now exist only on paper; the second highest percentage of low-paying jobs in the OECD; young people forced into working for nothing on phony apprenticeships; levels of economic (both income and wealth) inequality not seen since 1928. Throw in the diminishing "social wage" (Medicare, education, home care, child care, etc.) and the situation is truly grim.Most of these insecurity statistics are rooted either directly or indirectly in 25 years of deliberate government policy designed by and for corporations. Governments have gradually jettisoned their responsibility for economic security, slowly but surely handing this critical feature of every Canadian's life over to the "market" for determination. Economic policy has been surgically excised from government responsibility to citizens and is now in the singular category of "facilitating investment" -- a euphemism for clearing the way for corporations to engage in whatever activity enhances their bottom line.
And on the national security file, Harper has made Canada a bulls eye for terrorists:

As for the kind of security Harper likes to talk about, we are in fact less secure now under the Conservatives' policies than we have ever been. Harper's foreign policy could easily make us targets for the very "jihadists" that he rails on about. His involvement in the destruction of Libya, his aggressive stance in Afghanistan, the carte blanche he provides Israel in its brutal oppression of Palestinians in Gaza and the illegal occupation of the West Bank, and his comically ineffective "engagement" in the war on ISIL all contribute to terrorists identifying Canada as a reasonable target for retribution.

If we actually had some smattering of national interests in the Middle East, it could be argued that the risk is worth it. But we don't. The net result is not only increased national insecurity but the trampling of our rights to privacy and our civil liberties with Bill C-51 -- legislation that does nothing to enhance our defence against terror but dramatically undermines our personal security as citizens.
Mr. Harper's record speaks for itself. But he will do everything he can to obscure it. Facts are his enemy.


Simon's Summer and the Great Con War on the Senate

Montreal Simon - ven, 07/24/2015 - 03:39


Well I have to admit that I too am now deep into the Canadian summer, and don't feel like writing about politics, or doing anything too strenuous. I just want to have fun with my buddy Sébastien.

As humble as that might be. 


Yikes. How low have I fallen?

But I just HAD to share this great joke with you.

It seems that Stephen Harper and his fellow oil pimp Brad Wall are about to declare war on the Con Senate !!! 
Read more »

Terrorism-To-Go Advisory System

Creekside - ven, 07/24/2015 - 00:51

Rob Nicholson's communications team set Foreign Affairs bureaucrats a quota of producing three terrorism-related statements per week for minister Rob Nicholson to make to the media. They were to be crafted from an event reported by the news media. 
"One Foreign Affairs bureaucrat, who spoke to CBC News on condition of anonymity, said: "We're not making a special effort to fulfil this odd request."What a bunch of slackers. 

Here's 6 terrorism-related news reports from just the past 24 hours :

1) Inquisitr, July 23 : Lafayette Movie Theater Shooting: Terrorism Fears Raised After Six Shot In Louisiana TheaterOld white guy starts shooting spree 20 minutes into the movie Trainwreck
2) Intercept, July 22 : Why Wasn't Dylann Roof Charged With Terrorism?Dylann Roof, the white 21-year-old man who allegedly gunned down nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17 in order to "start a race war" not charged with domestic terrorism.3) Truthdig, July 22 : Israel Brands Rock-Throwing at Moving Vehicles as Terrorism; Charge Could Carry Up to 20 Years in Prison"Tolerance toward terrorists ends today. A stone-thrower is a terrorist and only a fitting punishment can serve as a deterrent and just punishment,” Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said"4) Guardian, July 23 : Canada's controversial terrorism law criticised by UN human rights group
5) CBC, July 22 : Bureaucrats told to provide Rob Nicholson 3 terrorism-related statements a week
6) Ricochet, July 22 : Why the Harper government flatters Saudi Arabia’s tyrants“The honourable minister [Mackay] expressed his appreciation for the major leading role played by the kingdom on the international arena,” wrote Prince Saud. “He emphasized Canada’s desire to develop relations with the kingdom in all fields.”OK so that last one admittedly doesn't have the word terrorism right in its header like the others but just add this handy graph and you're good to go :


So there ya go, Rob. You're welcome..

..Stay Away from Runaround Soudas…

Left Over - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 16:04
Dimitri Soudas buys Liberal membership ahead of Eve Adams’s nomination vote

Adams, rival Marco Mendicino vie Sunday for party’s nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence riding
By Laura Payton, CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2015 5:42 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 23, 2015 6:28 PM ET

OMG… Wish I could sand-blast my eyes to get rid of the image…but it’s too late…

The double-trouble sleazebag brigade has well and truly landed at the feet of Junior Trudeau, whose troubles of late are enormous, mostly self-inflicted…

Junior, your daddy would have been the first one to tell you to never try and trip up an experienced, consummate parliamentarian like Mulcair…it’s sheer stupidity on JT’s part to  try and go head -to-head with someone with an  infinitely superior political skill set like  his NDP rival..

And to add to his  Quebec woes  this sort of ugliness, two of Harper’s more ridiculous  rejects, bagman and baguette,  are possibly the last bit of banana peel presenting itself for ultimate slippage in the polls..

This is so typical of Liberals, to welcome with an oily smile any  lowlife Con reject,  sure, join us…and it definitely illustrates the long held  view of most progressives that there is little difference to choose between Cons and Libs…except a party membership and a willing media’s  photo-op to set our teeth on edge..

OOOHHHH, the horror…..


Whereupon, Whipped, I Return to Sears, My Tail Tucked Between My Legs.

The Disaffected Lib - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 10:55
About seven years ago I invested in a good, mid-grade gas range.  In addition to the usual burner dials or knobs, it came with a digital control panel where you would find the clock, timer, self-clean control, convection control and all the standard oven settings (bake, broil, etc.) and probe cooking.

It was still under warranty when the digital control panel failed but the vendor sent out a repair guy and he installed the replacement part in the course of which he told me how damned expensive it was and, worse yet, that it was the most vulnerable, failure-prone component of them all.  I've been leery of that stove ever since.

Things began failing.  The oven light system went down.  The thermal glass pane on the inside of the oven door cracked.  They were inconvenient but no huge deal.  Then the dreaded control panel failed yet again.

If you're not familiar with them, there are appliance parts stores where you can buy spares.  All you need is the manufacturer and the model number.  Plug that info into the search window,  call it up and you can expect to find a schematic, an "exploded view," showing all the parts and their numbers.  You can check out the prices, fill out your order and, usually quite quickly, the needed parts will be delivered to your door.

Easy-peasy.

Not so fast.  I decided I'd look into replacing the control panel and, while I was at it, the other spare parts that I need.  The damned thing is only seven years old, why throw it out?  Then I found out why.

Of all the parts listed in those schematic diagrams they're all no longer available except for that cursed control panel and it's over $500 plus tax plus shipping plus installation and there's only just two of them left.  I even called the manufacturer only to be told that they haven't had parts for that model for a number of years and I should contact the spare parts suppliers.

So, here's the deal.  My dilemma is whether I spring for the replacement control panel which with taxes, shipping and installation will probably set me back upwards of $800 after which I'll be left with a mainly functioning gas range but knowing that if that panel also fails I'll have to buy a new range or do I just bite the bullet, write the damned thing off, and replace it now?

That's the dilemma but it's not my pet peeve.  What really gets under my skin is that there's no requirement on the manufacturer to ensure a ready supply of spares for at least ten years.  Letting them off the hook is tantamount to inviting them to engineer premature obsolescence in their products.  Why should they make something that's good for ten or fifteen years if they can flog products that most buyers will have to replace starting after just five years?

This brings to mind a study by Germany's Federal Environment Agency last March that found that the rate of premature failure of white goods (appliances) had increased significantly but found no smoking gun pointing to "built-in obsolescence."  Guess what?  I know what the Germans overlooked.  A failure of the manufacturers to maintain an appropriate inventory of spare parts for a reasonable period.  There's your "planned obsolescence" staring you right in the face.

I would dearly like to keep my gas range for another 10-years.  Once you get past 60 you appreciate things like that.  But I can't.  So I'm stuck having to buy another appliance and, quite possibly, another after that if I'm again unlucky. And for what? Because we let these manufacturers off the hook.

 

Change for the better

accidentaldeliberations - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 08:17
It seems so long ago when it was conventional wisdom that no party in contention for government in Canada would dare talk about cooperating to get things done, no matter how many voters wanted to see it happen.

But if there was any doubt that the NDP can change Ottawa's underlying assumptions, we can put that to rest.

About that "One Child" Rule?

The Disaffected Lib - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 08:13
China seems poised to breed itself out of a looming demographic problem.  The most populous nation on Earth may scrap its old "one child" rule in favour of a "two child" limit for new families.

Thirty-five years after enacting draconian birth control rules blamed for millions of forced abortions and the creation of a demographic “time bomb”, China could be on the verge of introducing a two-child policy.

The new regulation, under which all Chinese couples would be allowed to have two children, could be implemented “as soon as the end of the year if everything goes well,” a government source was quoted as saying by the China Business News.

Liang Zhongtang, a demographer from the Shanghai Academy of Social Science, said the one-child policy “should have been abolished long ago”.

“The core issue is not about one-child or two-children. It’s about reproductive freedom. It’s about basic human rights. In the past, the government failed to grasp the essence of the issue.”

If there's one thing the world needs right now, it's a baby boom in China.  Yeah, right.

While All Eyes Were on Athens

The Disaffected Lib - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 08:06
Media accounts have given the impression that Greece is the locus of the malaise endangering European unity and the E.U.  However fiscal woes extend the breadth of the EU Mediterranean, through the Strait of Gibralter and over to the Irish Sea - Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.  Indeed, many say German chancellor Angela Merkel's belligerence toward Athens was fueled by what it could mean to those other nations if she budged on Greece.

In perpetually restive Italy, even the grand city of Rome has succumbed to "degrado."

The grass in some public parks sways knee high. Disgruntled subway workers have slowed service to a crawl. Fire has rendered the city's largest airport crammed and chaotic. The arrests of public officials pile up, revealing mob infiltration of the city government.

It all adds up to what Romans call "degrado" - the degradation of services, buildings and their standard of living - and the general sense that their ancient city is falling apart. Even more than usual.

Italy's Forconi (pitchforks) movement in December, 2013, saw masses of Italians of all political persuasions rise up in opposition to their government's austerity policies.  The protesters blocked streets and auto routes, stopped trains, battled with police and almost brought Italy to a standstill.
Italy was carrying the highest debt burden in the E.U. after Greece.
Meanwhile Spanish voters will be going to the polls sometime before December 20th.  The election date is expected to fall in late November.  Spain has it's own Syriza called Podemos that some believe/hope will emerge at least holding the balance of power in a multi-party parliament not given to coalition governments.
It would be nice to think that at least the Greek problem is settled but it's far from over.  No one has any real idea of where Greece will be headed over the next year or two.  Will Greece remain in NATO?  Might Putin offer a better deal?  No one's sure but no one seems to be ruling anything out either.



New column day

accidentaldeliberations - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 08:03
Here, taking a look at the voter pools the NDP will be looking to win over in order to come out ahead in if this fall's federal election turns into a two-party race. And I'll note that while Alberta may serve as the most recent precedent, similar patterns can be found in the NDP's previous rises to power in other provinces.

For further reading...
- Both Nanos and EKOS have polled as to the federal parties' accessible and second-choice support, with the NDP currently leading the pack on both fronts.
- And for more about the business groups who have reason to want to see a change from the Cons, Dean Beeby discusses the problems facing Canada's manufacturing sector. Daniel Tencer reported on tech industry opposition to Bill C-51. And Karen Briere reports on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is creating uncertainty in supply-managed agricultural sectors, while Michael Geist highlighted some of the other obvious costs of the deal.

The Conservative Party of Canada . . . . (Really??)

kirbycairo - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 07:30
Let me admit with complete honesty that the Conservative Party certainly didn't turn out quite like I thought it would. I am as far from Conservative as one can be I think but years of Conservative rule didn't play out like I imagined.

Some stuff that we all predicted obviously came true. We knew that they would be war-mongers, and they have been. We knew that they would destroy those areas of social spending that were meaningful to the vulnerable like, for example, the way they have completely eliminated all federal spending on things like adult literacy programs, and most programs for women who find themselves in a difficult legal or domestic situation. We figured that they would be terrible on the environmental front, though the scope of their destruction of environmental protections has even come as a surprise to many.

But here's the thing - even though I know that Conservative promises of "smaller" and less-intrusive government is almost always a lie (and has been since neo-liberalism began in the late seventies), I don't think many of us predicted the degree to which they would live that lie out in such momentous and obvious ways. If things play out like they seem to be going, this "Conservative" government will have never balanced a budget! I find it frankly just amazing that they can continually post deficits and add the largest amount of national debt of any government in Canadian history, and still call themselves conservative and have a significant amount of support from other Canadians who call themselves conservative. This government calling itself conservative is looking like the Chinese government calling itself 'communist.' Their strategy of gradually eliminating government revenue as a way of undermining government was entirely predictable (and a strategy that is difficult to recover from for subsequent governments) But I guess I was naive enough to think, with all their talk in the years before getting elected that the flip side of undermining government revenue would be a slash and burn strategy that would give them "balanced" budgets and at least the illusion of fiscal "responsibility." (Even though such strategy is, in the long run, deeply irresponsible for a modern society that needs active government not just to protect our social future but to protect our economic one as well) I was also naive enough to think that the Conservatives, after years of complaints concerning Liberal corruption, would create some new degree of transparency and responsibility in government. I knew that even these efforts would be somewhat illusory, but I thought they would at least make some sort of effort.

It is remarkable, but what we have now is a government that is bares little resemblance to Conservative. Yes, they have gutted every ounce of environmental protection that we had. Yes, they have shifted government from a body meant to protect and enrich society to one that protects and enriches corporations. But everything else is illusion. They are the most economically irresponsible government in our history. They not only posted eight straight deficits and put the country into a much deeper economic hole than it was before, but they did so while failing completely to invest in our social future. We are now a less diversified economy, no further ahead with alternative energies, our young people are under increasingly debilitating student debt while training for jobs that don't exist, our infrastructure is crumbling, and the future looks bleak. It is funny that the Conservatives always accuse the other parties of being "tax and spend" machines. But their strategy seems to be cut various taxes but still spend just as much, or more, than before!! Isn't that the very opposite of what most people associate with 'conservative?'  And to cap all this off they have made every effort at destroying the privacy of citizens and have created the most intrusive, police-state-like government in the Western world. All of this has been done against the backdrop of paranoiac secrecy, new levels of toxic partisanship, and consistent record of illegality in election fraud, (as well as a growing litany of other kinds of fraud).

All of this tells me that ANYONE who votes for this Conservative Party is either hopelessly misinformed or congenitally stupid, but certainly not even vaguely conservative.

Harper is No Conservative. In His Black Soul, He's a Mangy Junkyard Dog Posing as a Conservative.

The Disaffected Lib - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 07:15
Richard Benyon, a Tory MP and former environment minister under David Cameron, writes that Tony Abbott is no Conservative.  By Mr. Benyon's standards, neither is Steve Harper.

Mr. Benyon wrote an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, in which he called out the Australian prime minister for rescinding the country's carbon tax, pulling government support for renewable energy and increasing his nation's exposure to climate risks.

Abbott's dismissal of climate science and his belief that Australia must choose between economic growth and tackling climate change speak to a distorted vision of what it means to be a conservative.

True conservative values include distaste for over-regulation and enthusiasm for entrepreneurialism. But they also include a respect for sound science and economics, a belief in protecting the natural world and a responsibility to do the best for the biggest possible number of one's citizens.

The first leader of any major nation to call for a United Nations treaty on climate change was Margaret Thatcher – Britain's greatest postwar Prime Minister and a standard bearer for the political right.

As a scientist she saw the threat posed by climate change. But she also believed in a vision of economic growth that went beyond the immediate interests of major corporations: "We must have continued economic growth in order to generate the wealth required to pay for the protection of the environment. But it must be growth which does not plunder the planet today and leave our children to deal with the consequences tomorrow."

Benyon may have written that Abbott "distorted" what it means to be a conservative but I'm betting in the first draft he used "perverted."  For that's what our own Sideshow Steve has done.  He's perverted conservatism in Canada, raised his hind leg and pissed all over anything Edmund Burke would have recognized as conservative.


The Harper Regime In One Easy-To-Understand Graphic!

Politics and its Discontents - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 06:36

H/t Boycott The Harper Conservatives

For those of you who are more text-oriented or want a comprehensive recounting of the depredations of the Harper years, I encourage you to check out and bookmark Rural's Harper History Series over at Democracy Under Fire.

Rural has taken on the unenviable and herculean but noble task of compiling the myriad abuses of and acts of contempt against democracy during King Stephen's reign; it is a lot to take in and can be depressing at times to see what we have lost, but if read in measured amounts is a very useful reminder of why it is paramount that we toss out this band of renegades in October.

I encourage you to visit his series regularly as we head into the election, and share with those who you think might benefit.Recommend this Post

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 06:27
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Brendan O'Neill writes that the UK Cons are following in Stephen Harper's footsteps by pushing the concept of thought policing. And George Monbiot rightly criticizes the gross inflation of supposed terror threats and simultaneous neglect of far more serious risks:
A global survey published last week by the Pew Research Centre found that while the people of North America, Britain, Australia, Japan, France and Germany see Isis as the greatest threat they face, most of the countries surveyed in poorer parts of the world – Africa, Latin America and Asia – place climate change at the top of the list. Even in Turkey (where, as the bombing on Monday suggests, the terrorist group is a real threat), more people said they were “very concerned” about climate change than they did about Islamic State. The nations least threatened by Isis rank this risk the highest. This is media-driven madness, an epidemic of transcontinental paranoia that governments are happy to foment and exploit.

Men such as Cameron, Tony Abbott in Australia and Stephen Harper in Canada won’t engage in generational struggles with real existential threats – climate breakdown first among them – for fear of alienating their sponsors. They have learned all the wrong lessons from Churchill’s legacy, seeking to invest themselves with belligerent glory while forgetting his ability at crucial moments to place the interests of the nation above the interests of his class.

So, as Hitler is reborn with a thousand faces, a new “struggle of our generation” emerges every six months, and all around us existential crises are ignored.- Meanwhile, Jennifer Chevalier exposes the Cons' direct orders to the civil service to fabricate terrorism-related news for their political use, while Azeezah Kanji notes that even from the standpoint of addressing terrorism the Cons are deliberately avoiding naming the more plausible threats which come from their base. And the Star lauds the much-needed court challenge to C-51 while lamenting the fact that it's become law in the first place.

- Robyn Benson weighs in on the Cons' use of public money to bribe voters as an election approaches. And Anita Khanna and Sid Frankel write that we should expect all parties to be making clear how they'll fight child poverty, rather than limiting their focus to temporary goodies for swing voters.

- Susan Wright offers her take on the contrast between Rachel Notley and Brad Wall by pointing out what happened to the last premier who matched Wall's condescension.

- And finally, Henry Farrell sets out a useful general theory of Very Serious People.

There's An Old Fashioned Word For That

Northern Reflections - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 05:01
                                                    http://www.markstrahl.com/

What passes for Conservatism these days is really Harperism. Those who know what Conservatism means are appalled by Pierre Poilievre's Travelling Payola Show. Certainly former Harper Party MP Brent Rathgeber is. He writes:

There was a time when Conservatives would scoff at — or at least be embarrassed by — such huge expenditures, especially ones linked to the welfare state. But I truthfully can’t remember when that might have been. After seven consecutive deficit budgets, adding over $200 billion to the national debt — including the single largest deficit in Canadian history — it’s clear that this Conservative government is not too embarrassed to spend taxpayers’ dollars in large quantities.

You might think, however, that there would be some principled people remaining in the Conservative party who would see through all of this blatant, shameless self-promotion, on the eve of a national election when the Conservatives are trailing in the polls. Apparently, there aren’t.
And that's just the point. Stephen Harper has expelled those people from the party -- among them Rathgeber, who knows that the roadshow is all a ruse. The old Child Tax Credit was not taxable. Not so the UCCB:

The cheques might appear large — $520 for children under six, $420 for children under 18. But this is not “Christmas in July” for parents. In the last omnibus budget bill, the government eliminated the Child Tax Credit. The new Universal Child Care Benefit is taxable income. So although you get to cash the cheque before the election, you’ll be taxed on it come April. With the elimination of the Child Tax Credit, a family earning $90,000 per year will only be able to keep an extra $7.50 per month after the tax clawback.

From a political and electoral perspective, of course, it matters not. The cheques get cashed before the election. The tax liability is not incurred until six and a half months after the government hopes to be re-elected.
So the whole exercise is fundamentally dishonest and fundamentally contrary to what used to the bedrock principles of conservatism:

Conservatives in this country used to stand for something — for small, limited government, for low taxes, for individual choice and individual responsibility for choices made. This week’s spectacle showed that the Conservatives are no better as guardians of public money than any other party; worse, they have taken electioneering and electoral bribery to new and dangerous levels. 
The fundamental principle of Harperism is that you use public money to buy votes. There's an old fashioned word for that: fraud.

The Day Stephen Harper Was Exposed As a Con Artist

Montreal Simon - jeu, 07/23/2015 - 02:58


For weeks Stephen Harper and his grubby flying monkey Joe Oliver, have been trying to fool Canadians into thinking that they had balanced the budget for the first time in eight years.

Harper has been travelling around claiming that the economic shock waves that are rocking this country are just a "downturn" not a recession. And that he still has the money to bribe them.

While the senile simian Oliver has been claiming that he has a surplus not a deficit.

But yesterday all those claims came tumbling down, and both men were exposed as shameless Con artists. 
Read more »

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