Never ones to shy away from expressing strong opinions, Toronto Star readers weigh in again
on the best way to try to defeat Mr. Harper in the next election:Re: Pondering a union of moderates, Letters Jan. 10
Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau must get their heads together. Prior to 2006, the federal conservative parties realized they were fighting each other. They became one party and have been in power ever since. In 2011, with a vote increase from approximately 37 per cent to 39 per cent, they went from a minority to a majority government.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper could win again in 2015 unless the left unites. NDP and Liberal issues and policies may vary slightly but they are heading in the same direction. If they don’t join, Harper will be one of the longest reigning prime ministers even though, by far, he is the worst prime minister ever, taking that title from (I’m sure) a relieved Brian Mulroney.
Let’s review some of his highlights. He promised to be transparent and accountable. Not so. United Arab Emirates allowed our military to use its military bases and hospitals, and they flew soldiers home at no cost to Canada. When Harper refused UAE commercial flights into Canada, we lost that privilege. This has cost Canada at least $300 million for an alternate airbase.
Harper wanted to buy 65 F35 jets from an American company, even though the U.S. air force wouldn’t because the jets were flawed. Because of Harper’s hawkishness, Canada was kicked out of the UN Security Council. He taught us that proroguing is not something you eat. He is the only prime minister in Commonwealth history to be held in contempt of Parliament.
Harper hired Deloitte Consulting for advice on how to handle finances. And yet before the election, he told us he had the means to balance the budget. He said he would be tough on crime, and then scrapped the long gun registry.
When Jean Chrétien’s Liberals chose not to fight in the illegal war in Iraq, Harper wrote a letter to the U.S. apologizing for Canada’s refusal. He promised Senate reform. Didn’t happen. Instead he stacked the Senate in his favour.
In 2011, the postal workers went on a rotating strike. Harper said that commerce relies heavily on the mail. So what did he do? He locked out the postal workers, so no mail was delivered. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.
He silenced the scientists for fear they may show evidence of climate change. Nothing gets said or done unless it goes through him first. Hence, the label he has acquired: Party of One.John Vesprini, Stoney Creek
First, to paraphrase Churchill, “first past the post is the worst form of election possible, except for all the others.”
All proportional representation does is transfer power to small parties, far in excess of their voter turnout. That is one reason the NDP supports it. You will discover that, and express your malcontent, when a hard-right party wins a balance of power with 15 to 20 per cent of the vote.
Second, why is it that right-wing parties are routinely cited by letter writers with the “61 per cent voted against this government” and left-wing parties are not? Kathleen Wynne won a majority with 38.2 per cent of the vote, but none of the letter writers acknowledged that fact.
Based on election results from the last two elections, in Ontario Stephen Harper enjoyed the support of 44 per cent of actual voters, and 27 per cent of eligible voters, while Kathleen Wynne had 38 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
Finally, the Conservative party did receive the plurality of votes cast in the last election, on a party basis. There are four parties on the left, which split the so-called “progressive” vote.
Two parties splitting the “right” vote cost us 10 years of Jean Chrétien’s Liberal government. Until the “progressives” unite, we will continue to get a government elected by a majority of Canadians, on a party basis.Alan McDonald, Trenton
As I have said before, it is doubtful that a uniting of progressives will take place before the upcoming election. It may be seriously entertained afterwards, if Harper is re-elected with another majority. However, if that happens, I suspect it will be too little, far too late.
Thirst for personal power will have triumphed over the public good, once again.