Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hargrove: Vote For Separatists To Block Separatists

Fucking up 101

It is truly a beautiful day in the neighbourhood today, as erstwhile federal Liberal booster and long-time political sychophant Buzz Hargrove has traded sucking Paul Martin’s dick for taking a long suck on his own foot.

Hargrove, the president of the Canadian Autoworkers Union – who recently shifted his allegiance from the NDP to the Liberals rather abruptly – created big ol’ waves of shit for Liberal leader Paul Martin yesterday with some rather controversial remarks.

“[Stephen Harper’s] view of the country is a separatist view,” Hargrove announced at a campaign stop in Strathroy, Ontario, while standing not two feet away from Liberal leader Paul Martin. At the base of Hargrove’s comments were Harper’s plans to de-centralize certain government powers, about which Hargrove said: “If you devolve all the powers to the provinces, what do you have left?”

A less powerful federal government with less ability to steal from it’s own people?

No? Separatism? OK…

But wait, there’s more! Hargrove also took aim at – surprise, surprise – Alberta, saying that the values shared by Albertans are “repulsive to most Canadians”. Also, vote for the Bloc (a separatist party) in order to block the Conservatives from power.

In other words: vote for actual separatists to prevent alleged separatists from coming to power.

Maybe it’s time for Hargrove to stop guzzling so much of Paul Martin’s man-chowder, because this is getting rather embarrassing – for both of them, in what was a Trailer Park Boys-esque Randy-and-Leahy moment.

Speaking of embarrassment, such was the look on Harper’s face when he was forced to defend Stephen Harper’s stance on federalism, saying: “I have large differences with Stephen Harper but I have never doubted his patriotism.” ...Except at the start of the campaign, when he needled Harper over his seeming inability to say “ I love Canada THIS much!”

Even despite his new puppet master’s newly-sought distance from this renounced, self-important jackass, Hargrove has yet to really change his stance on his comments. “My point was, what do Canadians want? Do we want a leader that believes in strong federal institutions, a strong federal government, that sets minimum standards for the provinces? If you do, you need Paul Martin or Jack Layton,” he said, reaffirming his love for Jack Layton – the man who he immediately stabbed in the back as he began this election’s go-‘round of politicking.

One may in fact call it poetic justice – Hargrove may well turn out to be a factor in this election for the Liberals, but not in the way he intended. He may have fucked up his inept puppet master’s hail-Mary pass to attempt to deliver his party victory in an election that is so nearly all but lost. Furthermore, it only demonstrates the futility of the “vote to block the Conservatives” plea: it is proof the Liberal party has nothing real to offer Canadians, and must rely on fear to get back into power.

But one thing is of absolute certainty: Hargrove has demonstrated his view of Canada: one in which breaking the country apart is infinitely preferable to responsible government.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Attack of the Vandals

Canadian voters must face the unblinking truth

There’s no question that elections can often bring out the best – and the worst – in people.

As Canada’s current election draws toward its conclusion on January 23rd, vandalism of election signs has become an issue – one that many point to as one of the uglier sides of the current election.

All across Canada, Liberal party campaign signs have been defaced, often with the words “Thieves” and “Adscam”. Conservative party signs have not been immune to this vandalism either.

Liberal candidate Dr. Ruby Dhalla (running in the riding representing Brampton, Ontario) has a theory of her own: she believes her political opponents are responsible for the vandalism of her signs, noting that in many cases the signs had been replaced with signs for her Conservative opponent (this may be fair game, given that particular occurance).

However, it is important to realize that those vandalizing Liberal signs and those vandalizing Conservative signs are motivated by two very different ideas, and are doing so for very different reasons.

Those vandalizing Conservative signs are probably mostly doing so for the same, tired old rhetoric: the Conservatives are evil fat cats that will erode civil rights, destroy the social safety net, and transform Canada into a clone of the United States. These are the sort of people who spread fear either mindlessly, having bought into the fear-mongering tactics of the Liberal party, or those who are doing so in a very calculated fashion: because they know having a party like the Liberals in power benefits hem, and they will do anything to make sure they continue to enjoy those benefits.

Given the facts behind the current election, however, there is something I find inherently patriotic about vandalizing Liberal election signs – particularly that of the “thieves” or “adscam” variety. These brave people are putting themselves at risk to ensure that those planning to vote Liberal in the coming election will not be able to do so while pretending Adscam – or any of the other mounting scandals – never happened. Sometimes the truth has to be rubbed in people’s faces before they’ll wake up, and these people are doing just that.

Not that I am encouraging this sort of behavior, per se – merely condoning it and applauding it. There is, however, one caveat that must be added: there is a line that must be drawn.

All over the country, there are those who are afraid that their homes will be vandalized next – this is something that can not and must not be tolerated. All differences aside, people should be encouraged to vote from their consciences. If one’s conscience demands they vote Liberal, then so be it. That is fair, and they should. If their conscience, however, is choosing to ignore important issues – such as government corruption – then those with the will to do so should force them to acknowledge them.

God willing, that is exactly what those people will do.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jim Harris Green With Embarassment

Green Party Excels at Warm & Fuzzy Feelings, But Still Naive

Jim Harris is a man on a mission. His mission? Convince one million Canadian voters to cast their ballot in support of his party on January 23.

In order to do this, he’ll have to do a number of things. Among them, he’ll have to convince Canadians that his party is not set to embark on a reactionary anti-business crusade.

So on that note, one of his party’s major platform points concerns the oilfield. First off, the Green party wants to ensure that oil prices “reflect their true costs to society through new regulations that force polluters to pay for damages and remediation costs.” Little is said about the value of these resources to society (after all, people in Canada have to heat their homes), but that’s neither here nor there of the current topic.

The Green Party plan, essentially, is to shift the majority of the taxes charged on the production of oil to periods earlier in the production process. The idea, allegedly, is that this will encourage oil companies to become more environmentally-conscious in order to offset the costs of these additional costs.

Jim Harris should have remembered the first rule of economic regulation: never attempt to regulate an industry you obviously don’t understand.

If Jim Harris understood anything about the Canadian energy industry, he would understand that almost all the oil companies operating with Canadian currently exceed the environmental standards the Canadian government has placed on their operation. In other words, these companies already exert more effort toward protecting the environment than the law requires. And while many of the leftist drones that tend to support parties like Harris’ would argue that this is only because the standards are too lax, it underscores an important fact about Canada’s oil industry: environmental protection is a prominent item on their agenda.

Furthermore, Harris’ logic is entirely defunct. Because environmental protection programs cost money, shifting taxes to points earlier in the production of oil will only result in companies cutting back these programs to bear-minimum expenditure in order to recover the profits a Green party government would cut into. If this didn’t happen, basic economics dictates only one other outcome: an increase in energy prices. Harris has neither defied popular conceptions of his party, or even put forth a workable energy policy.

There is only one word for what the Green Party has committed with all this: blunder.
This is one foolish idea that will overshadow an energy policy that is mostly filled with wise ideas. Beginning Canada’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is a necessary process that must begin as soon as possible. While the renewable energy technologies to completely meet Canada’s needs don’t yet exist, a proactive government would invest in the research and development necessary to produce them: an idea the Green Party obviously understands.

Corporate welfare is something that has been allowed to remain rampant in Canada for far too long. The Green Party’s plan to end subsidies to all non-renewable energy industries is certainly a step in the right direction. After all, with the profits energy companies are earning annually, it doesn’t seem like they need an awful lot of help.

Perhaps even best of all is the Green Party’s unique community-outward (as opposed to state-inward) approach to nation-building. The Green Party’s plan to work with individual cities and towns to build sustainable communities is a breath of fresh air in a country where far too many politicians believe that the bulk of the government’s power must always lie with the state.

Unfortunately, the Green Party’s energy policy also falls flat on one other matter: it doesn’t seem to understand even the concept of money, or how much energy development costs.

The Green Party’s proposition that $1.5 billion (split between the provinces) is going to be sufficient to build 10,000 MW of renewable energy.

The Green Party is certainly a group that deserves to have success in Canada – and eventually, it will. Sadly, for now it’s going to have to go back to the drawing board and get a grip on a little thing we like to call “reality”.