This is a Huge. Fucking. Disaster.

December 2, 2008 at 2:48 am 4 comments

Andrew Coyne (affectionately referred to as my boyfriend by Mr. Travis M. Nicholson) sums up this entire Ottawa mess better than anybody.  Coyne has even gone back to sounding like a conservative again — good to have you back.

I’ve taken the liberty of excerpting a sizable chunk out of A.C.’s blog post at Maclean’s.ca, but I don’t think he would mind.  Take the time to read it.  It takes at least four paragraphs to properly articulate the insane, petty, pitiful belly-aching that has brought our country to the teetering brink of a massive governmental clusterfuck:

And the settled wisdom of every single pundit in the country is that it is all the Conservatives’ fault. After all, they provoked the opposition beyond endurance. They made demands of the opposition that they could not possibly accept. How could Harper have been so reckless? What a toxic gambit! What a colossal miscalculation!

Absolutely no one pins even a sliver of blame on the Liberals, the NDP or the Bloc. Of course not. Faced with the unreasonable and extreme proposal that they raise funds in the same way as the Conservatives have been doing for years — by asking people for their money, rather than taking it from them — they really had no alternative but to seize power. What on earth were they supposed to do? Revamp their moribund fund-raising organizations? Find a message and a leader capable of motivating large numbers of Canadians to click the “donate” button on their websites? Get off their collective duffs? What were the Tories thinking?

No. No, the sensible, restrained, pragmatic thing to do when threatened with the loss of subsidy is to take down the government. The sober, reasonable, moderate thing to do in this time of economic uncertainty is to provoke a constitutional crisis — to cobble together a coalition without a prime minister or a program, propped up by a separatist party, and demand the governor general call upon it to form a new government, replacing the old one we just elected. It’s been six weeks, after all.

Thank God that Canada has such statesmen in this time of peril, willing to put partisanship aside in pursuit of high office. What a contrast to those hyper-partisan, power-mad Conservatives, with their insane demands that the parties make do on the millions in tax credits and reimbursements they receive outside the subsidy.

(The italic emphasis is his, the bolding mine.)

This whole thing, as they say, has been fucked since Jump Street.  The Liberal pissyness over cut subsidies is unwarranted, considering the system was put in place a mere six years ago.  It speaks to the mental and societal decline of even our politicians that the thought of operating without a government handout is enough to drive the townspeople on to the doorstep of the Queen’s representative with pitchforks and coalition agreements.

This is about the lack of stimulus, is it?  Fuck you.  Nobody bought it for a second and you undermine the intelligence of every Canadian in trying to state otherwise.  You didn’t have the guts to bring down the government over the 2006, 2007 OR 2008 budgets even after the threat of doing so, nor did you make your move after scary Mr. Harper said he was pulling out of the dizzy Kyoto accord.  What were you doing, Dion and Co.?  Biding your time?  Waiting for the opportune moment?

This is about the string being pulled shut on the public purse and has everything to do with your own interests.  Stimulus was a weak excuse from the beginning.

  • Flaherty made it clear in his fiscal update on Thursday that the lack of a stimulus is precisely because Canada had already made its stimulus movement months ago, by injecting money into the economy (2% of the GDP, like the G20 agreed upon) in the form of tax cuts and increased spending where it mattered.
  • Hence, Canada’s economy has shown a 1.3% increase, and job rates are a fraction of a percent above a 30-year LOW.  And what happened during the ceremonial declaration of treason signing today when one reporter pointed that out?  Dion stumblingly deferred to Layton, who offered up some vanilla pabulum about “the people he’s met on the road”.  Wake up, Jack.  You think you command such audiences out on that road that your bringing in people who aren’t already part of the flock?  You’re not even the official opposition, and this, for you, is the smartest thing you’ve ever done – latching on to the Liberal runaway train wreck for a slice of the power and none of the blame.  I mean, after bringing in Jim Broadbent to broker the deal, whose NDP success numbers you couldn’t dream of matching.
  • Take the goddamned cut.  The Conservatives would have taken it, too.  Let’s keep in mind, also, that the cut was not ‘undemocratic’ as you claim.  The Reform and Alliance parties raised money by coming up with a workable platform and appealing to their voter base for funding nearly a decade ago.  Want to hazard a guess as to what they’re doing now?  Running the country.
  • Also, what happened on Thursday was simply what it was called – an update.  Even Harper and Flaherty weren’t in complete agreement as to whether or not more stimulus was coming, and they fully admitted the possibility of one in January.  What’s ‘undemocratic’ is jumping the gun to defeat the government instead of creating a united front to push for some kind of acceptable stimulus in the 2 months you would have had otherwise.

So congratulations.  You’ve created an alliance between two parties who are still undeniable ideological opposites, and allowed into your home the vampire that is the Bloc Quebecois.  Duceppe must think you’re as stupid as I do, but at least this will turn out well for him.  The party that wants to break up the country is as close now as they have EVER come to federal power.  Nicely done.

You may have forced the dissolution of a minority government in the middle of an incredibly unstable economic climate, and gambled away any chance of maintaining the stability Harper and Flaherty have worked for.  Want to take one fucking guess as to what the stock market is going to look like the day another election is called?

Oh yeah, and on May 2nd, the Liberal leadership is decided.  The choices are a former NDP-er who ran the Ontario economy into the ground, and a professor who has spent over half of his life in the United States.  Even the Liberals can’t decide who they want.  In the interim is a man who the Canadian public chose NOT to lead the country, so unpopular that he left the Liberal party with one of its lowest House of Commons showings in its history.

Travis, I love you an everything, but I am declaring right here, right now:

I want to cage fight the coalition government.

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Can anybody explain to me… A Giant Flaming Christmas Pud’

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. travis  |  December 2, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    You’re not going to believe this, but I agree with you. Completely. I’m going to cast this one as a personal dissatisfaction with the entire government and leave it at that.

    You still thinking about moving to Chicago?

    Reply
  • 2. Dr Ryan Heise  |  December 6, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Me too, Steve. I agree.

    I consider myself wholly non-partisan, though a very leftist individual. If the coalition happened, the Libs would have lost any future support from me in the future. I would probably have just stopped voting, because it obviously doesn’t matter.

    That being said, the Conservatives did make some big missteps in governing. You can’t be a minority and act like a majority. Still, toppling the government would have been stupid. I’d like to see another election with 10% voter turnout, the whole government be dismissed, and a random number generator decide our political fate for the rest of history.

    Reply
  • 3. Joe  |  December 16, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Oh Steve. I love you.

    Reply
  • 4. A Giant Flaming Christmas Pud’ « A Stiff Upper Lip  |  December 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    […] have this tendency to grumble and gnash my teeth with the best of them, because its fun and cathartic and its easier to criticize while seeming fair […]

    Reply

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About Upper Lip

It's mostly a collection of sweet links and copious amounts of talk talk talk. I like it more and more every day. And yes, even the ugly blue/green color scheme is not without a certain charm.

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