12.04.2009

one year after prorogation

[redsock guest post]

It was one year ago today that Governor General Michaelle Jean granted Prime Minister Stephen Harper's request to suspend Parliament. Harper's sole reason? To avoid a confidence vote that would have brought down his government.

Rather than let the democratic process take its legal and proper course, Ms. Jean chose to come to Mr. Harper's rescue. At the time, Laura wrote:
I'm upset that the Governor General allowed her office to be used for political chicanery and self-interest. And my disgust for Stephen Harper can scarcely be put into words.

Yesterday, Toronto Star columnist Bob Hepburn addressed what has happened in the last 12 months. He noted that to save his job, Harper promised to play nice with the opposition parties.

That didn't last long, naturally, since Harper -- like the rest of us -- saw that he'd encounter little, if any, opposition from the Liberals. And so he quickly
revert[ed] to his natural governing style – regressive, nasty and centred on his ultimate goal of a right-wing Canada.

Clearly, much of Harper's rebound is due to the chaos in the Liberal party's ranks. ...

[Michael] Ignatieff has been a major disappointment for Liberals. ... So bad is the rot within the Liberal ranks that some polls are indicating the party's support is lower now than it was under Dion.

Against this backdrop, Harper has spent most of the past year governing dangerously.

He promised to be fiscally smart, but is running the largest deficit in Canadian history at $56 billion and climbing. ...

Also, over the last 12 months he has displayed little evidence of wanting to do anything while in power except to cut taxes, reduce the role of the central government and get tough on crime.

Just as critical, Harper has shown a total lack of leadership on some of the biggest issues of the day.

For example, he has done nothing to stop the drive by many neo-cons for privatized health care, which undermines Canada's universal medicare system and provides "choice" only for those rich enough to afford head-of-the-line care.

On climate change, Harper is badly out of step with Canadians ... Instead, Harper is defending the increased exploitation of the Alberta oil sands and had refused to attend a critical international conference starting Monday in Copenhagen until U.S. President Barack Obama said he was going.

At the same time, Harper has managed to heighten his reputation as the nastiest prime minister in modern history.

He has allowed his cabinet ministers to launch vicious attacks on diplomat Richard Colvin's reputation ...

And he showed utter contempt for taxpayers by permitting Tory MPs to send taxpayer-funded pamphlets into Liberal ridings with large Jewish populations that suggested Liberals are anti-Semitic. ...

While polls favour the Tories, one recent survey found that when asked who has been the worst prime minister in the last 40 years, Harper topped the list, ahead even of widely disliked Brian Mulroney.

Has Michael Ignatieff emerged from his coma yet? Do we know if the operation to give him a spine was successful?

4 comments:

Scott M. said...

Yes.

No.

M@ said...

over the last 12 months he has displayed little evidence of wanting to do anything while in power except to cut taxes, reduce the role of the central government and get tough on crime.

I love how today's conservatives somehow think that a weaker, poorer centralized government is somehow compatible with greater police powers and a larger military.

The logic underlying this would be quite exquisite, I'm sure, if there were any.

L-girl said...

And "tough on crime" always needs quotes. There's little evidence that increased police powers and harsher sentencing has any effect whatsoever on crime. Reducing poverty and providing more educational and employment opportunities, on the other hand...

M@ said...

You're right. It's just that this government needs so many things in quotes, they soon lose all meaning.

Such as: their "plans to speed up refugee claims".