Canadian Politics. It's not so boring.

October 25, 2005

U.S. word on trade 'good as gold,' Rice says

The Globe & Mail reports on Rice's visit to Canada:

The United States' word is “as good as gold” when it comes to international agreements and the current Canada-U.S. dispute over softwood lumber – while important – needs to be kept in perspective, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday.
More words, little action. Somehow Martin's people convinced Rice to visit Canada to show that Martin is doing something about the lumber dispute. It's obvious that Rice was sent just to pacify the Canadians. How long does something need to go on before this government actually decides to stand up to the US?

October 09, 2005

Merger killed conservatism in Canada

Though the article appears by its title to be about Conservatives it's really about Liberals and how they stole ideas from both parties. And though I'm sure they didn't intend it as such, the article actually gives more support to Canada's NDP, at least if you are fond of our social safety net:
All of Canada’s social programs such as universal health care and old age pensions, originated with the CCF, the predecessor party to the NDP. When the CCF came up with a social policy that seemed to find favour with Canadians, the Liberals would adopt it, water it down to make it less socialistic, pass it into law, and then take credit for it. Most of what Prime Minister Paul Martin calls “Canadian values” are policies that originated with the socialists and passed into law by the Liberals. The CCF/NDP has had a tremendous influence on the shape of the country without ever coming close to holding power.
If the NDP can do that much without having held power federally, imagine what more they could do in government!

I don't entirely agree with the authors conclusion, however:
Currently Canada has no major small “c” conservative party and two centrist parties. Conservatism may not be dead in Canada but with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, it is certainly on life support.
I don't see either the Liberals or the Conservatives as centrist parties - I see them both as right-wing parties and the NDP as the only left-wing party. Over the past 12 years they've been in power, the Liberals have balanced the budget by cutting social programs and then spent most of the surplus on corporate and personal tax cuts and debt repayment. The money spent on doing those things above is at least double the amount spent on new spending on expanding or adding social programs. That's obviously why the Liberals have been promising for 12 years a national daycare program and never delivered as but one example.

October 06, 2005

New Democrats most fiscally responsible: Federal government report

The media always seems to carry comments from other parties and citizens about the NDP being fiscally-irresponsible. It'd be nice if they gave more credence to data instead of anecdotes.
The report shows that NDP governments have balanced the books 46 per cent of the time. Manitoba’s NDP government has posed surpluses every year it has been in office and Saskatchewan’s NDP government posted 11 consecutive balanced budgets after ending a decade of Conservative mismanagement and corruption.

Despite Paul Martin’s frequent pronouncements on fiscal responsibility, Liberals have the worst fiscal record overall. Liberal federal, provincial and territorial governments have posted year-over-year budget deficits an astonishing 79 per cent of the time.
They don't have to take the NDP's word for it - look at the Report themselves and crunch the data.

Svend Robinson mulling return to federal arena

Svend is the kind of guy that lives and breathes politics. He's always been more popular amongst his constituents and the Socialist Caucus, a radical group with the Federal NDP then with the caucus. That's because he tends to be a bit of a media hog and likes to grandstand. However, I have no doubt that he's sincere in his beliefs and he a great example of a politician who goes the extra mile to help the minorities within society. What's his chances of beating Liberal MP Hedy Fry? According to a poll commissed by Robinson:
On the question of who would win if he ran against Fry, Robinson said it was a statistical tie once the margin of error was factored in.
Even though Vancouver Centre had a large gay population, it doesn't necessarily Svend will automatically get their vote according to an Fry who is quoted in an article in The Brandon Sun:
Although Robinson was the first openly gay MP to out himself in 1988, Fry said she’s not worried about losing support from her riding’s sizeable gay community. Fry noted that in every single election she has ran in since 1993, a gay candidate has run against her.
Finally, in an article by Columnist Jeffery Simpson:
Politics is a kind of drug for Mr. Robinson. If healthy, it was inevitable he would return some day, somewhere. And, sure enough, he recently said he began reading Hansard again, which is a bit like handing a menu to someone with an eating disorder. Anybody who reads Hansard is either a) not of sane mind, b) a glutton for punishment, or c) a political junkie of the worst order.

October 01, 2005

Harper mum on prospect of MacKay's departure

Nova Scotia provincial Conservatives have begun a campaign to draft deputy federal leader Peter MacKay back to their province while he acknowledged he had received no appeal yet from his leader, Stephen Harper, to stay in the national party.
Personally, I think McKay will probably go. It's lot more fun being a big fish in a little pond and his future in the federal Conservative party is limited as long as Harper remains at the helm. It'll be very bad for federal party in that yet another moderate will be leaving (Stronach being another one). I don't have a problem with real Conservativism because they still believe in government having a role in society. The neo-conservatives which have taken over the party don't, unless you count interfering in individual rights on moral issues.