Quite a eulogistic
writeup. Obviously a supporter.
It is impossible for me to answer each point by point--I probably couldn't convince such a true believer, but I would like to voice my opposition to such politics on the American model being imported into Canada.
Day was part of the government that, ideologically closed, and then blew up hospitals, just so they could then say there were not enough public insitiutions, and they would have to start paying private institutions with public money.
And, of course, the public doesn't appreciate this--there were mass demonstrations for days, but so democratic was the government Day was a prominent member of, they completely ignored the people!
In Day's own past, he was a pastor of some small, right-wing church, one of the many that have found a home in the prairies of Canada. Many views that would not find a home in most parts of Canada is right at home there.
Now, the party that Day would be leader of, the Canadian Alliance once the Reform Party of Canada, created by Preston Manning.
Trying so hard to separate itself from the old-line parties, in attempting to become a national party, used just the same old methods to get members--the party, in direct violation of its own rules, signed up people who had never heard of the party, and used the party's own money to do it. It also sent membership cards to prominent members of other parties with strange names on the cards. Aparty that wants to rule the country can't get its own records right.
It began its existence as a way to let the West in. But they found that no matter how much they yelled, or how extreme their policies were--and they are--the demographics of Canada are quite simple. There are more people in Ontario and Quebec than in the rest of the country. Democracy would say that Ontarians and Qyebecers would have a voice at least equal to the voice of westerners.
Speaking of voices, Day is not unknown for his conservative social views, and I am uneasy about anyone who would like to enforce these views on me--he has not made it clear that he wouldn't.
As in Ontario, the results of radical reactionary politics, the so-called common sense revolution that the Canadian Alliance wants to bring to the whole country, are only now being felt: Cuts Kill! Lower taxes, no matter how they are hyped, help only the rich.
Day is smart, I'll never deny him that, getting out while the getting is good, before he can be tarred with the tragedies that are only now unfolding.
But I am not too worried. The history of western populism, whether of The Left or of The right is not encouraging to Day. This is the very reason that Preston Manning wanted to go to the next step, and risk what he has built over the years.
To govern, they must do what any other party has done to govern. This corruption has already begun. The only thing that could tip the scales in Day's favour, should he win, is the same old money, given by the same old interests, in return for the same old demands:
FREEDOM FOR MONEY! FREEDOM FOR PROPERTY! SUPPRESSION OF ALL THE REST OF US, ESPECIALLY IF WE ARE DIFFERENT!
This is not an inconsiderable point, money has always perverted politics before, and it has already entered Day's party through Tom Long's campaign. And this money is emboldened by the kinds of things Day says, and the policies Day has been part of.
The fall of the public sector, the socialization of the costs of the private sector and the privatization of public services can only hurt us all--but by the time we realize it, there may be little we can do, especially for the victims.
sakico: No, I'm not a liberal, either in the American sense or in the Canadian. But I am a realist, too. Our history is clear, more of us have done better during periods of government by the Liberal Party of Canada, until the current regime, when under public pressure, or what we are lead to belive is public pressure, has adopted many of the policies of the Canadian Alliance, Mike Harris' Ontario Tories, and Ralph Klein and Stockwell Day's Alberta Tories. They are all the same ilk.
I just can't see being blinded by hate to the extent that it would install something much worse. This has happened in Ontario. I fear the consequences if it comes to Canada.
And, O yes, if you didn't notice, I am a little passionate on this subject.
More:I'm in Ontario. Maybe its true that what a provincial government does, does affect the economy. But it is true that Ontario is the second-largest trading partner with the United States--cars and auto-parts--so when the U.S. is doing well, any ideologue can do well.
And maybe, the simple economic indicators, GDP, business starts, mergers and acquisitions, are all that there is to measure.
I don't believe that. Bankruptcies, especially personal, rental vacancy rates, even welfare rates, though like all figures, they can be fudged--and usually are.
On June 15, 2000, there was a riot on the steps of The Pink Palace, the Ontario legislature, and appropriately so, it was the day the Toronto Stock Exchange hit another all-time high. So what!!
Economic booms, on the American model, are great for some, but for the most of us--it isn't so. But all we get, is the pr from those who have so much already, want so much more, and control all the we see and hear. (Like Conrad Black]
By the way, New Zealand is where the name for the Goods and Services Tax, GST came from. It is also the place whose economic miracle was extolled by Bob Rae (Where he picked up the political fashion. I suspect that anyone who actually goes there, will be unpleasantly surprised by how much the same it is to Ontario, and Canada--or worse; where we'll be when these policies take deep effect.
If that's what you like.....?
Do you really know where the participants in The Pink Palace riot came from?
Since the coming to power of Mike Harris, Tom Long, and the rest who ape American policies, homelessness has reached crisis proportions in Toronto, aided and abetted by the Ontario Government.
My vision of utopia does not include dying in the streets--people do die in the streets! My vision does not include the forcible eviction of persons from their homes, because the law now permits them to be removed, so landlords can charge more.
The benefits that you and yours reap, do not arise in a vacuum. Cast your eyes south, and really see what is there. A society that is ever stretched thiner and thiner in the middle, with a huge bulge at the bottom, and a very much smaller bulge at the top, is unsustainable, except in television fantasy.
The irony seems to be that the greatest fall is not from the lower middle classes, but from the lower upper classes. And it is their fear that is pushing an agenda of repression. To be poor now is a crime. Our tradition used to require an overt act--now the mere state is enough.
Mike Harris and Ralph Klein have learned how to fan the flames of this fear: they don't reapond to peaceful, principled demonstrations.
Days of mass, peaceful, protest around the Alberta legislature accomplished nothing.
Mike Harris' government doesn't follow previous Ontario legislature practice of holding hearings, and heeding the constructive advice of the Opposition. Massive changes in the education system, municipal goverance, and health care system were imposed. Massive changes in post-secondary education is coming.
American style politics require a different approach.
The disenfrancised have no recourse. The police have long been used by those with power to suppress opposition. When my grandfather was helping to organize the Jewish rag-trade in Toronto, the police were used to stop it--Trade Unions were then considered subversive, as they are today, but today its rarely because they are commie!
I'm not sure what is being complained about here. This is the vision of the world those now in power espouse. Those who don't have homes, those who don't have jobs, those who live on the street, are crimianls, and undeserving. And deserve being swept off the street.
Which is just what is happenning to them. But where are they going to go?
Maybe the answer to all our social problems is to do it ourselves. Maybe all that needs to happen is for the government to stop taxing us, give us our money back, and we will make the decisions.
Then only those truly deserving will get aid. None of those people who don't look like us, or think like us, or whose parents didn't come from the same places ours did.
And for those people who are sick, or can't contribute to our good--well, why should we support them?
It's not about making us feel good. It's about the right thing. Utopia? For some, it is nearly that--and growing closer.
"A thousand points of light" is a great slogan. But with all proposals of a conservative nature, social or economic, the benefits go to those with enormous income and assets. The government will always have a helping hand for them. Always has.
We can abandon huge chunks of our fellows, let them fend for themselves. But they still have before them the same corporatized dreams that we do. they still want a piece of the American Dream, because that's what we all want.
They will be unhappy. But we have the strength of the state behind us. We have the police. We have prisons--now being privatized, so there is a profit motive in having lots and lots of criminals.
We can fulfill the unstated portion of the American Dream--build more prisons than schools. We can level hospitals because it is no longer the political fashion. We can turn government against the majority of people.
Police, prisons, surveillance--I don't want this utopia--panopticon!
As Stockwell Day proceeds to the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, fighting in the same old territory--Ontario--in the same old way--with Tom Long's political machine using the same old tricks--for the same old voters.....
What has changed? The package has changed, but the marketing is the same. And the market is the same.
I may not have been at The Pink Palace that day, but I am not the only one who is not surprised at what happenned--or will be at what is to come.
I agree with you first point of your last point. (I don't think that's too confusing.)
My point is that in North America, anyone can go from rags to riches.
My point is, that's the mythology. I would say that the poor support the rich by being poor. That there can't be rich without their being poor, and that the rich have managed to distort the apparatus of government. (That's why they're rich.)
And that is why public health and public schools are being allowed to deteriorate. Line-jumping in health care is like private school, though not for that a good thing.
Yes, either the Liberal party or the Canadian Alliance will be the next government. But only the one that does the most advertising, in the American Style. And with Stockwell Day, it may very well be a race to the bottom.
Let's see who we throw over the side next.