March 02, 2004

A Dummy's Guide to the Election Issues

No offence meant here. It is just that the endless sleazy scandals that have marked the Chretien/Martin era are so fulsome that it is hard for the average voter to keep track of them, as they tumble on each other. There is even the fear that scam-fatigue will set in and the voter will say, "Politics is a dirty business, so, what else is new? The parties are all the same." What they really mean is that the Quebec side of politics always seems to be the same--riddled with self-serving pols. This was true in Mulroney's reign, as well as in Trudeau's and Chretien's. And it will continue to be true under Martin, as he dares not alienate his loyal Quebec base -- the base that gives the Liberals their Quebec votes. Therefore, before the few people still inclined to vote--the numbers fall every election--give up, let's outline the main indictments against the current government.

Paul Martin was either deeply implicated in the sponsorship scandals and those of the HRDC and the Gun Registry, or he is totally incompetent. On top of that, he feigned being "absolutely shocked" to discover that his Canadian Steamship Line was given, not $131,000 in grants, contributions and other dubious loans, but rather, the princely sum of $161-million! But he claimed to be personally unaware of this largesse being handed out to his company. This is the man who got on his high horse to demand that foreign tax havens be made off-limits to Canadians -- well, except for the Barbados, where he has registered his CSL company and pays only 2% (6%?) local taxes. Bugger all to the Canadian government, of course. To re-elect a man like this would be like proclaiming the CEO of Bre-X as the business manager of the century.

Another issue that the Conservatives have to tackle is our shameful immigation / refugee policy. It will be difficult, as the Liberals have tried to make this issue a sacred cow. Any attempts to stop the abuses will be met with the Liberal /NDP/ CBC cry of xenophobic redneck attitudes. But this concern need not be the death knell of the Conservatives in the huge immigrant urban areas--most of whom have entered Canada after an arduous process, often entailing years of paperwork. To Canadians, particularly those who have come to Canada through the front door, keep pointing out the inequality of the queue-jumpers, who flood into Canada from suspect countries and usually with no documentation to even prove who they are. Also expose the Liberal lie that the politicians are now trying to circulate that Canada has one of the most stringent refugee policies. The exact opposite is the truth. No country in the G-8 accepts even half the percentage of refugees that Canada does.

Zero in on the failed Liberal Aboriginal policies. As usual, the Liberals will throw more money at the problem of native pathologies. Another $800-million will be added to the over $7-billion that they aready give to the natives. This sum does not count the billions more that are off-book expenditures to them. Chretien was Native Affairs ministers in the late 60's, but the problem since then has only grown worse. Crime, unemployment, and domestic violence have risen, unabated, through the Liberal decades. Not only is the money sent out often wasted by kleptocratic chiefs and their cronies, but law and order is breaking down; witness the Kanesatake and Burnt Church incidents. Now consider that the Native/Indian population is the fastest growing one in Canada. It is estimated that in a few more decades they will comprise 40% of Saskatchewan. Who is going to support this perpetual welfare burden? The one good thing that Chretien's government did was to appoint Robert Nault responsible for the Department of Indian Affairs. Nault saw the corruption on the reserves and was going to bring in legislation that would enforce transparency and honest elections of reserve officials. Martin promptly dropped him from Cabinet and reversed Nault's policies. Henceforth, it will be turn-a-blind-eye to corruption again. Except, there will now be an additional $800 million to pilfer.

In the Maritimes, I have read of how the Liberals waste money through ACOA grants. These business grants are often tied to no particular chance of success, but merely to a favourite loyalist riding or a heavy contributor to Liberal coffers. Vast numbers of the funded businesses have failed. Still, in certain areas they last long enough to guarantee their boy gets re-elected. Harper wants to scrap these doomed enterprises and instead, give Maritime businesses a special tax break. That across-the-board measure would benefit everyone, not just Liberal supporters.

© Bud--who once--to his shame--actually voted Liberal -- but he was young and stupid, and Trudeau did seem really hip.

Hip? That must have been before Bud grew up. Oh, Bud, what a confession! Appalling! Hang your head! Do penance, and then pray that we might undo what that man instigated -- particularly, that Charter of Rights--but not Responsibilities--and Freedoms. Note that freedoms, the latter part just keep expanding in certain areas but contracting in the ones that really count -- such as in the Canadians' benefits from democracy department. More and more, there is court-ordered coercion impacting upon the individual's values and beliefs.

For example, where do people who never paid a cent into it get the right to Canadian taxpayers' benefits? Why should people who come here without identification and documentation have a right to welfare and other taxpayer-funding? Why is the right to privacy of illegal immigrants such that it trumps Canadian citizens' security rights? Why should the courts be rounding on expression of beliefs and personal values, such as demanding that a certain perspective on lifestyle issues be accepted as received wisdom -- though newly-minted in the last thirty years? Why should speaking truth be curtailed in the interest of a dubious harmony -- though labelled something else? Make up your own list. This is a Charter that needs to be revisited in the light of common sense.



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