This really makes me angry. One of Stephen Harper's top campaign managers just made a speech claiming the Conservatives won the election because they spoke directly to the average Canadians and didn't pander to the "elites". Hey, I guess if it works for Sarah Palin... Why bother with all that policy and question-answering nonsense? He also blames Michael Ignatieff for not responding well to all of their attack ads. "His failure to define himself was his choice." So, roughly "Sure, I guess it's my fault that I shot you in the face, but you didn't do a very good job of going to the hospital to get it fixed."
As well, we have the Conservatives dropping hints of new things to come out of their next policy convention. We'll have the Omar Kadhr Rule, whereby you'll lose your citizenship if you're accused of high treason. How will that work? Seems like a bit of a catch-22 if the government that you hope will support you in your defense walks away before you can formulate a defense. As well, rumblings about explicit rejection of euthanasia and a "severe crackdown" on prostitution, in order to "declare that human beings are not objects to be enslaved, bought and sold." Ya, forcing prostitution further underground is going to dramatically improve things for those that are enslaved. And why are the religious right so concerned about somebody ending their own pain and suffering?
Moving along, Chuck Strahl pen's a ridiculous piece of tripe posing as "advice to my son, the new MP". I guess the Globe and Mail is hard up for content. Let's read between the lines:
"you made a decision to run for office" - I retired after getting my full pension so that you could have an easy seat while the getting was good
"charted a course" - did exactly what I did
"worked hard" - avoided debates and towed the party line
"and got yourself elected" - because even a coat rack could have gotten itself elected as the Conservative candidate in this riding
And that's just the first sentence!
Building on that, the Conservatives are going to start adding seats in the areas where they are strongest. I'm all for distribution of Parliament seats based on where the population actually is, but I'd like to think that it is more scientific than this. As the article points out, there is already an automatic redistribution initiated by the census. So why is this required? Why would you make this announcement before seeing the results of the census? How can you make these decisions without having the most up-to-date information? It's pure speculation at this point. At least this explains the decision to scrap the mandatory long form census. Why bother if you're not going to use the information? On a side note, we completed our census form a few weeks back. I was kind of hoping to volunteer to fill out the long form census, as a form of protest. But we couldn't figure out a way to do that. I guess the only way to non-mandatorily participate is if you are non-mandatorily selected to voluntarily fill it out.
In support of last week, here's a link to a great Tyee article talking about Stephen Harper's international policy shortcomings. It touches on some points raised last week, but summarizes things far more coherently than I ever could.
Lastly, the Throne Speech happened. There were no real surprises...but most of those probably won't come out for a year or two. Say goodbye to the long-gun registry, vote subsidies and Canadian Wheat Board Monopolies (not sure if that is good or bad). Say hello to longer prison terms and harsher punishment, as well as "shared border security" with the US, Alright Canada! Way to pave your own way!
Worst of all...and honestly, this is one of my biggest problems with the Conservative Government...Copyright Reform. US Copyright Reform is a failure. We are letting the same companies that pushed that crap on the US write our legislation. Internet "piracy" has caused problems for many dinosaur entertainment companies. But look at the explosion in concert revenues. Look at the explosion in independent music. Past bills have ignored feedback from artists groups and consumers and focussed on a bunch of near-criminal music companies that robbed us for years and years. I fear that with a majority there will be no consultation. It could be grim. Three strikes? Criminalization of digital lock breaking? Who knows. It won't be good. And it really won't stop anything.
And the (lady) cojones on that page that held up the "Stop Harper" sign...impressive indeed.