Friday, January 13, 2006

Questioning The Logic Of Releasing A Policy Platform On Friday The 13th

This is the Conservative Platform : 'The platform is based on the values of integrity, family, respect for work, achievement, and commitment to a strong and free Canada.' Um okay, lovely. But what is in it, how much does it cost? Harper in his stump/victory/policy speech today laid out his party's policy, basically recycling the ideas that he bombarded the electorate with in his announcement a day early campaign ploy. Harper did not mention any numbers, he instead had his finance critic Monte Stromberg meet with the press. According to Monte the plan will cost $60.7 billion, well really $75 billion, but the Tories plan to reallocate some current spending that they see as not a priority...... Which programs these are they did not say, I am betting its the agreement reached with Aboriginals (even though the policy said the would accept the targets set in the agreement), and Kyoto just to name two. Now Iam sure that Liberals will attack the numbers as skewed and unrealistic, and yes I have no doubt that they are. However, even if the Liberals claim that they have asked an independent accounting firm to crunch the numbers, I don't believe that there are any non partisan accounting firms that work in conjunction with the political parties. So instead of dwelling on the numbers, lets just get to what is proposed in the Conservative platform.
First, the good, the platform makes some vague promises to support the CBC, Canada Council, and even provincial development agencies like ACOA. The Tories will support and promote bilingualism, give tax breaks to people who use public transport, and support charitable giving.
There are other socially progressive ideas in this platform, namely childcare, and clean air initiatives, but these plans are so tied to the private sector, and tax credits. So it is hard to know if they are ever going to get off the ground. Can anyone say GM?
Now, the ugly, a Conservative government would have a 'free vote' on the question of the definition of marriage..... Okay so the Supreme Court of Canada, and laws already passed Federally and in some provinces mean nothing then? A Conservative Government would add property rights into the Charter of Rights, not really up on the property rights issue, but it smacks of the right to bare arms, and further destruction of the environment by big oil and forestry companies. A Conservative Government would scrap the gun registry, sure the registry is a white elephant, but I think its important still for the government and law enforcement to know who own guns, just for forensics sake. A Conservative Government, who proclaim to be all about shrinking the size of government, would appoint a Director of Public Appointments, Name a National Security Commissioner, Create a Canadian foreign Intelligence Agency, Create a National Security Review Committee, Appoint a Seniors Council, Create a Canadian Agency for Assessment and Recognition of Creditionals... On and on it goes, looks like the new Director of Public Appointments is gonna be a busy person. Finally the Conservative platform vision for law and order mentions nothing about rehabilitation, or the causes of crime, instead they will be tougher on gun crime criminals, and end any discussion on the decriminalization of pot.
The Conservative platform is 25 pages long, but if you compare and contrast it to the constitution of the National Citizens Coalition, the similarities are quite striking, have a look: to this
The Conservative Platform is conservatism wrapped in traditional Canadian socially democratic values. It leans to the center enough, to perhaps not scare off the 39% of Canadians that are sick of the Liberals and now support the Tories.... But the hidden agenda, is now no longer hidden, there is enough conservative value hyperbole in this platform to appease the Reformatory base. Stephen Harper is the first Canadian politician I have heard in a long time end a speech with God Bless Canada, but it all makes sense to me now, he simply heard the Canadian population collectively sneeze at his platform.


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1/29/2006 1:28 a.m.  

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