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Canadian election talk... if anyone cares

June 1 2004 at 7:50 AM
BigE  (no login)
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Well it appears the Liberal party's stranglehold on the country is finally coming to an end in one way or another, be it by losing the election or more likely by what will be a minority government. They've been on a steady drop in the polls since about the 2nd or 3rd day of the campaign and now there is even talk of a possible Conservative minority being formed. I can't help myself but like Stephen Harper more and more each day of the campaign. I was somewhat of a supporter of the new Conservatives for about 3 years prior to them actually creating the party. A united "right" has been something I have craved since writing a term paper on our previously illegitimate political system in a poli sci class; not necissarily for their values and beliefs but for the sake of democracy and accountability. However, now that I've finished being formally educated for the time being, I've evaluated what my true beliefs are and the Canada that I would like to see over the next 5 years, and the Conservative party's policy is about 95% what I'm looking for.

Perhaps the biggest knock against the Liberals is that their plan to portray, and in some people's opinion, slander Stephen Harper as an extremist backfired thanks to Harper's witt and reverse attacks on the Liberal Party as a whole. Martin has based his campaign on one central issue, defending Canada's 'welfare state' status through remaining high taxes, and supposed major increases to healthcare spending. Ironically, as a Conservative candidate who happens to be a medical doctor pointed out it was Paul Martin as finance minister under Chretien who had cut healthcare programs... hmmm.

The Conservative platform looks something like this so far: lower taxes, improved healthcare (not necissarily more expensive), and what was announced yesterday an increase in military spending that dwarfs Paul Martin's military announcement of last April. The reason I hi-lite that part is because it is something that I have mentioned time and time again since the war in Iraq commenced over a year ago. Harper wants to almost double military personnel from 52,000 to over 80,000, replace archaic equipment, and increase Canada's presence worldwide. As some might know, Harper had wanted Canada to support the US in Iraq prior to combat actually commensing... however instead of getting into that debate (I'm sure we all get our fill of it on here), his primary concern was to maintain a solid relationship with the US for economic reasons. As he pointed out with his increased military spending, and which has been the focus of some of my points for increasing our military, is that if Canada wants to make its own decisions as to where and when we support the US, we first need to have a military capable of defending ourselves instead of reliance on our neighbour. If I was a betting man, I'd say Harper actually plans to spend much more, as military experts say is needed, but does not want to seem too hungry for guns as that would play into Martin's court of portraying him as a Hitler.

What it will all boil down to is how successful Harper can spin the "arrogance" of the Liberals which he refers to, saying that a party in absolute control as they have been over the last 10 years leads to corruption, which it has. Martin, meanwhile, has campaigned on the Conservatives being un-Canadian because they seem to want similar policies of our neighbouring Americans (ie: low taxes, more military). Well Mr. Martin, that plays right into the arrogance factor... wanting low taxes does not mean someone is un-Canadian, afterall Mr. Martin himself has made his millions by owning a shipping company based out of the Caribbean in order to avoid taxes. As Harper said, the Liberal campaign should be "tax me, I'm Canadain... lose my money, I'm Canadian".

The final results will also depend on how many socially-minded voters the NDP can take from the Liberals. Their leader Jack Layton is certainly colorful, but at times seems to play right into the "loudmouth hippy" generalization of his party. However, if he can stay away from personal attacks, and make his dollars make "cents" it will likely be just enough to create a minority government... be it Conservative or Liberal led.

Here are some attack sites if anyone is interested:

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