The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

December 21, 2008

Was Prime Minister Stephen Harper drunk, or just asleep at the wheel,



Some people try to say that the Conservative Prime Minister  Stephen Harper, an  economist, has finally woken up to the economic crisis that has gripped the planet, and It took him long enough. During this fall’s election, he had falsely downplayed disastrous economic news around the globe by telling Canadians the fundamentals of our economy were sound and by insensitively offering really bad stock market advice.  ” Instead of taking action, the Conservatives delivered the now-infamous non-economic statement that included no stimulus for the economy. Instead, it was like a poke in the eye to those Canadians being handed pink slips or watching their retirement savings vanish before their eyes.” And the Canadian public must rightfully also now decide if the Conservative change of heart is genuine or a clever optical illusion, and  what all should Canadians now do? All  Canadians have a right to be skeptical with Harper’s future standing now too after a firestorm of criticism and a near-death experience for his Conservative government,  .
“Investing in infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer, health and educational facilities, transit, affordable housing and retrofits – all of which will create jobs and put money back into the economy. In addition, the federal government should immediately move to improve the country’s employment insurance program by increasing benefits, lowering the number of hours to qualify for EI and increasing money for retraining. Protecting pensions, saving good manufacturing, forestry and fishing jobs, and expanding the public services needed by Canadians will help families through the tough days ahead and give communities a chance to make it. Investing in a national child-care and early-learning system – no matter how much the prime minister is personally opposed to it – also makes good sense for the economy, for working mothers and, just as importantly, for our kids. And if it is done right, as in Quebec, investing in affordable child care and early learning now will not only create jobs, but free up extra cash for Canadian families, especially young families, as they struggle.”
Thanks basically to the past Liberal governments, for Liberals had  implemented the banking system rules.   this country has enjoyed job growth and reasonable consumer spending right up until the last month or two, while our banking system was  ranked the most solid in the world.   
Still do review the fact that the banks ” that are blatantly using the economic slowdown to call for even more corporate tax cuts in the province of Ontario. The Canadian Bankers’ Association tried out its tired refrain in a submission to the Ontario government – cut our taxes or lose jobs. Tax cuts, says banking executive Nancy Hughes Anthony, will increase productivity and ensure banks keep jobs in Ontario. That is their answer to everything that ails the economy. I guess the billions and billions of dollars Ottawa has already delivered in corporate tax cuts to the banks and other corporations didn’t quite do the trick. Obviously, the $75 billion Ottawa recently made available to help banks buy up mortgages was not enough, either. It never is.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper failure then to admit the hardship many Canadians were experiencing and to take action could rightfully  cost him his job. For one could argue that it has certainly cost untold numbers of Canadians their jobs. Obviously for  someone who was supposed to be so smart, he’s been terribly slow to admit  the economic deepfreeze the rest of the world has been responding to for months now. he thus really does not deserve any second chances.
The Conservative politicians found falsely a new scapegoat and  disarmingly  claim the nasty,  cynical,   destructive banks hoarded capital, and refused to lend, and that sent consumers and corporations over the cliff. Still “Let’s deal with the facts first. Lending from the big six banks was up 11 per cent, year over year, according to the most recent data from the Canadian Bankers Association. Mortgage lending will slow, but only because Canadians are buying fewer homes. Overall loan growth is more modest – at 3 per cent over the past year – because a great many second tier U.S. lenders are exiting Canada, due to problems in home office.”
Was Prime Minister Stephen Harper drunk,  or asleep at the wheel, lying, or was he still rather totally indifferent rather  also when the earlier signs were mounting that the Canadian economy was heading over a cliff? For in just three weeks, the new Conservative federal government has gone from predicting an ongoing string of balanced budgets to the Prime Minister Stephen Harper stating  openly now about the necessity of deficits even  in the range of $30 billion. And the opposition parties warn it still might not be enough to win their support for the budget. Suggesting Harper is only offering generous stimulus under the threat of a coalition toppling his government, Liberal MP John McCallum said it’s premature to say if the Liberals will help pass the budget.  “He doesn’t believe in building up the economy this way and he doesn’t believe in helping people who are suffering from the economic crisis,” he said. “So if it’s going to be the coalition approach to stimulus, it should be the coalition government to implement it. It’s better to have a government that believes in the policy than one that doesn’t.” NDP Leader Jack Layton also accused Harper of being dragged “kicking and screaming” into providing aid packages and insisted he must go. Stephen Harper describes Canada’s historic return to deficit as a bitter pill for him to swallow, but as a necessary remedy for the ailing economy. Harper expressed some dismay over the irony that Canada would return to the red under his watch. The prime minister continues to reel politically from a late-November parliamentary misstep that nearly cost him his government. In the run-up to the Christmas period, on a variety of policy fronts, things have not gone Harper’s way. Facing the viable prospect of being unceremoniously driven from office,  Mr. Harper is now having trying to  dance to the tune being called by the majority others. Now that the opposition parties have joined forces to slice his throat, Mr. Harper looks very  much  weaker, having also clearly to improvise and bend to the will of other political parties. And when the Commons reconvenes Jan. 26 he’ll face a newly empowered Liberal Official Opposition.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper now himself performs clearly an astonishing about-face presentation on the economy,   and is now  even  following almost exactly the path the Liberal leader Stephane Dion was mapping out before he quit. Harper now is following the very same person  Harper had previously himself had labeled as an incompetent fool.. How revealing!
So what is the real reason  for  Harper’s   about  face. Harper’s new conversion to deficit budgeting.  It obviously now was, is clearly Harpers desire not to be terminated, dismissed from his Job, from his position, that  Prime Minister Stephen Harper visibly even sells off his past personal values.. makes a  flip-flop, forces a change. We all do also have to wonder how effective any recovery plan of $30 billion stimulus package by a clearly incompetent Stephen Harper,  and  is it merely  throwing the taxpayer’s money out the door with the hope that some of it will do some good?”  It is our money too.
Just days after shutting down Parliament because he lost the confidence of the House of Commons, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now turning his back on years of self-professed democratic principle by announcing he will stack the Senate with 18 Conservative patronage appointments. Such a move is clearly undemocratic, shamefully hypocritical and according to a growing chorus of scholarly experts, constitutionally questionable.  Just a short while ago, Harper stated that “an appointed Senate is a relic of the 19th century.” In 2004, he promised never to appoint any Senators until the upper chamber became an elected body. Far from the Senate becoming any more democratic, Harper now wants to go back on his word and stack this legislative body before he loses office, which may be as early as end of  Despite the fact that he’s lost the confidence of Parliament, Harper should be focused on the 71,000 Canadians who lost their jobs last month, not on the 18 Conservatives who he wants to finds work for next month. This hypocritical and undemocratic move is also pretty expensive. Remember when the Conservatives said it was important for public officials to tighten their belts, just as average Canadians were doing during the recession? This patronage spree will cost millions annually. The average Senator receives $130,400 in salary and spends about $89,539 a year on travel. The Senate of Canada sits three days a week.  With Canadians rightly concerned about their jobs, pensions, savings and homes, parliamentarians, including Stephen Harper, should be focused on a stimulus package that will kick-start our ailing economy, not transparent power grabs in obvious attempts to cling to power .
There are four federal senate vacancies in Quebec; three each from British Columbia and Nova Scotia; two from New Brunswick and Ontario, and there is one senate spot open for each of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, and Saskatchewan. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has even flip flopped on the issue of appointing senators, when he had clearly before opposed it himself too. Can you now even trust anything he Harper says he will do next ? Harper in fear clearly  now believes that the opportunity to reform the Senate will be lost for a generation if the very likley  Liberal-NDP coalition next  fills up the senate vacancies. Flip flop, giving good jobs to Conservative freinds is something Harper also had said he would not do, but next often did, and what can you expect from a very visible liar like Harper..
Next if the federal Conservative government can’t get its planned reforms to the Canadian Senate passed as soon as possible it will simply move to abolish the chamber altogether, says Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for democratic reform. Fletcher says he will introduce legislation to introduce eight-year term limits for senators, and a process to elect senators, as soon as the budget and economic issues are dealt with by the House of Commons. He also issued a warning to any parliamentarians planning to block the reforms. If we don’t get those reforms in a reasonable amount of time we will look to abolish it,” said Fletcher. The bills will be similar in nature to the ones introduced in the last parliament that failed to get through a committee review before the election. But Manitoba Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs says that’s just a lot of hot air, because the government needs the approval of the provinces to make any major changes to the Senate.  “They cannot in my view even introduce fixed terms without the approval of the provinces,” said Carstairs. “Both Ontario and Quebec have said they will take them to court over this.” While the Conservative government argues it only needs the approval of Parliament, the two biggest provinces say a significant change to the Senate can be done only with a formal constitutional amendment — which requires the approval of at least seven provinces which represent 50 per cent of the population. That means either Ontario or Quebec — or both — would need to approve the reforms. 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has clearly even  misplayed the financial crisis from the start. The lack of real, valid political leadership in this country is still  staggering.  Harper’s appointment this week of a group of eminent economic advisers is an personal admission  sign that the government recognizes that it doesn’t have all the answers or is it merely confirming Harper’s ongoing false  political play to falsely stay in power?  Why now take the chance for the good of us all? Rightfully fire him anyway, he clearly has earned that right by now too.
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PS anyone who is naive to say to me from Alberta now too  that a professing Christians do not drink alcohol, get drunk just should read all the letters I often do get from professing Christian pastors acknowledging they drink wine, alcohol and trying to justify it.. I have often written about this too
 (Gal 5:19 KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20   Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21   Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  (Col 3:5 KJV)  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6   For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

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