The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

January 30, 2009

The common crticism of Conservative Stephen Harper Prime Minister


Canada’s Conservative movement as a whole has   been damaged severely by Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself — a past longtime fiscal Conservative and champion of the free market – in some parts of Canada

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s total turnaround from cautious fiscal conservatism to profligate government spender and deficit creator has surely betrayed fiscally conservative voters who elected Conservative MPs based on their public pledges at that time that “our economy is sound” and “we will never run a deficit”. One can only reasonably conclude that to hang on to power in Ottawa, Harper and also next his MPs have betrayed every fiscal Conservative  principle they had once claimed  that their party holds dear, sacred. Harper’s main  opposition these days seems to be the c Conservatives members themselves.

  To me and for good reasons Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not a real Evangelical Christian

When it come to admitting, facing, dealing with one’s own shortcomings, sins, negative truths, Most people are next in a false denial, wrongfully do take the ostrich approach still. Too many Men too are often big liars and cowards who tend to blame it all falsely on the wife or vice versa. While the Conservatives falsely blame it on the Liberals, others.. what a pathetic approach. We the citizens all seem to know that they are big unrepentant sinners still too. Is anyone foolish to still maintain that there any Christian politicians, Harper included  now too?

But look at Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s political, management skills, when we hear for decades of vast political, economic corruptions in many provinces, cities going on even for decades like the previous bad Liberal giving out taxpayers money on infrastructure projects that lacked adequate accountiabilty   and even lack falsely project managements divisions.
We also know how the various local conferences such as the G8 were mismanaged , had a high costly expenditures wasting millions of dollars, the RCMP itself now is not known to be cost effective or fully honest.
OTTAWA – Parliament was “poorly informed” about the funding of the G8 and G20 summits last summer, and proper controls were missing from a $50-million legacy fund that showered money on Treasury Board President Tony Clement’s riding, according to the auditor general.A report tabled in Parliament Thursday revealed there is no paper trail documenting how the 32 projects were chosen to receive money from the Legacy Fund, which itself was buried in an $83-million request to Parliament for funds to reduce congestion at the Canada-U.S. Border, some 300 km away.The report also confirmed the G8 and G20 summits only cost $664 million, not the $1.1 billion originally budgeted, because the government departments overestimated what they would need. Opposition parties accused the government Thursday of secretly shuffling money to a profligate pork-barrel fund to secure Clement’s re-election.  they do the same bad thing the others did..

With accusations of “sell-out,” right-wing commentators have denounced Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government for producing a Liberal budget this week. “You can find some things in the budget that are consistent with the Conservative philosophy, but the weight is like 90 to 10 against it,” University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former senior adviser to Harper, told the Calgary Herald.  “Some of the right-wingers have even suggested that the budget signifies the end of small-c conservatism in Canada.”  John Ivison has declared that Stephen Harper is down to his last few principles.  “Today’s budget will be the final act in a long transformation of Mr. Harper’s Conservative Party from a policy- driven, principled voice for conservatism to a process-driven electoral machine, intent only on surviving the coming budget vote and winning the next election.”

 Even to the die hard reformers, conservatives  the Harper government now sadly acts and  looks very  much like many of the bad liberal  governments that preceded them.  

Canadians say Stephen Harper was motivated by political survival and would never have unveiled this week’s multibillion-dollar stimulus budget were it not for opposition pressure. A new Globe and Mail-CTV poll also found that, despite moderate support for the budget, most Canadians continue to hold Mr. Harper responsible for the crisis atmosphere that prompted it and believe he hasn’t fundamentally changed. “Canadians think Harper has done this with a gun to his head,” said Peter Donolo, a partner with the Strategic Counsel, the firm that conducted the poll. “They feel this wouldn’t have happened had the opposition not held his feet to the fire.”  The poll  also shows that Quebeckers are significantly more negative about the Prime Minister and the budget than are Canadians in other regions, and that voters are now less likely to support the government because of the budget.According to the poll, 72 per cent of Canadians say the government would not have introduced the stimulative budget of this week had it not been for the pressure of opposition parties, whose members threatened to bring down the Harper government and install a coalition. Similarly, 69 per cent say they still blame Mr. Harper for causing an unnecessary political crisis late last year when he should have been focusing on the economy. In Quebec, 83 per cent of respondents blame the Prime Minister for the crisis. Asked whether they believe Mr. Harper has changed since the fall and is taking the country’s economic troubles more seriously, 63 per cent said they perceived no change and that the budget is all about politics. In Quebec, 74 per cent said they don’t believe he changed. “In Quebec, Stephen Harper has the reverse Midas touch,” Mr. Donolo said. “This budget suffers by being associated with him.”

On top of that there is the valid criticism of the federal Conservative new anti recession budget, a transparently “political document” which also had failed to foresee or to allow provisions for the US protectionist policy that has been going on for over a decade now too..  It is not a conservative budget.    

“There’s no way Stephen Harper and his government would have come up with this budget if he hadn’t been goaded into it by the coalition and the fear of losing power. On the contrary, a right-wing, fiscally conservative government would have drawn up something quite different — heavier on the tax cuts with far less spending.” ” With accusations of “sell-out,” right-wing commentators have denounced Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government for producing a budget this week that betrays conservative principles. Also driving the right-wingers crazy is Harper running up the deficit not just with tax cuts, which they support, but also with more spending on infrastructure, social housing, employment insurance, aboriginal communities, and so on. All these expenditures are anathema to them. Some of the right-wingers have even suggested that the budget signifies the end of small-c conservatism in Canada.”    

Stephen Harper has  turned liberal for his own political expediency, survival. Like the Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois, the Harper Conservatives now also do maintain that a vast increase in deficit spending is necessary to revive job-creating economic growth. While in opposition, Harper said one thuibgm and next died the opposite typically as well, Harper and Flaherty had  before  decried the billions upon billions of taxpayers’ dollars wasted on failed corporate handouts by the Liberals. Yet now that the new Conservatives are in power, they are doing the same things too.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper used to advocate both sound fiscal policies and a stricter separation of federal and provincial powers. Now, his own government proposes to spend billions of taxpayers’ dollars on a host of provincial and local projects too. This is as liberal as one can be. What, then, is the real purpose of such fiscal improvidence? The answer is evident: By this means, the Harper Conservatives aim to bribe voters and win support for their minority government from the opposition Liberals. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff backed the Conservatives on the budget — a  plan  that  clearly could have been rather put forth by the Liberals. Liberal leader himself Michael Ignatieff criticism of the Harper’s budget has been tempered with praise for its Liberal-inspired elements. Ignatieff just made the wise political move by criticizing the budget, then supporting it, on Liberal terms. He Ignatieff also bought time crucial to his political future. The Grit boss Ignatieff can now also force an election in March, June or September, on any of the budget updates. No question about it, the hoped for coalition’s collapse, Stéphane Dion’s fall, unexpected  Michael Ignatieff’s rise and Stephen Harper’s realignment have rather all  lead to serious negative effects for all Canadians.

This below is typical of the common criticism of our Conservative Stephen Harper Prime Minister these days, clearly he has no one to blame for it still  but himself..
Harper doomed by his inexcusable missteps … as Ignatieff merely waits January 31, 2009  The Hamilton Spectator…for Stephen Harper, bad timing and poor judgment have conspired to put his career on life support… It is hard to believe that it was less than four months ago that the Tories came within a whisker of winning a majority government in an election timed to get out in front of the looming financial crisis. Postelection, Harper made the right conciliatory noises about taking a more collaborative and less partisan approach to governing. And while the Canadian electorate has never really warmed up to Harper, they took him to be a competent manager and a skilled tactician. In the face of mediocre opposition, that seemed to be enough to preserve the Tories’ hold on power for the foreseeable future.

But three errors in judgment by Harper changed the game fundamentally and will now likely cost him the keys to 24 Sussex Drive.

The first was a stupid pre-election gambit to reduce the GST to 5 per cent over the objections of every credible economist in the country. That cost the government at least $10 billion in annual revenue, and more importantly the fiscal flexibility to respond to the recession without resorting to so much deficit spending. (Compounded by the sad fact to try to get reelected  the Harper government started spending billions of dollars, the surplus left to it by previous Liberal governments — money that should have been available for a rainy day, but next it was not there. Here is more poof that Stepehen Harper is not a real Christian, he does not know or practise the Biblical truths. Remmeber the story about Joseph the boy with a multi coloured coat who next becamse a ruler in Egypt during a recession, famine. Jospeh stored up the resources for a rainy day, he did nto foolishly give them away like Harper did.)

The second was rolling out a November economic statement projecting a stay-the-course balanced budget for 2009 when the rest of the world, including the parliamentary budget officer, was forecasting significant deficits. When Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had to backtrack less than two months later and admit a much starker reality, the government looked both lost and incompetent.

The third mistake was Harper’s misguided attempt to strip the federal parties of public funding at a time when the Liberals were destitute and desperate. That triggered an unpalatable coalition between the Libs and the NDP, but also reduced the prime minister to cowering behind the Governor General while he played for time.

More importantly, it precipitated the bloodless Liberal coup that replaced the hopeless Stephane Dion with Michael Ignatieff without the cost or carnage of a leadership battle. Ignatieff is Harper’s intellectual equal and plainly a superior political talent.

The combined effect of these errors in judgment is that Harper’s aura as a competent and tactical leader has been obliterated. With the economy now tanking, Harper must accept an economic prescription that is alien to his lifelong embrace of free markets. The prime minister is an old-fashioned populist with a bedrock belief in balanced budgets. The Reform Party that he helped found was a visceral reaction to the chronic deficits of both the Mulroney Conservatives and Trudeau Liberals. But in an age of renewed public faith in interventionism, Harper is out of step with a Canadian electorate enamoured of U.S. President Barack Obama and his enormous appetite for stimulus spending.

This week’s budget capitulates to just about every possible Opposition spending demand while abandoning core Conservative principles, leaving voters with a nagging sense that the government doesn’t really believe in what it is doing but will do anything to cling to power. More troubling for the country is the evidence that this orgy of new spending is unlikely to have a lasting impact on economic growth.” But severe poltical backlash instead..
” Stephen Harper has a lot of work to do in Quebec   The Conservatives have fallen out of favour with Quebecers, and it’s mostly the PM’s fault If the Conservatives were still in denial about how much trouble they’ve created for themselves in Quebec, the latest CROP poll in La Presse should serve as their reality check.  CROP shows the Bloc Québécois at 34 per cent, down four points from the election; the Liberals at 31 per cent, a seven-point surge since October; while the Conservatives have plummeted six points to 16 per cent, with the NDP up three points to 15 per cent.  On the question of best prime minister, Michael Ignatieff leads at 37 per cent, Jack Layton is at 23 per cent, and Stephen Harper, who actually is prime minister, is at just 16 per cent.  Harper’s approval numbers have cratered, only three months after he won the election. This has nothing to do with his management of the economic crisis, and everything to do with the political crisis provoked by Harper around the November economic statement.  The blowback in Quebec comes down to Harper’s harsh denunciations of “the separatist coalition,” which served its purpose against the opposition parties in English-speaking Canada, but became a tipping point for sliding Conservative support in Quebec.  Riding high in Quebec at 35 per cent in a Léger poll published on Sept. 19 at the end of the campaign’s second week, the Harper Conservatives went into a free fall that began two days later with their mobile billboard stunt alleging Quebecers had wasted $350 million voting for the Bloc since 1990. In essence, they were calling the voters stupid. The next day, the Conservatives unveiled their young-offender proposals, which Gilles Duceppe pounced on as “creating universities of crime.” The following day, under fire for his cultural cuts, Harper made his careless comment about “rich galas,” reviving a story that had gone away.  Duceppe successfully transformed a campaign that had been about the Bloc’s continued pertinence in Ottawa into one in which it became the defender of Quebec values, a debate Harper had no chance of winning. Harper pulled it together in the last days of the campaign, and managed to salvage 10 seats, just as many as in 2006, but a far cry from the majority that was within his grasp only three weeks earlier. And all because the Conservatives misread Quebec.  Harper’s separatist coalition rhetoric in the House, and especially in his televised address to the country on Dec. 3, served their purpose in the rest of the country. But the fact that he referred to sovereignists in the French version of the TV talk only made it worse in Quebec–it looked as if he was trying to get away with saying one thing in English and another in French.  The backlash in Quebec was measured in the results of the Quebec election the following Monday, which Jean Charest’s Liberals won by only seven points rather than the 13- to 16- point spread projected in Léger and CROP polls completed before movement to the Parti Québécois, driven by the angry reaction to Harper’s comments in the closing days of the campaign. There is no other reason, no other event, to explain Harper’s plummeting voting intention and approval rating in Quebec since then. Both are at 16 per cent. With numbers like that on election day, the Conservatives would win no more than three seats in Quebec, Max Bernier and two players to be named later.  As for the spike in support for the Liberals, it’s not as if Iggymania is breaking out in Quebec, it’s just that Ignatieff isn’t Harper, who has fallen completely out of favour.  Iggy also isn’t Stéphane Dion, and that helps.  There can be only one competitive federalist party at a time in Quebec, and the Liberals are now well-positioned to be that party. Liberal support in this CROP poll would translate into about 30 Quebec seats. And that would kick in the echo effect in Ontario, where voters like to elect national governments with support in Quebec.  There has been some suggestion that Harper is now giving up on Quebec, and will focus his re-election efforts in wooing Ontario. ”

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