Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who Let the Crazies Out?

That's not just in reference to the Vancouver riots, either, though those who took part in those riots - especially this couple - deserve the label of "crazy" in some sense or another.

No, I'm talking about our friends in the New Democratic and Conservative parties, who seem to get more ideologically nutty by the day, even though the media likes to point to the idea that they're moderating themselves and becoming various shades of red while they do.

What's truly surprising so far is the general tact to the inept and partisan right that the governing Conservatives have decided to taken with their budget cuts and in response to the postal and Air Canada ticket persons unions strikes (or maybe thats not so surprising...).

In the former, they've decided to cut about $720-million in actual spending - part of the $10.4 billion in lower spending this year, most of it due to the winding down infrastructure projects. That doesn't seem like a bad number to start off with, of course - until you look into what it is they're trying to cut. Nuclear watchdogs, the Public Health Agency, Environment Canada, and so on, with little or no reason why these agencies need to face between 10-20% cuts, while there are equally juicy cuts to be had in the Conservative's mega-prisons and completely unjustified expenditures on the F-35 Lightnings, which they still deny are going over costs, while everyone else is saying they are.

Then we get to the union strikes, and the fact that the government and our inept Halton-region cabinet minister, Lisa Raitt (Labour), decided to attempt and bring back-to-work legislation through the House, barely two weeks into one, rotating strike, and one that had so far only lasted three goddamn days. I don't know much about union negotiations, but that has to be some sort of record for seriously pushing for back-to-work bills. Maybe it's justified, maybe its not, but I didn't see a heck of a lot of movement on the part of the government to negotiate fairly, either.

Then we get to the New Democrats, and their famed Waffle-successive lefties, now under the heading of the "NDP Socialist Caucus," who I'm willing to bet Alexandre Boulerice would fit nicely into. Just read their front page, and their attempt to pressure Brad Lavigne and co. to push for a further-left orientation, while the NDP simultaneously attempt to strike the worlds "socialist" from their constitutional preamble. They won't stop, either; though they were easily defeated on that Libyan issue (har har), they'll create a ruckus soon enough. Even if they don't, there's no reason we can't make it seem like they aren't - if you get my meaning.

I can't imagine the Liberals would drift this far off so quickly if they had gotten into power, and not received the smack they did. It'll be interesting to see down the line, if the Conservatives and NDP feel more empowered to throw their ideological weight around, whether Canadians will realize just how bad these parties and their ultimate goal of political polarization really is.

2 comments:

  1. "Political polarization" left vs right, us vs them, rich vs poor mentality that guarantees ongoing power for the two parties in a two party system, leaves a big gaping hole for a third party in Canada.

    If it could get its act together.

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  2. Willy,

    You would, ultimately, think that - and it could very well be the right idea, in certain parts of the world. However, it may not here, not in those terms you mentioned; fact is, we did have a polarized system, but is was based on the the two traditional founding parties - Liberals and Conservatives - instead of the traditional left/right axis. In that way, our polarization actually did allow a little third party to climb its way up - the distinctly non-founding New Democrats.

    However, that took 50 years and a bunch of near-misses. Not exactly what I'm looking forward to happening, because the entire goal of the Cons and Dips is to make us irrelevant - our goal should be to say, hell no, we won't go, and we're going to be a giant thorn in your sides as a traditional governing party until the day we either collapse entirely or the country itself ends. If we need to fight for a multi-party system, so be it. If we need to remind voters that if there must be polarization, it should be between the two federalist founding parties, so be it. But somehow, we keep ourselves in that game.

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