Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Nation Once Again

We're gearing up for an election it seems. The Liberal party will be choosing their new 'leader' this weekend, and the Tories are staking out the arena, on domestic issues.

Why not international issues like the Afghan adventure, or the billions to be spent on defense? Mainly because Mr. Harper, out in public with other world leaders, should be dressed like a cigar store indian because he certainly looks wooden. At the recent summit in Vietnam he seemed to have this malevolent penchant for looking like a boor. He was so uncomfortable that he snubbed the Premier of China - blew right by him like Mary Kate on a mission from God. China is fairly important to us Canadians. As to the war ....

So the battle will be or the hearts and minds of Canadians, and Harper has outdone himself. Talk about changing spots - this leopard has turned himself inside out. Harper came to prominence a few years back as a rabid federalist - back in the old sovereignity days. He was of the mind that, if concessions were made to Quebec he would be willing to secede Alberta. And now, hey presto (Manning), Quebec is to be a nation in Canada! I certainly hope it's not like that other nation that's still doing the land claims protest at Caledonia.

In reality nobody yet understands just exactly what form this 'nationality' will take. It seems that it applies to francophones in Quebec who are descended from the original French stock. Recent french-speaking immigrants are not in the nation. Neither are francophones of the 'old stock' who aren't resident in the Belle Province. Non-francophones of old stock aren't included either, no matter where they live and english - or other - 'newcomers', don't qualify at all, ever. Nobody is clear yet if nationhood is applied to only those quebecois francophones currently living. What will their progeny be? Will there have to be some sort of 'national acceptance panel' which will rule on one's franco-canadian-ness. Sounds like another large-scale government work project, like the gun registry they want to scrap. A make work project for nos amis Canadiens.

The other biggie is the 'new' fiscal policy. What we're going to get is the old Mike Harris program, run by the same gang of putzes who ran it in Ontario. Only this time, instead of having to slash and burn, the Tories find themselves sitting on a sizeable annual surplus. Not that their program won't be as mis-directed or have different results than the reformation and download exercise Ontario is still paying for. In five years there'll be a national howl over missing, or user-fee, services, all except from the corporations and big shots who normally find ways to bury their incomes off-shore anyway. Their 'horse' will well and tuly have 'come in' and they'll be placing 'in the money.'

He's assuaged the rich retired, who were looking forward to retirement plan bonanzas from income trusts, with a promised decrease on their other 'golden goose' the Capital Gains tax. And he's looking like he keeps his word by asking for a vote in re would anybody like to reopen the Gay Marriage issue? Asking that question rather than the one about marriage being restricted to one man and one woman gets Harper out of a corner without incurring the wrath of the sexually adventurous.

And now for the opposition. Ignatieff - who the Libs (or somebody with clout in the Libs) seem to think is a divine gift - will lose any election he runs. Dionne has some national prominence as a Chretien drop-in from Quebec - like his buddy, Pettigrew, the UN rep, Ti-Jean seemed to 'anoint dem wid greatness' when he brought them into his government and they haven't looked back. I would have thought the other guy would do the run, he must have boffed somebody's woman, or been caught doing something else very detrimental to his career. There's Bob Rae - a hard luck former NDP premier from Ontario - he had the right ideas but slow timing and the subsequent Tory government got the credit that was due him, they graciously gave him the blame and ridicule. Gerard Kennedy is very impressive. He han't done gaffes like some of the others and seems to take a unifying appproach in his speeches and debates. He's young, but I don't think he'd be any worse than Mr. Harper. In fact he could probably out-debate him.

Things should be interesting, politically, in Canada for a while - the hockey season's in its doldrums and there's a long winter ahead.

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