I am the anon who has been trying to create some critical debate over the differences between the Liberals and Conservatives-largely in vain. Over the past 1 or 2 weeks I have read a lot of rhetoric on this site on how the Liberals and Conservatives are exactly the same. I am appalled by the lack of critical thought and analysis that has been occurring on vive. I have consistently tried to stimulate discussion on how the two parties differ on their policies on law reform, bilingualism, domestic economic vision, social and Charter issues and federal-provincinal relations. The only responses my comments elicit are blank stares and predicatable rhetoric along the lines 'both parties are corporate fascists...'
No one doubts that the Liberals and Conservatives are alike in foreign policy and health care. But even in those areas the similarities are not exact. THe Conservatives would unquestionably proceed headfirst into political and economic integration with the US. THe liberals are examining the issue. Similar, but not quite the same. THe Conservatives have made up their mind, but the Liberals can still have their mind changed. ON health care, there's no doubt where Stephen Harper stands. He worked for the NCC, which was founded in protest against medicare. Paul Martin did cut medicare and his health minister mused about private delivery (and later rebuked). But he did cut to eliminate a horrendous deficit, left by a CONSERVATIVE government, that left Canada on the verge of bankruptcy. Paul Martin has pledged to enforece the Canada Health Act. Harper has made no such pledge.
Vive users consistently elevate issues like economic integration and BMD to dealbreaker status and relegate the parties stances on domestic economic vision, their stances on law reform, bilingualism, social and charter policy and federal-provincial relations to the backburner. Notwithstanding the similarties in foreign policy and health care, the Conservatives and Liberals are radically different in their domestic economic vision, their stances on law reform, bilingualism, social and charter policy and federal-provincial relations. We will not recognise Canada under a Conservative government. The Liberals would not radically restructure the Canadian polity. The Conservatives will run Canada into another deficit, erode the power of the federal government, roll back charter rights and align our legal system values with those of the US. Why doens't anyone care about these things? They are far more important to the future of the Canadian polity than is BMD yet vive users don't want or care to recognise the conservatives' and liberals' differing positions in those areas.
And why does all matter? In a perfect world everyone would vote NDP (although I am serious concerns about the NDP's union ties, the leadership strength of that clown layton and the ability of an NDP govenrment to not run a deficit), and we would get a party that is 100% committed to Canadian values. But that unfortunatley is not reality. THe liberals and COnservatives are in a dead heat and most dissatisfacted voters are turning to the Conservatives. THe NDP has a certain stigma and no matter now bad you want people to vote for the NDP, you are just not going to elicit that kind of response before June 28. It's fine to dream, but there comes a time when we have plug our noses and be realistic. In ridings where the liberal and conservative vote is very very close, a few more votes for the NDP, which wouldn't have a chance of winning the seat anyway given the liberal-con numbers, would just propel a cnservative MP into the house. Disasterous for Canada.
Please address my specific points - NOT FOREIGN POLICY, BMD OR HEALTH CARE. We're agreed on those similarties between the parties. (But they're not the same on military or foreign policy really-only similar on one aspect of foriegn policy and military-namely BMD, yes David Pratt is a hawk, but the Paul Martin has stated equivocally Canada made the right decision to stay out of Iraq)
Read an article on this topic from the star:
Editorial: Harper's agenda weakens Canada
Editorial: Harper's age...