Softwood Lumber; Liberals losing slogan-war
Date: Tuesday, January 17 2006
The current spate of Liberal television ads are apparently quite unable to dispel the mindless acceptance by Canadians of the Conservatives' alleged "high ground" i.e. their "less corrupt than you" stance. I especially note that everyone seems to be buying into this "stand up for Canada" slogan, although the track record of Steven Harper conveys the impression that he does not know what this means. Or if he does know, he's cynical enough to use vague patriotic feelings while actually being prepared to sell off what's left of the country.
So far, what the Liberals have come up with in rebuttal is pretty lame, and doesn't engage emotions of viewers in a positive way. If the Liberals believe they are the only party that will preserve Canada intact, then they will have to come up with a snappy slogan that will blow the Conservatives out of the water.
The most recent one - something like "choose the Canada you want" - is closer, but still no cigar. "Choose a strong and united Canada" might be clearer - but is undermined by some of their previous behaviour. At this point, of course, I'm talking only about slogans, not about whether they represent the true intention of the parties using them.
Harper's tendency to form an "alliance" with the Bloq Quebecois bodes ill for the unity of the country in a future under Conservative governance, which would be obvious in the case of a minority government. Such a coalition is likely to fragment the country, and a country divided is a country defeated and sold off -- or rather given away -- and at fire-sale prices.
Based on Paul Martin's track record of co-operating with the "deep integration" agenda of the United States, would he or his party "stand up for Canada" any better than Harper when it really counts?
So far we don't have any indication that either of the so-called mainstream parties would take an independent stance for Canada. Recently B.C. residents went to Ottawa to urge the government to use the sale of Terasen Gas as (at least) a bargaining chip to get Americans to back down on softwood lumber. However, as British Columbia MLA Corky Evans states, the governing Liberals would not meet with them. After appearing to be somewhat concerned at an earlier stage, the Conservatives told them there was no connection between softwood and energy.
Neither of the largest political parties even tried to stand up for or strengthen Canada in that situation.
And after experiencing that brush-off, when Evans heard Harper on the radio claiming to care about softwood lumber and Western Canada, he was spitting mad at this outright lie. He'd seen previously that in fact Harper did not care at all about this very issue.
If both Liberals and Conservatives throw away opportunities like this, will either Harper or Martin be able to preserve Canadian sovereignty at all? Are they even interested in doing so?
It's a big pill to swallow in regard to Harper, whose party repudiated David Orchard to the point of not even allowing him to attend their policy convention in Montreal. And they are still refusing to hand over Orchard's $70,000 in campaign contributions that have been owed to him since the end of the (then Progressive Conservative) leadership campaign in 2003.
Harper, who claims to have integrity and honesty, is in effect committing blackmail against Orchard by illegally withholding his money as a bargaining chip to demand that Orchard give up the right to sue. So, that proves that Harper does know about bargaining chips, but couldn't be bothered to use a big one we had for Canada. No, he reserves those tactics to attack a Canadian political opponent who happens to be one of the strongest advocates of Canadian sovereignty.
What Canadians have to judge now is whether these guys who want to be Prime Minister (a) would defend as well as lead Canada, and (b) truly have the policies that will work. It is a tall order to fill.
Many who don't trust Harper -- and especially former progressive-wing PCs who were excluded along with Orchard -- are working for the other political parties instead of the Conservatives. Some are involved with or contemplating voting NDP or Green or Progressive Canadian or Canadian Action.
Here's a case where finding out the actual policies helps me make this decision. The Canadian Action party actually has a financial policy that is proven to work to get the country out of debt. It was this policy which got Canada out of the "Great Depression" begining in 1938, through WWII, and continued to work for us to build the Seaway and other major infrastructure on which trade and business depend.
In 1974 the Liberal and Conservative parties both bought into the ideological notion that we must borrow only from the private sector banks. It was only after this that the debt began to rise steeply as interest rates skyrocketed. Of those hundreds of billions Canada owes, 94% is just interest and compound interest, not actual spending.
So this is why I am supporting CAP (see <www.canadianactionparty.ca>). It's not some crazy scheme that CAP is advocating; it was the policy of the Canadian government for over three decades in our most prosperous period. We must now revive this practical policy of low-cost loans from the Bank of Canada. Merely cutting back social spending will not deal with this massive scandal of compounding interest which makes the sponsorship issue look like peanuts.
With this policy in our pocket, Canada can be strong and independent again, even if the predicted world-wide depression materializes.
The NDP actually borrowed this policy from CAP but it's only in the fine print. They are not talking about it. However, if in a riding where there isn't a CAP candidate that's another option. But what's not an option is voting for either Liberals or Conservatives this time around.