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Revealed: Stephen Harper is conservative. Really.

Moving the conservative agenda forward


 

Adrian Wyld/CP

A number of the Canadian commentariat have worked themselves into a lather saying that of the many bad things Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is, conservative isn’t among them. Or for some, of the many good things the Conservative government isn’t, conservative is among them.

Both groups are wrong. Profoundly wrong.

While not every move Harper makes is the most conservative possible, taken as a whole, Stephen Harper’s government is profoundly conservative. And so let’s bring up just a few of the ways in which the Conservative government has moved the conservative agenda forward. To make it fun let’s do so with the help of the masterful contemporary conservative humorist, P.J. O’Rourke.

Incrementalism

Let’s start with a key reason for the commentariat’s confusion, incrementalism (to use Tom Flanagan’s phrase). Or to quote O’Rourke, “Everybody wants to save the Earth, nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.”

On the whole, the Harper government learned well one lesson of the ill-fated Martin government. That government never seemed to find a small problem they weren’t willing to turn into a big problem. And so Harper successfully campaigned against them saying, “if you have hundreds of priorities, you have no priorities.”

Harper, in contrast, focuses on small, incremental, doable policy. These policies don’t always reach a conservative destination but are, for the most part, important steps on the journey to that destination. And so conservatives celebrate the hundreds of ways in hundreds of days that small changes are made to immigration, grants and contributions, Employment Insurance, trade and so many others.

Incrementalism is inherently conservative because conservatives wish (to be trite) to conserve. Conservatives are skeptical of large, government imposed, social change. They abhor “strategies” and grand schemes. They prefer to do things incrementally.

Undoers

Doing makes better copy than undoing. And so a second source of the commentariat’s confusion is that conservatives are are, or should be, undoers. As O’Rourke says, “We are participants in an enormous non-march… to demand nothing, that is, except the one thing which no government in history has been able to do – leave us alone.”

Early on, Harper managed to undo some fairly big initiatives of his predecessors. Anyone who has been in government knows that inertia is probably the most powerful force. And hence undoing bad policy ought to be hailed as a victory, a step forward, a conservative coup.

And so conservatives celebrate Harper’s termination of the Kelowna Accord – that expensive, nebulous, expensive, open-ended, expensive, exclusionary, expensive, process laden and expensive deal concocted by the government of Paul Martin. The 2006 Conservative budget killed it. Dead. And Conservatives moved on to a number of modest, achievable, outcome-based (in a word, incremental) policy changes on the aboriginal front such as clean drinking water, education improvements and strengthened rights for women and girls on reserve.

Conservatives celebrate the death of Paul Martin’s underfunded national child-care plan. This undoing took a bit more work as the Martin government had signed agreements with each province to meet his election promise of spending $5 billion over five years that was touted to create 250,000 union run, government provided spaces for Canadian children. This was another grand scheme where the rhetoric vastly outstripped the reality. Which was part of the reason Liberals had promised to create such a program for 17 years but never actually got around to doing it until they felt boots to their bottoms. Again, Harper killed this, dead. He then diverted this money and much, much more into cash payments to all families with young children. More on that below.

Finally (this is a representative, not exhaustive, list), conservatives celebrate the death of the Kyoto Accord. Kyoto was a massive wealth transfer from first world countries – who had to meet strenuous emission targets – to second and third world countries who were largely exempt or had suffered economic slowdowns making their targets easily reachable. The US senate voted unanimously not to burden the US with Kyoto – something President Clinton (though perhaps not Al Gore) almost assuredly knew when he signed on. Chretien shrewdly signed on without even asking the provinces – who would have to bear much of any regulatory burden. The Chretien and Martin governments labored intensively to produce comprehensive plans to meet Kyoto targets, but alas, never put any of these comprehensive plans in place. Harper formally pulled from Kyoto and now has sensibly vowed that any Canadian plan would not be out of step with that of the Americans.

Tax and Social Policy

But enough about incrementalism and undoing. Have the Harper Conservatives actually done anything conservative?

Yes.

Let’s start with the big ones – tax and social policy. Liberals maximize the number of decisions government makes for people while conservatives maximize the amount of decisions people make for people. Or as O’Rourke puts it,

There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as “caring” and “sensitive” because he wants to expand the government’s charitable programs is merely saying that he’s willing to try do good with other people’s money.  Well, who isn’t? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he’ll do good with his own money – if a gun is held to his head.

And so Conservatives celebrate that, rather create programs that only benefit families whose children are housed in unionized institutional childcare, the Harper government gave money to all families with children to do as they saw fit. To do so, the Conservatives killed a $5 billion dollar underfunded unionized institutional child care program and replaced it with a $13 billion dollar program giving cash to all parents with children.

It’s hard to understate the magnitude of the philosophical divide here. Instead of deciding what kind of family choices should be rewarded with government largesse, the Conservatives created the largest new social program since medicare that left those choices to families. And while part of this is doing good “with other people’s money,” most conservatives would argue (even if O’Rourke doesn’t) that society has an obligation to support and promote child-rearing. But (like O’Rourke) I would argue that the conservative way to do so is to provide that support with minimal interference in the choices families make.

Conservatives celebrate tax reductions as good economic and good social policy – it puts more money in the hands of individuals and families, rather than government. While some purist libertarians may object to the social meddling of some of these tax cuts, the following are all cuts enacted by the Harper Conservative government. Reducing the GST from 7 to 6 to 5; reduction of the lowest tax rate; increases to personal exemptions; introduction of the Child Tax Credit; introduction of the Canada Employment Credit; and the introduction of the Arts and Sports tax credit

The total tax take of the federal government has been reduced from 16.3 percent of GDP when Harper took office to 14.0 percent today. That’s a 14 percent reduction in total revenues as a percentage of the economy, or $42 billion more in Canadian’s pockets. That’s a hundred bucks a month for every man, woman and child in Canada.

Conservatives also celebrate moving Canada’s tax system closer to a consumption tax by celebrating Tax Free Savings Accounts that have exempted a larger portion of Canadians’ savings from tax. For the reality is that for all but the very highest of income earners, the TFSA along with RRSPs, RESPS, and RRIFs has, by exempting all their savings, turned the Canadian income tax into a consumption tax.

Foreign Policy

The other big one is foreign policy. For decades the Canadian government sought to be a middle power, a consensus builder and a follower. A sideshow in nearly all eyes but our own. The Harper Conservatives energetically turned the page on this approach. Harper took sides on the global stage openly, early and emphatically. Or as O’Rourke puts it, “This is the second wonderful thing about Zionism: it was right. Every other “ism” of the modern world was wrong about the nature of civilized man – Marxism, mesmerism, surrealism, pacifism, existentialism, nudism.”

And so conservatives celebrate the government’s hearty support for Israel on the international stage. They do so because Israel is a beacon of democracy and a functioning market economy surrounded by countries largely hostile to these things, on top of their hostility bred from varying degrees (from overtly hostile to aggressive) anti-Semitism. Conservative support for Israel has undoubtedly brought political dividends in a small number of ridings in Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal and elsewhere. But there has also been a backlash among the much larger, albeit much less unified population that believes either this is the wrong side, or that we ought not to take any side.

Picking sides is much more difficult than straddling the fence. On China, the conservatives have been dancing a difficult dance. In the early days Conservatives’ nervousness about China was not overt, but not altogether hidden. More recently, Harper went to China and declared that Canada was “open for business”. When Chinese state oil companies took this as a signal that they should start purchasing Canadian private oil companies, the Harper government applied the brakes. There is a difference, the Conservatives said, between state-directed capital and private-directed capital. This brake on foreign state-owned enterprises has a very conservative root, namely that Canada hasn’t spent the last quarter century reducing Canadian state ownership only to have that replace by foreign state ownership. Conservatives prefer the latter and look skeptically upon the former.

Economic Stimulus

Some conservatives bemoan the Harper’s response to the global downturn. They point out that fiscal stimulus programs have a shoddy record of success, and in any event are hardly conservative. Or as O’Rourke puts it in a rare moment of wonkishness “In politics, as opposed to reality, everything is zero sum.” Better is his more un-wonkish statement that “Giving money and power to governments is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

Is there such a thing as a conservative stimulus plan? Following O’Rourke it would involve taking money from governments and giving it back to individuals – a tax cut. In economic terms it would be a tax cut that encourages spending. In terms of timing, it would occur at of just as the economy started to slide.

And so conservatives celebrate the brilliance of the GST reduction announced in the Conservative’s 2007 Fall Economic Statement and introduced in January 2008. (The National Bureau of Economic Research points to December 2007 – when the US went into recession – as the start of the Global meltdown.) That same economic statement also accelerated business tax reductions and cut the lowest personal income tax rate and increased personal exemptions – tax cuts that equaled the GST cut in magnitude. A massive, largely consumer-based tax cut announced as the global economy was teetering, and brought into force as it started to fall over the edge.

If there’s such a thing as a conservative fiscal stimulus plan, this was it.

Those who scream ‘Lucky!’ should recall Seneca who said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” And what were the Conservatives preparing for in the fall of 2007? To quote the Economic Statement, “From a global perspective, we are living in a world of increasing uncertainty and economic turbulence.” Indeed. And in Budget 2008, when the global recession was coming into better view, the GST cut featured prominently in a section called “Tax Relief Will Support the Economy.”

And so with this massive and exceedingly well-timed fiscal stimulus in place, conservatives do not fault the Conservatives for hitting the pause button. The 2008 Fall Economic Statement was that pause button. It had a few other items and what happened next is the subject of much speculation and a fair amount of lore, but the essential outcome for present purposes was this: the opposition parties held a gun to the minority Conservative government’s head demanding, among other things, a large stimulus package in the forthcoming budget.

The Economic Action Plan was the result.

In the circumstances, how conservative was the EAP? The International Monetary Fund analyzed Global stimulus packages announced “After the 2008 Crisis” (hence they did not include the prescient tax cuts noted above). These IMF analyses show the following:

  • Canada’s overall fiscal expansion in 2008, 2009 and 2010 was below the G-20 average, and well below that in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan.
  • Discretionary fiscal expansion in those years was also below the G-20 average, and well below that of United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Australia.
  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan was heavily weighted to infrastructure and support for housing and construction (Home Renovation Tax Credit). Both were pulled back following the downturn. In contrast, other countries relied much more heavily on social service spending (especially the United States) that is much more difficult to pull back and hence produced much more serious structural deficits.
  • Canada continues to have one of the most, if not the most, healthy balance sheet in the world.

And so, with a gun ever at their heads urging them to do more, the Conservatives delivered one of the more conservative fiscal packages in the developed world. Not the most conservative conceivable, but almost certainly the most conservative possible in the circumstances.

Crime

Another conservative front that Conservatives have moved on is crime. While some conservatives of the libertarian bent cringe at some of these things, most conservatives believe that if you do the crime, you do the time. Or as O’Rourke puts it: “The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors – psychology, sociology, women’s studies – to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions.”

Conservatives celebrate registering sex offenders instead of duck hunters. Conservatives celebrate longer mandatory sentences instead of house arrest for serious crimes. Conservatives celebrate putting the rights of the victims ahead of the rights of criminals. Conservatives worry more about recidivism and restitution than rehabilitation. And on all these fronts and more, Conservatives have moved the goal posts one incremental, slogging piece of legislation at a time.

Federalism

A final area where conservatives laud Harper’s approach is in the area of federal-provincial relations. One path to the conservative goal of a smaller government is for government to stick to its knitting. Conservatives are policy modest, liberals, not so much. As O’Rourke says, “The principal feature of liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things – war and hunger and date rape – liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.”

Policy modesty has played itself out in the areas of health care and education. On both, Harper has, shall we say, erected firewalls between the federal government and the provinces. The previous occupants of 24 Sussex regularly got tangled in federal provincial snarls. They would host big dinner parties (sometimes overnighters!) where ten premiers would collectively beat them up. No more. Other than in the area of research and federal unconditional transfers, Ottawa does not dictate, preach or harass provinces on how they should run health or education. Ottawa is no longer the voice of sanctimoniousness and unhelpful intrusions into health and education. Today the Council of the Federation – a body of provincial and territorial governments sans the federal government – meets regularly to discuss these issues on their own. As they should.

And about those transfers.  When Stephen Harper became Prime Minister, there was much talk of the “fiscal imbalance” between provinces and the federal government – Ottawa had too much money and provinces had too much responsibility, particularly Quebec would say. The early budgets of the Conservative government claimed to “solve” the fiscal imbalance by substantially increasing unconditional transfers and then growing them at a rate much higher than inflation and population growth. Those budgets also touted the GST reduction as a tax point transfer – a source of revenue open to provincial governments in need. Since then, even Quebec separatists in power in Quebec rarely complain. Imbalance balanced. Problem solved. The magnitude of this victory is hard to understate.

Conclusion

The conservatism outlined here has been the substantive backdrop that, over the past decade, created the Conservative Party from its three predecessors; that held Paul Martin’s “Juggernaut” to a minority; that brought Harper to power; and that eventually delivered a strong, stable, national Conservative majority government. It is also a ready recipe for success to win majorities for the next decade… and beyond.

Having said all that, it seems fitting to conclude by Canadianizing O’Rourke,

The [Liberals] are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The [Conservatives] are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.

Ken Boessenkool is a Founding Partner at Kool Topp & Guy and has worked on all four of Stephen Harper’s federal election campaigns as Conservative leader.


 

Revealed: Stephen Harper is conservative. Really.

  1. Well Harper is a TeaParty/Libertarian version of Conservative, but that’s not remotely the same thing.

    Ayn Rand called Libertarians right-wing hippies, and denounced them.

    Those folks think they’re still living in 1776….just with better tech

    • Libertarians are conservatives who want to smoke dope and get laid.

      • LOL Well she did say…..

        ‘For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultaneously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.’

        • I find that liberalism and anarchy have a lot in common as they are utlimatelly self detsructive and descend into the pit of moral relativism

          • LOL exactly opposite to their meaning and the Con platform.

            Nice goin’ Wayne

          • Heavy

      • This Liberatarian agrres with you – when I was a young left wing nut I used to think that the solution to a societal problems was a group organzing and dealing with it – now I have come to the mature conclusion that more often than not the gov’t is part of the problem and not the solution – I as a proud Libertarian acknowledge the role of personal responsibility and keeping the collective at bay – I am also part of the Tories for Decriminalizing Pot!!! – we are applying pressure up the political food chain and I have no doubt that if the states make a little move in that direction we will move rapidly here – I hear my boy Stevie isn’t against it either :) – Harper already will support 3 plants in your house and as long as you don’t sell it at a school near you no charges will be laid – it is the industrial scale illegal grow ups in the burbs we have to get rid of though!

      • Libertarians are not conservatives. Neither is the CPC, but then the CPC is libertarian, corporatist, and Robber Baron laissez-faire capitalist: neoconservative/neoliberal, not conservative.

  2. Any fool can lower taxes, hire civil servants increase defense spending and build jails.

    What makes it conservative is when you do it without creating the largest deficit in the history of Canada. At that point you are no longer conservative you are only reckless.
    Also social programs should be open votes and not subject to the whip. Then you would find out which MP’s are conservative and what is the true will of the people.
    When it comes to spending money sometimes you have to do things that are not popular, but when it comes to social issues the will of the people is all that matters.

    • If we went solely by the ‘will of the people’ on social issues we’d still have slavery.

      Leaders are supposed to lead.

      • You are confusing Canada with the United States.
        The United States is a republic that believes that you vote for someone who you trust will make good decisions.
        In Canada we have a democracy which means that the elected leader is supposed to make decisions based on the will of the people.

        • LOL riiiight.

          I know it’s TGIF….but it’s a little early to be that backwards.

      • If we went solely by the ‘will of the people’ on social issues we’d still have slavery.

        I believe you mean if you went with the will of the Corporation we still have slavery.

        • Ahh the left-wing fear of the ‘corporate overlords’

          • Are you saying corporations don’t own the government, or that we shouldn’t care that they do? Personally, I’d rather cast my lot in with something that at least pretends to look past the next financial quarter. As far as corporations are concerned, there is no God but Greed, and Dollar is His Profit.

          • No, corportations don’t own the govt

            Enough with outdated socialist rhetoric

          • That’s funny, because the government sure does seem to cater to them. How many of them pay next to no tax? How many are actually *subsidized* with little regard to their multi-billion dollar profits?
            I’ll proudly spout what you call ‘socialist’ rhetoric, because I am a human being, and humans are social creatures.

          • The govt caters to anyone they think will give them a vote. This involves everyone from religious kooks to left-handed bagpipe repair men

            Now look up what ‘socialist’ means.

          • I know what socialist means. I just lament people–like you, apparently, who have a bank vault in place of a soul.

          • It’s the 21st century dude….update your calendar

          • If the 21st century means Enron and Nortel and Bre-X and Bear Stearns and…and…and…I think I’ll pass.

          • Like most socialists you’ve apparently been living in a cave

          • I have? Funny, it looks like a house to me. But I’ll humour you, because your trolling has a good beat and I can dance to it. So what’s happened in the interim–how long have I been in this cave, anyway? I look around and see well-paid jobs disappearing into thin air, outsourced to countries who have no qualms about paying their citizens pennies an hour. I see environmental laws being gutted everywhere I look, the middle class disappearing, and our government going wild cutting taxes and then wondering how it racks up the largest deficit in Canadian history. I see a very few people who are very wealthy and I see they don’t have the slightest interest in the rest of us. I see share prices going up every time job cuts are announced. I see a stock market that’s in record territory and an economy that…well, let’s just say it isn’t.
            I think it’s you who needs to get with the century. Reaganomics was a fraud–I’m sure even Reagan knew it. You’ll note it was called ‘trickle-down’, not ‘gush-down’ or even ‘pour-down’….a trickle was all they ever meant to give us, and they resent even that.

          • Now you need to look up the word troll, because you have that wrong too.

            Left and right have been obsolete since 1989.

            We’re globalizing.

            If you don’t like it….stay in the cave.

          • We’ll be de-globalizing in a hell of a hurry once the cheap oil we’re addicted to runs out. While I don’t imagine we’ll be living in caves any time soon, I do think times will get tough. We could work together to mitigate it, of course, but ‘working together’ sounds so…socialist.

          • We won’t be using oil, so don’t worry about it.

          • Sigh. You really don’t want to get into this with me. You don’t have the time. Just trust me, or if you can’t do that, look it up: oil has *by far* the best EROI (energy returned on energy invested) of any source we’ve ever found. We’re talking orders of magnitude here. You can’t run our society on anything else. You can try, but you will fail.

          • I don’t intend to ‘get into it’ with you. You’re a Luddite, and I’m not interested in the ‘old days and old ways’

          • Luddites smashed looms. I’m using a computer. And I’ve had about enough of you.

          • Good, then sod off and take your Luddite attitude with you

        • It was actually public opinion in the UK that created the change that ended slavery. The same could be said about gay rights and everything else.
          The bottom line is you either believe in Democracy or you don’t.

    • Only if all the people are parliamentarians and sit in the to debate the social issues in the House of Commons… otherwise they can only vote once on the promises of their favourite politicians… and btw, political “promises” are not enforceable in law.

  3. Who doubts it, really?

    “Stephen Harper is conservative. Really.”

    John Stuart Mill – I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.

    • …okay, Harper is stupid… but what does that make Quebec french-supremacist Trudeau and Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair…???

      • Corruption stained Mulcair? More proof that conservatives really are fact free in their thought processes!

      • Stop saying Trudeau is a Quebec supremacist – it sounds like a talking point. Don’t you realize the Quebec separatists don’t like Justin Trudeau? They don’t think he’s pro-Quebec enough.

    • Let us assume for just a nano second that you are right, what would that make the Liberals, the Libertarians/ Anarchists, the NDP and all other brands of socialist kooks if, by an overwhelming, general consensus by rational, intelligent and quintessential people, Conservatives are considered to be on far superior plane than these aforementioned groups?

      • “quintessential people”

        *snort*

        But, I’m pretty sure you just listed over 60% of voters in Canada.

        • Exactly! Which means that it would put the Liberals, the Libertarians/Anarchists, the NDP and all other brands of socialist kooks on par with antediluvian species.

      • I think of myself as a rational and intelligent person and I am certainly not a conservative by any stretch
        lets try not to be the average conservative that likes to use sweeping generalities

        • There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Somehow, an occasional dumb ass makes it through the filters and into the ranks of the Conservatives anywhere, and nowhere more so than in the US at the present juncture in history. However, compared to the opposing political forces, I will stick with my “sweeping generality”.

          In view of everything that has been going on with Liberals and Dippers, well let’s just make another sweeping statement here: with “progressives” or “socialists” just about everywhere, across this country, at the federal level, at the provincial level, especially but not exclusively in Ontario, down in the US, in South America, in most European Countries, I, and all “rational and intelligent persons”, who are smart enough to know the difference, would not consider anyone in anyway associated or affiliated with that bunch of misfits and nut cases, rational and intelligent, let alone “smart”.

          It is a very well known fact that socialism is not only the source and the cause of social and political holocausts around the world, but a very serious mental disorder. The evidence is overwhelming. We only have to look and the spectrum of social and political experiments of the last century to see the unescapable truth of that.

          If, as you say, you are “certainly not a conservative by any stretch”, then you must either be one of these socialists/progressives, and therefore afflicted with this extremely, very serious mental disorder, or a Libertarian/anarchist, which is certainly not an improvement “by any stretch”. It is just the latest nut-bar cult train to get on for those who think they know the only truth about human evolution and behaviour, socially and politically.

          Unfortunately, there is no cure for that mental disorder. Switching political party or affiliation in midstream does not help. Take Bob Rae as an example. He is still just as screwed up as he always was. But then he did not change sides, he just changed the colour of his neck tie.

          If you need more evidence, just look around you. But then you have to be a rational and intelligent person, with “smarts”, to recognize it. My guess is that you are lacking in the “smarts” department.

          • Jeremy, you’ve made the mistake of assuming sebanders is using the standing definitions of “rational” and “intelligent” when in fact, he’s using those words as their antonyms.

            So, “rational” and “intelligent” is more likely to describe anti-science holy rollers and creationists, while the more educated and empirically-minded are the “kooks”- scientists being the kookiest of all.

          • Some people assume they know better than I do about how to spell my name. They are idiots.

            Some people assume they know better than I what I think or how I think. They’re idiots too.

            What can I say? In the sixties I came to the realization we were living in the age of mediocrity. We now live in the age of mediocrity, surrounded by idiots.

          • You know Norway is pretty socialist
            they’re also the happiest country on the planet

      • Funniest distortion and illiterate egotistical comment I’ve read today. Everyone except conservatives are kooks? BTW Libertarians are generally on the Conservative side of the ledger, you know, the side that yaks on incessantly about personal freedom and liberty while simultaneously using bully tactics to force their social conservative values down our throats. Quite sad really.

        • Believe what you will. It is, after all, a free country, with a democratically elected Conservative Government, too much government perhaps, as Libertarians like to point out. And I won’t disagree with that since I have been “preaching” that for decades. And the present government is aware of this and is doing something about it.

          My view of too much government differs from Libertarian views inasmuch as I do not confuse the municipal, the provincial and the federal. At the federal, it is mostly an excess in public service employees. At the other levels, it is “in your face”, “tax the hell out of people” and mountains of penalties for just about everything, to bring in more revenue for their stupid social pet programs.

          As for Libertarians, just about everyone one I have encountered or have had discussions with not only believe in “small government”, with few exceptions, they believe in no government at all. And they do not shy away from anarchism.

          What really bothers me about that is, although they are free to believe what they want to believe, but to preach “no government” then form a political party to run for government is the biggest asinine oxymoron I have ever encountered. You have to be a total kook to think that way.

          Now then, if the intention is the get elected to government in order to subvert the workings of government from within, then that is another matter. That enters into the domain of subversion, which is criminal and needs to be dealt with severely.

          In my world, however much they may make claims to the contrary this does not place Libertarians on the Conservative side of the political spectrum. It places them on the side of con artists where they have learned the art of a cross between biblical and political babble gab to sweet talk people into joining their cult and follow them into kook land.

          It is a different kook land than that of the adherents of the leftist, progressive, socialist, communist, Marxist/Leninist, Liberal, Green, Save the planet, Global warming/climate change,etc., social and political views, but kooks just the same.

          Like it or not, that is my take on it.

          • Sorry for calling you illiterate. I meant illogical and irrational. Just because it’s “your take on it” doesn’t make it true or factual. Opinions based on speculation and ideology instead of facts are just that, speculation and ideology.

            Also, calling people kooks, stupid, criminal, and con artists for disagreeing with you is known as an ad hominem argument – slandering the character of a person instead of debating the issues.

            For example, your apparent belief that opinion equals fact explains your anti-science position on global warming, an opinion that relies on undermining the integrity of tens of thousands of climate scientists worldwide instead of providing a clear peer reviewed science-based critique. Science is all bunk in your world?

            Conservative heroes P.J. O’Rourke and Ann Coulter have both made careers out of ad hominem attacks that use clever rhetorical techniques to personally attack opponents instead of objective factual evidence.

            BTW, Harper was president of the extremely Libertarian anti-government National Citizens Coalition for almost a decade.

            For more on Harper’s Libertarian policy objectives see: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/harper-driven-by-libertarian-ideology-not-reality-138915724.html

          • Wellll congratulations. You have succeeded in convincing me that you are indeed a total kook.

          • you just proved my point

          • Peter, if you really must have the last word, however ridiculous you sound, please, by all means, have the last word, the go to bed. You are very, very boring.

            Peter’s Last Word.

    • And thats another reason that conservatives hate science… it called them stupid a lot recently…

  4. Using PJ O’Rourke quotes – especially quotes from Parliament of Whores – to justify Harper admin is shameless but not unexpected from spin doctors like Boessenkool.

    PJ O’Rourke – Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.

    • “Using PJ O’Rourke quotes….”
      I think someone feels like their schtick has been lifted.

    • Here’s the quote abuser, hisself – with another quote,

    • … other than farting in the wind, what is your remedy?!

    • MY MY Hester. You sound like a very angry and frustrated person with no place to go but to the toilet to relieve yourself, which is where every anarchist should go to flush themselves down the tube.

  5. I am afraid the use of P.J. O.Rourke jokes on here has been overused to the point they’re a punch line. Have you ever explained your side of your departure from B.C.?

    • Yeah, when the campaign was going bad, Harper would often give him a purple nurple. Apparently, it is not better to give than to receive.

      • He recently worked for Christy Clark and left rather suddenly under not fully explained circumstances.

        • I’m groping for words to explain…

          • I am not going to touch that …

  6. I can almost hear Mr. Coyne typing his response…

    • Too softball for him I think. He seems to like a challenge.

      • You’re kidding?
        There is no greater example of an establishment mouthpiece than Coyne. Born into it, he now sucks at the corporate-political teat in a manner that makes the USA’s James Carvill look objective in comparison.
        Coyne is a shining example of a welfare queen if ever there was one. He chose the charity that is the corporate media, Harper chose the charity that is Preston’s puppy mill including the NCC.
        Some of us work for a living the rest of them do very nicely living parasitically off of our labours.

        • Workers revolt!!! …. So I gather you are partial to a NDP government of the workers led by Lib-Con-Dip leader Thomas (Tom in the RoC) Mulcair? You must live in a socialist workers hell knowing that your beloved NDP is led by a Quebec corruption-stained leader who removed the word “socialist” from the NDP Constitution and believes in the 50%+1 Sherbrooke Manifesto.

          • Spittle flecked, shrill and making things up… A true Harperista.
            Corruption is what is happening in the Senate. Corruption is selling us out to China. Corruption is being so dogmatically ingrained and certain of your position that any questioning is treasonous.
            That would be you, you sad sad sad individual.
            Maybe if you worked for a living you’d understand, but shilling for the party isn’t work

          • harebell… please inform us for which party you shill for… instead of your perpetual hate/fear/smearmongering…. because you sound like you are suffering from some kind of mental disorder.. sooo obvious.

          • Ha!
            Project much?

          • I agree that Mulcair should not be pandering to separatists in Quebec or trying to abolish the Clarity Act. That’s why I think Justin Trudeau & the Liberals are a better alternative than the NDP.

          • Rebecca, my dear… Justin is a French Quebec supremacist and the Conservative attack ads will skewer pauvre Justin who is on record many times proclaiming his love for Quebec only. Justin will quickly become political viande morte once the official election campaign commences…. believe it.

        • Please do not assume from my comment I am a fan of Coyne’s. He’s just written the ultimate ‘nothing to see here’ column about the train disaster. He has basically taken Billy Bob’s work and expanded on it.

          • I thought it was weird having conversed with you in the past.
            Have a great weekend

          • Glad we straightened that out :-)

  7. “…. that expensive, nebulous, expensive, open-ended, expensive, exclusionary, expensive, process laden and expensive deal concocted….”

    That’s where I quit reading. Just too much like the 23 year olds in the illegitimate Harper government that write all those inane talking points. And to quote Tom Flanagan is to admit you have no moral compass of your own.

    • “Illegitimate Haper government?” Really?” Please elucidate. If you are able to make the accusation, it should, by all rational thinking, be founded on something. Therefore, you should be able to clarify this accusation. Or are you just another one of these drive-by accusers, unable to substantiate anything you say because it is strictly based on what you “feel” (from ignorance) and not on what you know?

      • Just one of the many links to the charges laid against the Harper party for cheating in the 2006 elections. This party should never have been allowed to run in another elections in this country after doing that. They will never be legitimate. All subsequent elections are also dubious. They cheat for one reason only. They know they can’t win a fair election.

        • These are still just accusations. You only make claims of this or that or the other. You offer nothing concrete like “evidence”, “proof”, you know? What is normally required in a court of law. Or are you just a witch hunter?

          Now then, to offer anything from the CBC as proof of your claims and accusations is not proof. The CBC is the most unreliable source of information when it comes to politics anywhere in this country, at any level. They are on a witch hunt against the Conservatives, just like the Tor Star. And they, as so many others, just kiss either Liberal ass or NDP butts. Like you, they worship at the “progressive” altar of unprincipled stupidity and ignorance.

          • I would say the same for Sun Media and Macleans but instead they suck on the conservatives proverbial teat. That being said I dont think the CBC ever openely accused The harper government from fixing an election. Anyways lets try not to be childish on here. No party is perfect harpers certainly isnt whether it be handing money to dirty senators or being the United states and Isreals servant.

          • sebanders you don’t want the truth and you know it.

        • WOW!!! …. and it looks like they will win an even bigger majority in 2015… because true and loyal Canadians in the RoC will not vote to elect another PM from corrupt, greedy, separatist, anti-Canada, French-only nation of Quebec. All you’re left with is Quebec french-supremacist Trudeau and Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair … life has gotta suck for you…lol

          • It does kinda make me sad that the conservatives have a good chance of being reelected but I must say you’re very quick to swallow conservative attack ads against The Liberals and NDP I dont think Trudeau is the party quebecois. But yeah I dont like the idea of more conservatism because I think its a step backwards and will just cause to be brought down into The United States downward spiral

          • It takes cheating and only a few really un-Canadian voters to elect a PM in Canada. Your words to describe the opposition make you sound very unstable. If you were rational you’d know there is a Green party that is very electable and as my monikar states, I’m all for Independent only MPs, political parties are not healthy for a democracy.

          • Riiigght – you just keep thinking that. Remember the end of the Mulroney era. A waiter called over to Jean Charest (then leader of what was left of the Tories) as he walked into a restaurant shortly after he took over from Kim Campbell and asked – “Party of three?”
            The most optimistic outcome for the cons for 2015 is a minority. I am guessing the Steve wont hang around when that happens.

    • Tom Flanagan is a Prince when comparing him to Jack Layton’s trips to the whore house and Levin’s education policy based on perversion

  8. OK, you’ve convinced me. Move over JPII, time to consider St. Stephen of Calgary.

    • …ummmm…. I don’t think his prostate problem has metastasize a la Ste. Jaq (I’m feeling fine) du Hudson …!!!

  9. 4IndependentMPs

    Not every Conservative is a two faced, back stabbing, corrupt, corporate controlled lapdog bent on selling our country and everything in it to the highest foreign bidder, protected by trade agreements that lets them sell poison to children or get paid huge penalties not to that absorb the remaining national assets they do not already own. Conservatives like the Koch family foundation that says as long as your family income is over $34,000.00 you are in the top 1% of the worlds population so shut up and help us get rid of health care and the minimum wage because they are a barrier to the free movement of cheap labour. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/11/koch-brothers-commercial_n_3581017.html

    As far as electing #338ctznMPs that must represent constituents interests first, pass citizen referendum and other laws that give voters a say in between elections, and have the freedom to vote their conscience on anything except the budget, we tried that already and the ones we elected that formed two minority and a majority government, turned into the type of Conservatives we did not expect then to become.

    • … and your solution is what ..??!!!

  10. … and come October 2015, Canadians will have to decide in whom they have the most trust and confidence to lead the nation:

    • Quebec supremacist Trudeau

    • Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair

    • Proven Prime Minister Harper

    … plain & simple.

    • You are correct in saying he is proven..
      A proven liar
      A proven coward
      A proven underminer of democracy
      A proven servant of overseas interests
      A proven thief of public money
      A proven abuser of citizens’ rights

      I could go on but you get the idea.
      Harper is a radical, religious rightist he is not a Conservative. No matter how much you and the author of this truly crappy opinion piece try and convince the public otherwise this corrupt, dissembling liar is not the leader Canada deserves.

      • No matter how much you spew hatred to demonize, you will have to reconcile yourself to the fact that Harper is the only truly all-Canadian leader while both Trudeau and Mulcair are creatures of Quebec. You don’t even offer any viable alternative to Harper… only hatred hatred hatred. …. Noooo waaay are true and loyal Canadians in the RoC gonna vote for les garçons quebecois and give them the keys to Canada… never/jamais… live with that reality in your hate-infested mind…!!!

        • Last time I looked Quebec was part of Canada. To be an ALL Canadian leader you have to involve ALL of Canada. Harper is a Chinese useful idiot if he is anything. I remember a time when the right thought being a communist was the worst insult evah, now it’s being accused of being a Canadian.

          Your hatred of Canada, all of it is well noted. You are the sad kind of scumbag who would have joined the blackshirts back in 30’s Britain. As such your rantings are the last desperate wail of an anti-Canadian idiot and I will ignore your desperate gnashing of the teeth in the future. You are a sad indictment of the intellectual pygmyism that passes for thought in the modern right today.

          • The NDP/NPD have a leader who is ex-Liberal, ex-Conservative and now ex-socialist having convinced the Dippers to remove the word “socialism” from the party constitution, but retaining the 50%+1 Sherbrooke Accord. MULCAIR IS A CRYPTO-SEPARATIST… soooo obvious.

          • Which part of this is beyond you?

            “As such your rantings are the last desperate wail of an anti-Canadian idiot and I will ignore your desperate gnashing of the teeth in the
            future.”

        • You’re spreading the same hate towards anyone not conservative get a brain you’re obviously not observant

      • Just because a hareball says it, doesn’t make it so.
        Have you got any facts or proof of your assertions, other than the unsubstantiated bleatings of the eternally offended left?

        • 1: Income trusts and no deficit
          2: Running away abroad to make policy announcements; Locking himself in a Brazilian toilet in order to get his way and not taking ministerial responsibility for his staff.
          3: Handbook to undermine the workings of parliament; contempt of Parliament etc.
          4: China gets our resources for a bargain price and gets legal rights in Canada.
          5: Gazebos, $3.1B, helicopter rides etc.
          6: G20; abandoned citizens at embassies, Arar etc.

          Just because you don’t want to see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen

          • Okay… but none of that is convincing or even explainable to the general electorate during an election… it’s too obscure and complicated. What true and loyal Canadians will understand and embrace is will they sell out Canada to another PM from corrupt, greedy, separatist, anti-Canada, french-only nation of Quebec. Grapple with that bitter reality… lolol

          • I happen to think that most Canadians aren’t as dumb as the average Conservative voter or as unable to follow a thread as shills and party hacks assume they are. I also think that even most Con voters will understand the corruption and double dealing for what it is, criminal activity.
            There will always be the true believers like yourself who are happy to ignore and excuse the illegal activities of your team out of a preposterous fear of some imaginary bogie man; but most folk on entering adulthood actually assume some kind of responsibility for themselves and don’t require too much help in accepting what is obvious.

    • You’re just regurgitating the same thing over and over give it a rest I wouldnt call Harper proven while he slowly gets rid of environmental protection, gun registry, adding jails and paying off corrupt senators

  11. Boessenkool could just as easily have used quotes by the intentionally obtuse Ann Coulter. O’Rourke and Coulter are two sides of the same coin except O’Rourke is funnier and a bit less vitriolic. Both sanctimoniously accuse liberals of being sanctimonious. They misrepresent progressive values and then make outlandish accusations based on the straw man they have created. Saying things like “Liberals have invented whole college majors – psychology, sociology, women’s studies – to prove that nothing is anybody’s fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions” is, besides being a simplistic and totally wacky distortion of academia, proof of the pudding. Objective and clear thinking are the enemy? I guess we shouldn’t even try to understand the human condition because conservatives have already figured it all out?

    • You would prefer to drift about in a hot air balloon with no controlled landing other than crashing??

      • My feet are planted firmly on the ground. I don’t indulge in fact-free conspiracy-theories based on pure speculation. You might find a psychology 101 course that covers “projection” helpful.

        • But politics is projecting into the future and those who rehash the past are just thinking backwards. Academia is unable to teach forward thinking because it’s always mired in the past and trying to puzzle out the present. It’s a mess….

          • I dont even think thats near true conservatism by its definition is slow to change and rooted in the past. Countries have been becoming more liberal since the 1900s and the happiest nations are ones with National health care and are near socialist

          • Yes, and the chickens are coming home to roost worldwide.
            The world has chosen Canada as the most respected country in the world the last three years straight.

          • Fair enough, but who in the political arena is able to beat the Harper Conservatives to lead the nation? Quebec french-supremacist Trudeau?? Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair who leads a band of crypto-separatist in NPD drag?? Sorry, but your hopes for 2015 will be dashed backing any of those quebecois garçons because they do not represent all of Canada, only greedy, corrupt, separatist, anti-Canada, French-only nation of Quebec. Drink that l’Orange Crushez koolaid!!!

  12. the Harper nightmare ends this fall before the snow flies and Harper’s hair gets wet.

      • more of a yawn.

    • I’m sure Harper’s new Cabinet filled with younger people and more women will dissuade you from continuing your jihad… and your pathetic life may even take on some meaning…..

      • You’re the steriotypical racist right wing nutbar please just think

        • Your well reasoned retort has opened my eyes. All conservatives stand corrected.

          • Most conservatives arent racist so no I’m just yelling at you and I know your mind wont change it just makes me feel better

        • Yes… but I provide The Truth while you and your ilk only spew hatred and more hatred with no solution. You are just hatemongers who deceive because you never reveal what or who you support. Only a venomous stream of hate hate hate … because you are losers and will stay loser come 2015 when true and loyal Canadians re-elect an even stronger Harper majority government. What will you do with your unresolved hatred then… embrace your terrorist jihad against the Conservative government and Canada??!!!

          • I vote…. and not for conservatives… and I dont think you know what that word means xD

    • why this fall : harper has a majority for 2 more years – I worry that your head might explode – might be time to re-up those meds and move out of your mom’s basement!

  13. Boessenkool’s modest proposal is cleverly argued, but like Swift’s it
    remains ironically ignorant of the human costs of the policies.

    For a single example: the three-year minimum sentence for the possession of an unregistered firearm proved unworkable because the first guy caught was the former Ontario Education Minister, current Sun columnist John Snobelen. Putting this guy in jail because he was ratted out by a vengeful ex-wife would have been plain stupid, but the law said….

    So saner heads prevailed, as they have done and will do in the future with many of the boneheaded pieces of legislation these clowns have produced until the current Harper regime will fade into history like the Common Sense Revolution.

  14. After reading just about every comment on here, except for a few rational retorts and questions, I feel I have fallen into a nest of killer bees who have nothing better to do than to buzz around and see who they can sting with their poison tongues.

    • Waste of time to read the comments. Always the same stupid posts by EmilyOne and her friends. Like overhearing the same group of senior citizens having coffee at A&W, for hours on end!

      • So THAT’S where you’ve been! I hope you had one of your sexy pictures of Justin with you to drool over.

      • I try to reduce my comments to the relevant basics… All-Canadian Stephen Harper? …or… Quebec french-supremacist Trudeau or Quebec corruption-stained Mulcair? Just think of that when you are marking your ballot in October 2015… are you willing to sell out Canada to the Quebec French?… because everything else is quite irrelevant… believe it.

    • I’ve got a book that covers the basic biology of bees that I read to my kids. It might be of help to you.

  15. What an intellectually broadening approach! First define conservatism of consisting of Harper’s talking points, then declare them achieved against all evidence, and finally you are able to equate Harperism with conservatism. This was worth writing? This was worth publishing? This was worth the excruciating read? ….

    • The article is about incrementalism. Harpers brand of Conservatism is certainly a far cry better than the downward economic spiral the left is always determined to create. Unless you can refer us to any successful socialist economy.

      • Cuba, Venezuela, North Viet Nam, North Korea… and even the mainland Chinese mix of rampant capitalism for the ruling cadre and socialism for the breeding masses. Only if Canada could return to Liberal minority governments with a supporting NDP rump… then everything will be hunky-dory in semi-socialist/capitalist Canada… again.

  16. Excellent summary. Thank you. Hope this article gets read by the perpetually malcontent Andrew Coyne.

    • Interesting thing about Coyne is how he can get reviled by the right and the left, and for the same rather clever argument. I guess this is why I respect him, though I seldom agree with his right-wing views.

      • Political gender confusion???

  17. While liberalism tries, and yes makes mistakes, to deal with reality conservatism makes no such cognative effort. Liberalism comes from the reasoning part of our brain. The part Martin Luther railed against as the existential threat to God. Martin Luther and Stephen Harper would prefer we use the part that is God belief friendly. The reactionary part. The part of our thinking processes Daniel Kahneman warns us to avoid. The part he calls system 1. System 2, the better part, is the reasoning part. You can’t use both at the same time. We can choice to be habitual system 1, reactionary or fast thinkers. We can choice to be habitual system 2, reasoned, slow thinkers. While Martin Luther hated system 2 Kahneman tells us there is gold in them there hills. The trouble for Canada lead a stray by Stephen Harper is that reason leads to inquiry and liberalsim and securalism. Reason is to conservatism is what water is to the nasty which in oz. Conservatism always fails when its laws and policies cause people to die. Inquiry follows then comes reasoned thinking and liberalsim and securalism. Why bother with conservatism at all when the fix for the damage it causes is always liberalism.

    • Well, you told us what a whole bunch of other people think. Now what do YOU think? Or are you capable of thinking without referring to or quoting other people?Or a you just doing that to sound educated and intelligent? Frankly, I find it rather pedantic and stupid. Oh yes, and boring.

      • Too bad you’re not quoting someone more interesting.

        • I was right. You just do this for your own amazement. And it is amazing that you write these words in spite of the fact that you can’t read.

          By the way, where is it exactly that I am quoting anyone?

          Typical lefty/socialist/green/independent,progressive: evade, evade, evade. Never answer the question. Never commit to anything. Never admit to anything. Avoid, avoid, avoid anything and everything to do with reality. That is what you are.

          • I will spell it out for you. You’re not interesting. Look for someone more interesting to quote so that others may want to read what you are saying. You sound like the author of this article and I quit reading him so carry on without me.

          • A simple little question and you are unable to answer. Or unwilling. Or incapable.

            Who am I quoting, and where? And what quote are you referring to? Oh! Did you perchance paint your self into a corner and don’t know how to get out of your dilemma? Maybe you just don’t have clue what you are talking about.

            That’s OK. Go see mama. She’ll fix your boo boo.

    • Old fashioned Liberalism was the push for less intrusive smaller government. Current Liberalism has been usurped by the communist left.
      Kindly link us to any communist ‘fix’ to ever have benefitted any regular citizen.

      • There is no left or right. These words wrongly imply a continuum with some centre of balance. The two are more like parallel lines. Lines that never meet. That is understood if you have enough reasoning left to grasp the concepts of “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. If you don’t you can change, but you have to want to. First step is to avoid all contacts with conservatives. Their rot of reasoned thinking is infectious. Conservatism is an infectious neurological degenerative disease.

        • Socialism/liberalism is an infectious neurological degenerative disease. I think that can be equally debated.

          • No, liberalism is not degenerative in any way. Socialism’s demise was because it did not account for “Snakes in Suits, When Psychopaths Go to Work” as authoritarians. Conservatism has a similar flaw. Liberals repel psychopaths like liberals repel conservatives. Liberalism is inquisitive. That is why it is not degenerate the brain. Conservatives and psychopaths hate reason.

          • Do you believe that Justin Trudeau is a quintessential “liberal” thinker-leader, considering that he only entered the political arena in 2008? Is he the Liberal messiah Canadians like you are searching for, to restore Canadian liberal values? If he is, please provide us with your reasoning for your beliefs… because the Conservative attack ads claim Justin is in over his head and give valid reasons for this conclusion.

          • Quintessential and thinker-leader implies liberals need an authoritarian to impose on them what and to and how to think. A leader is not an demi-god. He is just a guy. Reality is far too complex to believe in gods. When Justin Trudeau talks of bringing the most out of kids in school I see someone who can appreciate how to get the most out of every Canadian. Stephen Harper on the other hand believes beating a dog is good for the dog.

  18. Hey Ken Boessenkool – thanks for the free cocktail. Tastes like Kool Aid though.

    Conservatives do not run a huge deficit. Conservatives hold people in power to account. Conservatives do not become best friends with one of the most corrupt, lawless, and hated nations on the planet. Conservatives do not use fraud to win elections or taxpayer bribes to make problems go away. Conservatives do no bully their opponents in the courts.

    The current government in not conservative, it’s fascist.

    • But it’s likely Canadians will re-elect the Harper Conservatives in 2015 with an even bigger majority given that voting Liberal or NDP will be tantamount to selling out Canada to Quebec interests led by Quebec french-supremacist Trudeau and Quebec corruption-stained citoyen Mulcair. Don’t you see the problem???

      • It’s the ‘corporate’ movement that supplies Canada with things call jobs.
        Only leftists think taxpayer dollars spent on bottomless welfare cheques actually help the poor.
        Obama so loves the poor he has created millions more.

        • Canadians are self-loathing socialists who don’t mind getting a government handout… like Harper’s $3500 per family tax benefit… but hate corporations because they know they are politically impotent.

    • Asking leftist writer Michael Harris his opinion of Canada’s Conservative Prime Minister is akin to getting Stalin’s opinion on Hitler.
      A more sycophantic leftist writer would be hard to find.

  19. To go beyond one cycle is to recognize we are inside a spiral, or toroidal vortex, where “Conservatives” primarily are puppets for the international banksters, the same as ALL Canadian governments have more or less been.

    Of course, it helps the Conservatives enormously that the mass media are owned by the same runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut that the Conservatives serve. The most significant example was during the financial crises around 2008, when the Conservatives gave the biggest Canadian banks over a hundred billion dollars in benefits, which events were barely ever mentioned in the mass media, and were not subsequent election issues.

    The Conservatives are the currently dominate minority in the puppet show politics that the mass media put on for the masses of muppets. Public opinions are the result of the prolonged triumphs of the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites consolidating their social powers. The “Conservatives” under Harper are currently the best at being dishonest, and backing their lies up with legalized violence. After the public finally figures that out enough, the next crop of the best deceitful politicians will be able to take over the established systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence.

    There is no longer any meaning to the names of various political parties. They are all factions of the Private Property Party, which act as the puppets of the banksters. The fundamental financial systems are already almost inconceivably crazy and corrupt, and the Conservatives are the current group continuing that … until, eventually, they will be replaced by another group that will then do that. Within the established monetary system, and the dominance of the control of corporations over all aspects of our society, and especially the mass media, there is nothing happening in our politics but puppet shows, in which Conservatives are the currently dominant puppets, whose task is to perform for the masses of muppets …

    “Democracy” is already practically dead. Inside the fake democracy, in which almost everyone has been the victim of a fake education, OF COURSE, Harper leads fake “Conservatives!”

    • BLAIR!!! HELP US!!!! … Who shall we vote for in 2015 and why do you have confidence in your choice to lead Canada… Quebec French-supremacist Trudeau or Quebec corruption-stained citoyen Mulcair … who who hoooo…????

  20. Harper inherited a surplus and turned it into a deficit – I’ve never forgotten that. He engaged in a massive amount of overspending to appeal to the Conservative base and then tried to hide it by blaming it on the recession. He still tries to take credit for the accomplishments Paul Martin achieved as Finance Minister.

    • Martin’s “surplus” was a result of raiding the unemployment fund for 50 billion dollars and downloading billions of dollars worth of previous federal responsibilities onto the provinces. It certainly wasn’t sound fiscal management.
      The billions in ‘stimulus’ spending was DEMANDED by the unholy alliance of the Liberals, NDP, and traitorous Bloc Quebecois.

    • The worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression, and you consider it an ‘excuse’ for Harper/Flaherty to overspend?
      Cutting taxes prior to the impending economic disaster saved Canada from an even worse recession.
      We are very very fortunate that the Coalition of Losers backed down after the public outcry against them. The CoL would have taken us down to Greece status.

      • deficit preceded downturn. harper drove the van into the ditch before the floodwaters started rising, then said “not my fault all this rain came down.”

    • Rebecca is either very poor at math, or she is just another one of those Liberal Butts Brigade of Harper Haters™ spewing her silly hatemongering orchestrated within the Liberal warroom filled with caged trolls eating bananas. So obvious.

  21. Many commenters here would accuse Harper of costing Canada medical jobs if he came up with the cure for cancer.

    Martin’s surplus was a result of raiding the unemployment fund for 50 billion dollars and downloading billions of dollars worth of federal responsibilities onto the provinces. It certainly wasn’t sound fiscal management.

    Harper’s 2012 federal budget indebted every Canadian by $600.00

    Obama’s 2012 federal budget indebted every American by $4600.00

    The NDP and Liberals demanded a 50 billion dollar stimulus package during the minority government in 2008. Harper budgeted 20 billion and our economy excelled. A 30 billion dollar error by the leftists was averted.

    As a Canadian taxpayer I applaud Harper’s actions rather than the bitching snarling aspirations of the left.

  22. You need to put that bio line about who Ken Boessenkool is at the beginning of the article and not at the end. I started to read this thinking that it was an objective analysis and not the a steaming heap of campaign slogans (quite understandable once you read who the author is).

    • Are are stating the author has lied in the article?
      Please specify which achievement mentioned is incorrect.
      I suspect your statement is standard leftist ad hominem blathering backed up by your ‘feelings’ rather than facts.

  23. Early on, Harper managed to undo some fairly big initiatives of his predecessors.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Like the $13 billion surplus and $ 3 billion contingency.

    • Martin’s surplus was a result of raiding the unemployment fund for 50 billion dollars and downloading billions of dollars worth of federal responsibilities onto the provinces. It certainly wasn’t sound fiscal management. Damaging actions never ever contemplated by Conservatives.

    • I would add to doowleb’s comment that it’s not just an ‘conbot’ accusation,

      the Supreme Court of Canada, Dec 2008, 7-0 decision, found the Chretien/Martin govt illegally raided the EI fund of $54 Billion (2002-05) and used the money to pay down the deficit.

      • As far as I am concerned… given what Mulroney left the Liberals…. The result of raiding the fund that brought us into surplus…. that may have been impossible without investing the fund. The reality was, that the Liberals parlayed that year after year, paying down the debt, resisting American style banking… A damn good record. Yes they are guilty but…It was a means to an end result

    • I hope Canadians will elect a Liberal or NDP government so that they can restore the $13 Billion surplus through additional taxation. Government should be a profitable endeavour, not a non-profit institution or go into the red to provide social assistance to Canadians during a global recession. Gawd, I pray for a Lib-Dip government again so we can pay extra taxes and rebuild that $13 Billion surplus …!!!!

      • Really…hmmmm remember we would be getting taxes back by way of interest savings on our debt. The Liberals were paying down that debt by $ 60+ billion after inheriting $ 45 billion defecit. If the Conservatives had left the GST alone. We would’ve reaped $35 billion… instead that has been heaped on to our debt. Hows that working out for you now that we are over $ 600 billion in debt. Whern the Conservatives took over we were in debt to $ 450 billion. Hows that $ 3000.00 per family savings working out for you.

  24. If Harper is conservative then I will never vote conservative again.

    • So a socialist vote for the Liberals or a communist vote for the NDP is preferable?
      Me thinks the Conservatives never had a vote from Amanda in the first place.

      • pssst… dogs can’t vote… unless you live in Quebec…lol

      • If you get to call Liberals socialists and NDP communists I reserve the right to label Harper Conservatives fascists. Fair is fair.

  25. This advertorial brought to you by the Conservative Party of Canada and the PMO. And the letters B & S.

    • How would you define the current Liberal and NDP parties led by staunch quebecois Trudeau et Mulcair? Would you feel comfortable selling out Canada to leaders from that corrupt, greedy, separatist, anti-Canada, French-only nation of Quebec… or do you just Hate Harper™?

      • We get it already – you hate Quebec, and the worst thing that could happen is Quebec leaving Canada.

        • No… I reject another PM from Quebec…. Pierre, Mulroney, Chretien, Martin… all lapsed RC lawyers from Quebec. Enough is enough…!

      • I thought the spin on Mulcair was that his dual citizenship makes his loyalty questionable. Get your narrative straight or they’ll strip you of your membership.

      • Thank you for reminding us why Tories do not support the “Conservative Party of Canada!”

  26. Another load of garbage for the ppl to swallow. What’s next? Harper is going to declare himself Prime Minister for life?

  27. Harper is no more a conservative than Bush (both) and Obama. Whether the sticker says Liberal, Conservative, Democrat or Republican, the real label should read “NEO-conservative. The real difference? None. Neither promote and preserve Liberty. Neither believe in their hearts that “the people” are capable of tying their own shoes.

  28. There are some valuable points in this article, and the current government has some real achievements. Unfortunately, their failure to deal with the really big issues far outweighs the good they have done. Those really big issues are (1) the relentless wave of mass immigration, at an all-time historical high for the past five years, a mass influx that the population did not vote for and does not want (2) the enormous temporary foreign worker program, an act of pure wage suppression that is the worst scandal of the Harper years and (3) the failure to close the federal deficit when so much manifestly wasteful spending is happening.

    Would the alternatives of Justin or Tom be any better? Not likely, I grant you — but we may well have the chance to find out if something isn’t seen to be done about these issues.

    • read the article again. Re ”big Issues…1. immigraton”…Kenney is doing an amazing job having overhauled the immigration system 2. Education is a provincial matter so its the provinces that need to wake up 3. You only need to wait to 2105 to get the budget balanced.
      Besides, voters like to complain in between elections as the hard work of steering our bloated, Liberal-created government away from the excesses of big-fat-expensive promises towards a modest, prudent, (though G7 leading) style of governance. It doesn’t help that Mr Harper is not sexy but I and most Canadians will take smart and mature over juvenile and sexy anyday. I would also add, having a moral backbone in foreign policy matters is often a minority position in the swamp of Arab and third world politics.

    • So you would sell out the RoC to Quebec by voting for Quebec french supremacist Trudeau or Quebec corruption-stained citoyen Mulcair… both crypto-separatist quebecois garçons…… and that’s what Conservative election attack ads will push to ensure they again win a majority government without depending on Quebec votes like in the last election. All of your nebulous and meaningless complaints will just blow away like dust once the real gut issues are promoted…. Canada or Quebec… choose.

  29. From the mewling ideology and quotes from “thinkers” this bit could have been written by a certain commenter.

  30. Brian Marlatt ‏@BrianMarlatt 59m
    @KenBoessenkool …. Every position you stated was Reform Party, not Tory, not Cdn or conservative, simply US neocon & Tea Party #cpc

  31. Ken Boessenkool ‏@KenBoessenkool 1h

    @BrianMarlatt …. You say that like Reform Party was a bad thing. I for one am very proud of the work we did with Reform.

  32. Brian Marlatt ‏@BrianMarlatt 1h

    @KenBoessenkool Reform was/ is anti-Canadian, anti-Canadian federalism, Rt wing NDP political economy, Firewall Alberta Bloc, anti-Tory #hw

  33. Progressive Conservatives were and are as Progressive Canadians (PC Party) nation-builders, a party of national vision from sea to sea, and balance progressive social policy with fiscal responsibility. The party of Confederation.

    Firewall Harper’s CPC continues to be the Reform Party, a party of provincialism, continentalism, and neoconservatism, not Tory.

    Where the Reform Party would chant “Liberal, Tory, same old story” because we believe in a strong, united, Canada and seek according to our differing political economies to seek the well-being, the common good of the common man, today the CPC has nothing in common with Progressive Conservatives or Liberals in Canada.

    Today no one would chant “Liberal, Tory, same old story.” The CPC is the Reform Party and, according to Ken Bosessenkool, proud of the Reform Party record.

    • Federally, the PC Party is as dead as the proverbial dodo bird, never to arise again after Mulroney decimated it from his Quebec stronghold catering only to the needs of les quebecois. He was a gory tory who assassinated Joe Clark and he still reeks of Quebec-style political corruption. What has ‘progressed’ is Canada and in particular Western Canada the home of the Reform movement to eradicate soft and hard socialism together with it’s attendant corruption from central Canada and the Maritimes. What we are witnessing is the expansion of Western Canada to the Ottawa River, while Quebec and the Maritimes are isolated in their “have-not” existence as Eastern Canada. If Quebec separates, Canada will become partitioned and the Maritimes will be set adrift to survive on it’s own. Undoubtedly, the Maritimes will seek union with the USA under those conditions. What you should be concerned about is Quebec separation and not some silly political definitions that are irrelevant to Canadian life.

      • What an excellent demonstration of why the Reform Party is and was anti-Canadian, anti-Tory, anti-conservative, anti-Quebec, anti-francophone, a threat to national unity, a right-wing NDP, the Firewall Reform Party Alberta Bloc and all of the other reasons they want to hide behind the Tory and Progressive Conservative branding of the real Tories.

        The late Jack Layton, who I am not inclined to quote, put it well when he noted that the only accomplishment of the party of Preston Manning and Stephen Harper is to have changed its name three times: Reform Party, Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, and ^Not Conservative Party.

  34. Brian Marlatt ‏@BrianMarlatt 6 Jul

    “Sir John A’s ‘risen from the Dead!…To slap Stephen ‘arper upside ‘is ‘ead.” Coming to a true Tory campaign near you, PC Party. #cdnpoli

    “Give Steve the Heave!” – the theme of Calgary “Conservative” Convention and Canadian politics going forward.

  35. I can only conclude Mr. Boessenkool is applying for Nigel Wright’s job.

  36. Great article.Thanks

  37. Nice to hear from the Kool Topp Guy.

    I suspect we will be treated to much more of this now that his mentor Flanagan has been pulled from the front bench.

    Some creative spin here, most of the accomplishments have been done with a wrecking ball, and how opening the Chinese investment SOE floodgates is “putting the brakes on” is an amazing bit of rhetorical calisthenics. Should be fun to see how you spin the FIPPA as somehow favourable to Canadians, ya know in that “incremental” fashion, as even your own icon Mulroney sees that free trade with China is not in the cards.

    It was indeed conservatives who delivered these so called ” strong stable majorities” however it was/is those that work among other parties who are responsible.

    It surprises me Kool overlooks this, the real conservative success in electoral politics has been to thoroughly corrupt the system with black tactics, infiltrate all parties and dominate the cyber political universe in a twisted bid to morph a once diverse economy into moribund petro state enriching foreign interests.

    But do keep up the “incrementalism” as demonstrated with two of the Country’s largest Omnibus bills in history, the agenda is an EPIC one and I am sure your oily masters are pleased. Or should I say that in Mandarin?

    I agree that the conservatives are “undoing” Canada as we knew it, and morphing us into an oily petro powered superstate, enriching the 0.01% while laying waste to the rest of the economy, environment and legacy for our children to inherit.

    Keep up the great work Kool!

  38. While boosenkol writes this article, working to realign the angry conservative base by “demonstrating” that the harper government is actually conservative, he neglects to address that there are different types of conservatism and attempts to brand the harper governments form of conservatism as the only form of conservatism. This premise is crafty but just plain wrong. To be incremental is not by its nature conservative, this is an approach not an ideology.

    Lets address the main forms of actual conservatism at play in a canadian context.

    Fiscal conservatism. The harper government is running the biggest inflation adjusted deficits in history in this country. He has appointed the largest cabinets in history, who are spending more money than any cabinet in history. The pmo has balooned and has spent more money in that office than any in recent memory. While it is a small example, it goes straight to harper : previous governments have kept the plane the pm uses military grey so it can be retasked for military use, harper spenr extra on getting it painted shiny colors. Sure, it needed to be repainted, but these extra expenses are hapoening throughout the political branch of governmnt, that decision was not an isolated one. So, therefore, the verdict is that this government is not fiscally conservative.

    Social conservatism. Social conservatives are usually religious and fear that society is losing its values. They tend to fight for higher sexual consent ages, against abortion, against pornography, drugs, alcohol. Some sects of social conservatives would like tomsee the “traditional family” vis a vis stay at home mothers and the extreme dislike the persuit of womens rights. While this government has moved to combat child pornography, that is not exclusive to social conservatives. Their stance on abortion is to maintain the status quo. They have not moved to restore the traditional definition of marriage and have left gay marriage alone. They have assisted traditional families a little bit with some tax credits here and there but have done nothing to push women back into being homemakers. They have not reversed no fault divorce, the bane of the religious and a policy whereby the state controls peoples assets and child.rearing decisions (family courts on a daily basis violate fundamental concepts of law. Putative fathers are fathers until they prove otherwise and must pay support until they do – and if this takes a considerable amount of time then the judge will often rule that it is in the best interests of the child that he keep paying, namely because the mother has nobody else ready, willing and eager to take up paying – it truly is insane). They have done nothing to normalize “sexual assault” laws put into place to appease feminist lobbyists. It is the same crime to give a girl an unwanted slap on the bum as it is to forcibly rape her, and this is insane. So this government is not socially conservative by nature, even though they have made some smal gestures in that direction.

    Finally there are the libertarian conservatives. This faction has seen the gun registry removed but thats about it. Government is bigger than ever, gun control laws havenot been reduced. The government is not relaxing drug or alcohol laws, payroll taxes are on the rise and medicare has not been scrapped (federally by weakening the canada health act). General federal beauacracy and red tape has not been slashed, negotiating through any government program (of which libertarian extremists would like tonsee all scrapped) is a maze of blind unaccountable beauracracy which is worse, if not the same as before. So again, while this government has thrown the libertarians a few bones (a la the chastizing of the rcmp for taking guns in alberta) they have done little, if anything on this front.

    There is one thing that this government has done consistently, which is not fundamentally conservative nor liberal, but rather criminal, or at the least, unethical. They have made every effort to transform government itself into a branch of the conservative party, and.oddly enough (because every political career has a shelf life), as an extension of harper himself. The pmo vets every fio request and statement by a government official. Below me as i type this i see a blue adverisement touting canadas three year old.action plan. Government websites, brochures, and materials have magically changed from canadas colors of red and white to a sea of blue. Friends of the government seemingly escape the governments famous law and order agenda and are allowed to get away with things ordinary canadians would be in jail for. (im not just talking about duffy, wallin, brazeau, carson, jaffer, penashue, this list is exhausive). The entire government machine has been retooled to do the dictum of the conservative party, and by action act as an extension of it. It is not fundamentally conservative to hold everything in secret and to fight accountability. It is not fundamentally conservative.to give the same, bland, blatant wrong answers when asked relatively straightforward answers to questions about what is happening on yourwatch. (watch pierre pollivre answer any question asked of him about the government: conservatives, dippers, and liberals all alike want to shoot the television).

    So in conclusion, kens dissertation as a clever but non factual spin attempting to change the channel for the conservative coalition by redefining what the conservative movement stands for will not work. Individual conservative voters are not so stupid. Fiscal conservatives will still want to see balanced budgets and the debt to be eliminated. Social conservatives still want to see the steady erosion of traditional values like marriage, abortion, and child rearing addressed along with a rollback of liberal policies like gay marriage. Libertarians still want to see progress on the massive involvement of government in their lives.

    Boosenkol can play fast and loose with what conservativism is, but i dont think that the base is going to buy anything but progress. They have a majorty so now there is no excuse.

    The fact that i am actually a Liberal and that i can see this plain as day should terrify this government. Because if i can see this plain as day, the base must have been fuming for a while.

    Finally, boosenkol has a very warped view of liberalism. I wont get into that, but as a liberal i disagree with virtually every stand he takes as to what being a liberal minded person is.

    Nice try, ken. But never mind me. Youve got an angry base to soothe, youd best get to it.

  39. A Genuine Tory point of view: Good Business – Sustainable Prosperity

    Economic growth is not the only measure of human achievement but the creation of wealth makes it possible for us to do many things. We seek to create a sustainable economy with true competition and a level playing field. Balance in the economy is crucial. If any one player has too much power, be they big business, big government or big unions – then the balance is lost.

    We are, at heart, a party that supports small business. There is a role for government in the economy, but it must support and not compete with small business.

    We support the “100 mile challenge” which encourages purchasing from local enterprises. It’s environmentally sound because it uses far less resources. It’s economically sound because local businesses return far greater amounts to the economy. It fits with our belief that small business is the engine of our economy.

    We will restore income trust legislation to it’s previous state and work with all key stakeholders to develop legislation that makes
    http://progressivecanadian.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78

    • OUR SEVEN PILLARS FOR BRINGING PROSPERITY TO CANADA

      “All politics is local” is a truism.

      Following are seven positive directions National Council presented at the ELECTION READINESS CONFERENCE held on January 10th, 2009.

      Please take time to inform us the order of importance in which you believe they would be best received by the voters in your constituency.

      Hamilton is used as the example in MEETING DIFFERING NEEDS. Send us your thoughts on how best government can be of assistance in your community.

      Sinclair Stevens
      Leader, PC Party

      SEVEN PILLARS FOR BRINGING PROSPERITY TO CANADA

      The Progressive Canadian Party has seven visions for Canada. It is part of our Prosperity Canada Programme.

      It is our individual duty as progressive-conservatives, as members and supporters of the P.C.Party to communicate to our fellow citizens what we stand for and why their vote is so vital for the future.

      1) FACILITATING POST SECONDARY EDUCATION

      We believe knowledge in the modern world is paramount.

      Free education should be extended to Canadians to allow them to complete their education at the university, college or trade school level.

      Why should we assume after grade 12 our citizens should pay to be educated? Subject to maintaining satisfactory grades each Canadian should be entitled as a right to 16 years of free education not 12.

      2) REALIZING GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

      In the world of to-day Canada must identify our growth opportunities throughout the Commonwealth of Nations.

      While our main trading partner, the U.S.A. has overconsumed the bulk of the nations in the Commonwealth are underdeveloped.

      We have an opportunity to extend our trading, investment and services to our cousins in these lands who want to increase their prosperity.

      3) HARNESSING RENEWABLE RESOURCES

      There is a growing awareness that the worlds present energy resources are finite.

      This is the opportune time to fiscally forge what is needed in the form of renewable energy infrastructures.

      With the second largest land mass in the world Canada can and should become a leading producer, exporter and consumer of wind, solar, thermal and tidal renewable energy.

      4) MEETING DIFFERING NEEDS

      A strong united Canada is fundamental but within our country there are diverse communities that require differing approaches to realize their economic potentials.

      One example is Hamilton, an urban community which has had heavy industry as its base. The city is in transition. We believe its future could include restructuring of their industry . . . of their factories . . . into the production of renewable energy infrastructure products which are in short supply throughout the world.

      5) SERVING THE WORLD

      Canada spanning east and west and north gives us the opportunity to revitalize Atlantic Canada so that in world trade it can become the hub for Eastern North America including the U.S.A.’s Atlantic coast areas..

      Likewise on the Pacific Coast British Columbia can become a gateway for Asian world trade into North America.

      Hudson’s Bay and our Arctic areas are begging to serve the world with the export of more oil, natural gas and diamonds. Working with our Arctic citizens we can facilitate that.

      6) ALLYING FOR PEACE AND STABILITY

      Rather than attempting the impossible in Afghanistan, with over 100 of our soldiers dying there, we should reach out to our Commonwealth cousins – India and Pakistan and forge with them an alliance to bring peace and stability to that troubled region. An immediate benefit to Canada and the world would be the ending of their production of 93% of the world’s supply of opium that results in Canadians dying in the hundreds every year from the use of that drug.

      7) BRINGING NEW HOPE

      Canada has been a major contributor to relieving the plight of millions of the world’s citizens who live in some of the poorest areas on earth. We have never contributed, however, to the full extent of our commitment to the world, namely .07% of our annual Gross Domestic Product per year.

      It is possible through public and private co-operation to bring new hope to our fellow Commonwealth and Francophony citizens and in doing so meet our promise.

      There is a particular opportunity in this area to work with South Africa and other Commonwealth and Francophony nations to bring new hope to the citizens of their continent.

      back to top

      The PC Party, the Progressive Canadian Party, exists as a registered national political party.

      Our aim for it is to fill “the space on the political spectrum, where most Canadians are”.

      Presently there is a void to be filled, that of presenting Canadians positive directions offering them and theirs a better future.

      “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

      Should you have any questions please contact me,

      Joe Hueglin
      National Director

      • WHAT PREVENTS CANADIANS FROM BEING MORE INNOVATIVE AND WEALTHY? Tuesday, 22 January 2013 09:13

        Extract: ” If this country thought of our students as a natural resource asset instead of penalizing them, we could make better use of our budget dollars to invest in our own country. If only a fraction of the lop-sided $35 Billion defense money allotted for the F-35’s were transferred to wipe out the present student debt then we could enjoy a more innovative system that would allow students free post-secondary education, treated like grades 13 through 17, making sure that we continue a responsible legacy to the next generation instead of a restrictive, inherited debt load.

        Innovation not imitation

        Innovative management policy would also make sure that we see beyond what is only immediate, looking forward to a more creative and promising future in trade, ensuring a healthy and vibrant economy. Canada is a member of the 54 nation Royal Commonwealth of Nations, and in that Commonwealth are some 2 Billion people, as opposed to just over 300 Million the U.S. There is a huge potential in Commonwealth trade that could be actively pursued, instead of plodding along with our present dependency on the U.S.

        With innovative, visionary thinking, instead of the old reactionary style, Canadians could be world leaders in so many areas. Instead of an archaic system that promotes inequality, especially for our top 1%, which is threatened by the prospect of change, we could be enjoying a clear and vibrant future through innovation, and affordable education for our youth.”

        See more at http://pcparty.org

      • It’s good to see the remnants of the former Progressive Conservative Party present such a clear, inclusive set of policy objectives, doing so without the demonizing Republican style attack ad mentality of the CPC. The current crop of Conservatives prefer to focus on character assassination not civilized policy debate (too boring?). Unfortunately politics, always a rough and tumble sport, is not likely to change soon. The CPC and Fox News North (Sun TV News) have whipped followers into a rabid frenzy of conspiracy theory based ideology immune to reasoned debate.

  40. Harper Senate Reform undermines Democracy and National Unity: former Tory Cabinet Minister and PC Party Leader, Sinclair Stevens states. Saturday, 09 February 2013 19:06 For Immediate Release February 5, 2013.

    Newmarket, Ont. – The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party, today stated his serious concern that the Harper government’s appointments and proposals for Senate Reform again undermine democracy in Canada and Canadian national unity.

    The Harper government claims a strong mandate but it is based on the support of only 39% of Canadians in the 2011 election.

    “Harper’s appointments are mere patronage and partisanship, showing no interest in democracy and threatening national unity,” Stevens said. “His appointees pledge to vote as he wishes rather than, as Senators, to determine what is best for Canada.” Stevens added, “Harper’s Senate Reform proposals threaten Canadian unity by making Senators militant advocates of each province’s interest against all the others and against Canada, making Canada and parliament answer to Senators elected by the provinces and appointed by himself as prime minister. Yet his constitutional reference is trying to deny the provinces their constitutional right to object to his proposal for firewall federalism. He is trying to see how far he can go because the constitution doesn’t interest him. Democracy doesn’t interest him. That’s why he prorogues parliament and uses omnibus bills to treat the Opposition in the Commons as irrelevant rather than as the voice of Canadians who are their constituents.”
    See more at http://progressivecanadian.ca

  41. I liked this article. To me Harper was not conservative enough but under the circumstances he and his party moves forward in that direction It is difficult to undo all the damage that PET inflicted on Canada. But slowly and surely it will be undone. I will renew my support to the conservative party.

  42. Real conservatives would not increase size of gov’t, they would dramatically reduce it.

  43. I stopped reading after the author said that Conservatives are skeptical of government imposed social change and abhor strategies and grand schemes. These 2 points are the biggest traits of a Conservative government. Especially the strategizing part. The CPC is a master or strategy.

  44. Totally agree. This article is fantastic. Wish I wrote it.

  45. The main firewall between Li’l steve and Canada is the enemies list , the us and them mentality that leads to incidents of concern regarding ethics and integrity . The ethical deficit is mounting as fast as the fiscal one . Free speech is defined as spreading false rumors as one minister put it .

  46. Good review of all the mistakes and bad decisions of the Harper govt (even if the columnist doesn’t see it that way).

  47. Harper is a Straussian. He believes that we are not intelligent enough to govern ourselves and that an Elite Group is need to Govern the sheeple. Hence his lack of respect for Canadian Parliament, Canadian Law (Election Fraud), and established Parliamentary Procedure. This man and his corrupt cronies (Senate Scandal) (PMO Payment of Senator fraudulent expense claims) need to charged, convicted, and jailed. If you think the most controlling Prime Minister in History didn’t know about the payment by his Chief of Staff You Missed Your Guess.

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