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NatalieJane's picture

NatalieJane

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Harper and the "previous government"

Does everytime Harper talk about the sins of the previous government make you glad he's there to fix it all, or do you find him a whiney fingerpointer - the rat in the class nobody ever wanted to hang with?

Is there a parallel between blaming the previous government and blaming the previous political head ( i.e. Martin/Chretien or Gore/Clinton)? Neither Martin or Gore benefited from that strategy - will Harper be able to use this to his advantage?

I was neutral on the whole thing then Ambrose's comments at the environment summit got me started on this...it didn't sit right with me that she was deflecting to a previous government, it made her seem unworthy of holding high political office. By blaming, she aggravated my concern that she could fix the issues we all know we have - it seemed like she was front loading for the eventual fall out. (so sorry I couldn't get the job done, but honestly, the mess it was left in...- as her "boss" my reaction would be quit whining and just fix it, you'll be known by the fruits of your labour?)

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bilandre's picture

bilandre

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he's alienating his major constituents. Big-business types with the income-trust thing, and now western-Canadian farmers with the wheat board thing.

he'll be gone in 6 months.

Blah's picture

Blah

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And good riddance

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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Natalie By the fruits of your labour lol maybe it was your fruit of your labor that caused climate change, did you recycle? It is true that Rona Ambrose has only been in that post for less than a year. And you expect her to clean up your and the liberals garbage in one year?

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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Blah Time magazine called Stephen Harper Man of the year. most decisive leader, honest, forthright and a refreshing change from the smell that arose in parliament during the liberal majority.

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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bilandre there is quite a bit of suspicion that the money that is still missing that the liberals cant account for went into these wealthy trust funds of the elite

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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Natalie and you want these type of people back in power to hose the taxpayers some more?

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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sylviac,

Hi,

You wrote:

Blah Time magazine called Stephen Harper Man of the year. most decisive leader, honest, forthright and a refreshing change from the smell that arose in parliament during the liberal majority.

Actually you have already been corrected on this point sylviac. Harper was named Newsmaker of the Year.

Man of the Year is someone who is admired.

Newsmaker of the Year is someone who grabs headlines.

They two are not the same.

I suspect that living in BC where the prevailing Canadian winds start everything smells fresh after it has been scrubbed by the Pacific.

Here in Ontario we are still smelling the reek of big oil and with the Honourable Mr. Harper at the helm I'll have to hold my breath till 2050 before it gets better.

Grace and peace to you.

John

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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NatalieJane,

Hi,

You wrote:

do you find him a whiney fingerpointer - the rat in the class nobody ever wanted to hang with?

Neither really. It is just the same old same old.

Chretien blamed Mulroney.

Mulroney Blamed Trudeau.

Trudeau blamed whomever and so on and so on.

I long to hear a Prime Minister stand up and say, this is our mess and we are going to fix it.

Grace and peace to you.

John

graeme's picture

graeme

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I am always bemused by people who think the other party - whichever one - is dishonest. Amazing how many people have already forgotten Mulroney's spell as quite possibly t he biggest sleaze in Canadian history. Let's be balanced.

John A, conservative, was openly on the take, and made little secret of it.

Sir Charles Tupper, conservative, retired a very wealthy man, though he worked as a doctor for only a short time before going into very low paid politics. I guess he must have saved money by brown bagging it.

John Diefenbaker, conservative was dead honest. He was nutty as a fruitcake, but he was an honest fruitcake.

Lester Pearson, liberal, was dead honest.

Mackenzie King, liberal, happily accepted money. But he was a small timer.

Quite apart from the fact that some are personally honest and some personally dishonest, you have the reality that both parties rely on donations and on the influence of powerful interest groups - corporations, law firms, propaganda agencies (like, say, most newspapers and radio stations.) That means they issue giveaway contracts to some of them, spend money on "foreign aid" which is really payoffs to certain corporations, sponsor foreign sales for arms dealers, hire law firms which later work for them in elections, and so on. In this, t here is not difference between the two parties.

But there is a difference between the two parties in recent years.

The conservatives have become a party of ideolgues, and ideologues are always dangerous. They are closelyakin to fanatics. Worse, in the ideology adopted by people like Harper, there is really not point to the existence of a Canada. And not a whole lot of point to the existence of people. All that counts is the magic wand of a free market place (which, in fact, does not - and never will -exist.)

The liberals are a party of opportunists (which is why they moved somewhat to the left in the post war years). A recent addition to this type is Ignatieff. But it is leavened with some genuine idealists - like Warren Allmand and Romeo of a Leblanc of a generation ago. And it has a fuzzier type of opportunist/idealist/realist - which is, I suspect, what Dion is.

I don't vote for either party. I think when it comes to thievery, there isn't much to choose. The the libs, though, are a better bet these days, and the conservatives extremely dangerous.

graeme

RevMatt's picture

RevMatt

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OK, people, we now have FOUR real national parties. Is it possible, even likely, that the other two will prove to be just as crooked? Maybe. But we don't actually know, since we don't give them a chance.

If you like the environment, and like PC-style (NOT the same as the CRAP) approach to finances, vote Green. If you like environment and like prefer socialist-style approach to social issues, vote NDP. If you like rightwing ideology, move to the US.

sighsnootles's picture

sighsnootles

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stephen harper, time magazines 'man of the year'???

ROTFLMAO!!!!

oh sylviac, you do come up with some humourous stuff!!!

Flitcraft's picture

Flitcraft

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Natalie, you are not young enough to be this naive!!! Parties can get a LOT of mileage out of blaming the previous government for all of the world's ills. I don't know when the Conservatives will finally run out of this kind of gas, but I don't think they will be out of office soon. I think they are going to win a majority in the spring and they will be able to use a strategy similar to the one they used in the last election.

Sadly, a lot of people don't vote FOR something, they vote AGAINST something. If you want people to vote for you, get them mad as hell at the other side. This is why the Conservatives won the last election, and I don't think enough people are mad enough at them yet to vote against them. I won't bet my shirt on it, but I think we are going to have about 4 more years of the Harper government.

graeme's picture

graeme

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RevMatt, I suspect most people know that the NDP, with one well-publicized exception, has a strong record of honesty. And it can't be said they're honest because they've never been in government. They have been in government, many times. The Greens haven't been in government, but I can see no reason to suspect their honesty - if only because any intelligent thief would join a party that has a strong possiblity of gaining power.

One problem is that people see only the most blatant corruption - as in the case of the liberals sending out money for work not done. In fact, though, both parties do that all the time, only in ways not so obvious.

Both liberals and conservatives have favourite law and polling firms to whom they assign non-competitive contracts. Both will send Canadian ships to visit foreign ports on what are really arms selling trips for our dealers. Both will send "aid" to the third world when what they are really doing is buying junk Canadian manufacturers can't sell, and giving it to people who have no use for it. Then there was Mulroney forcing on the army a truck that was wildly overpriced, dangerous to drive, and mechanically unreliable - but was manufactured by a friend of the party.

The liberal scandal was pretty sleazy. but it was small potatoes compared to these others that both liberals and conservatives routinely practice.

I certainly don't think our only choice is lib or con. And I wouldn't choose either. Most people will, though.

graeme

Serena's picture

Serena

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RevMatt said " OK, people, we now have FOUR real national parties. Is it possible, even likely, that the other two will prove to be just as crooked? Maybe. But we don't actually know, since we don't give them a chance"

Politicians are all crooks and have been since the beginning of time. I seriously doubt that the other parties will do anything different. It is the system that is flawed. There is no accountability. There are pay offs, mishandling of funds. All of this is kept secret and comes out when a new party takes over. Canada is not working as a nation. They should all be fired without severence pay and their pensions cancelled. Why do we even need a government?

Witch's picture

Witch

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The interesting thing is that you can only blame the other party if you've been losing for a long time.

If power switches often you can't blame the other guy except on very, very short term problems.

If you've held power for an extended period you can't blame the other guy, for obvious reasons.

It's only when you've been consistently losing for election, after election that that tactic works. And it's counter productive because if you do somehow maintain power for a while, the other side will be perfectly justified on turning it back on you.

Maybe Harper doesn't expect to hold power long?

Jeffery's picture

Jeffery

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I think parties got mileage out of blaming the current government during elections. However, one in power you need to demonstrate that people didn't waste their votes by voting out the previous government. Once elected, the buck has to stop with the current administration.

Harper is NOT doing well. He is alienating Albertans (unfortunately most of us might be too stupid to notice) by attacking the income trusts (an energy industry innovation). He is alienating farmers, with the Wheat Board thing. He is alienating city voters, but taking contrary views to those of urban-dwellers: gay marriage, environment and global warming, gun registry. The Quebecois as a Nation thing -- expeditiant in the short run, but dangerous in the long run.

He won't last long.

beancounter's picture

beancounter

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The blame game is nothing new at any level of politics. The records are only ever truly opened once a different party takes power.

As for Ambrose - I feel sorry for her and anyone else in the cabinet or under Harper. He is pulling all of their strings and unfortunately for her they didn't get the party script to her soon enough and she looked like a fool! Shame on Harper! I always think there is something wrong from the head down when you have to put a muzzle on your people. What don't you want us to know?

graeme's picture

graeme

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serena, it is simply not true that all politicians are crooks. We have had a few, more than a few, who were so honest it destroyed them. One of them, an early prime minister, actually refused gifts when friends tossed a surprise party for him on his golden wedding. He decline because he felt it was wrong for a politician to accept gifts for anything.

I have certainly know many honest politicians.

You do get two kinds of crookedness, though. You get the bribes and payoffs accepted in order to win elections. There's usually no personal gain for the politicians in t hat, just a political one.

Then there's the out and out graft - that was the liberal scandal. that also marked the mulroney years.

graeme

IBelieve's picture

IBelieve

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From a non political view, I have noticed two things that make me take notice.

The previous government leaders would attack the leader of the opposition and label that person as a demon of sorts.

The one thing I have noticed with Stephen Harper is that he will attack the previous government policies but not the person.

I have to admire him for that.

Do I like everything he does? No. But I see a lot of good too.

The opposition does not like anything Harper does and I believe it is simply because they vote against anything that comes from the opposition.

Opposition,hardly for the people. Simply only for power and then watch what we'll do.

Why did they lose the last election. It was because of what they said they'd do, each election, but never followed through. Then still had the nerve to campaign on the same things.

The overall picture from my point of view is I like a guy who follows through with what he says.

The opposition will always jump all over them on one or two hot buttons that cloud the whole picture, but I believe that is their strategy.

It's almost like a football game. What can we do to win rather than what can we do for all the people and not just the special interest groups.

Remember all the special interest groups want all the money for their projects but there just isn't enough to go around. Even with 200% taxation.

It's the same picture down South.

Everyone here was saying Stephen Harper was like George Bush but nobody mentioned Paul Martin's actions in the last election while he personally attacked Stephen Harper over and over again with unsubstantiated threats about what he would do to the country. He was a terrorist, instilling fear into the Canadians. He acted just like John Kerry and Al Gore. A couple of overgrown babies crying WHAAAAAAAA!! when they didn't get their way.

My opinion only!

Jeffery's picture

Jeffery

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Ibelieve, as for Steven Harper not acting an individual, I think that is just politics. Up until two weeks ago, he had no one to attack. Attack Chretien and Martin personally would only point out that they aren't the opposition anymore. Attack. It will be interesting, once everyone is back in January to see what he does with the name Dione -- I suspect there will be more personal attacks in the near future.

WideOpen's picture

WideOpen

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Not being political person, the personal is the poitical and I can tell you that the politicians are really only looking for the next vote, and I think it is going to take a revolution from the grass roots to have anything done that benefits our society. Conservatives---you always know exactly where they stand; Liberals..you never know where they are coming from and the lefties aren't motivated enough to get it together.

RevMatt's picture

RevMatt

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Apparently Harper DOES like the "previous government" after all, since he has rejected a number of key Gomery proposals. Gotta keep that power to himself, after all...

graeme's picture

graeme

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I would be cautious about saying you like a leader because he does what he said he would Bush is doing what he said he would. (So did Hitler, now I think of it.)

Before you admire him for keeping his word, you first have to ask what his word was, and whether that's a good idea.

graeme

WideOpen's picture

WideOpen

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RevMatt was not saying he liked the leader, were you? Want to be clear, but I think that what revmatt said about power is just right on! Power is what politics seems to be about these days, sorry...it is what it has always been about. Jesus even was influenced in his ministry because of the Roman rule and the slavery of people as a result. So I just think it will always be around and no mater who is in POWER, they are in power. The real changes do not come from politics, take for example the undeground movements that exist all over the world. Some out of necessity others becasue they are tired of being slaves to economy.
Consider...a community of sharing people who bring each their own gifts and give of what they have . Reminds me of the disciples when they were getting set up. They poled everything and divided it up so everyone had enoough. Not socialism, ot communism, because they each also had teh advantage of going out adn doing their work. The question we need to be really asking is do we need all the stuff we have?

RevMatt's picture

RevMatt

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While I will give credit where credit is due, and say that there have been one or two things done by the Harper government I have liked (although generally not for the same reasons as I would have liked), no, I do NOT like the current administration. I don't like their ideology, I don't like their political execution, I don't like their style of governance, and I don't like the future they would make for us.

As for doing what he said he would do, he threw 90% of his credibility out the window in those first few days after the election when he bribed a liberal to switch parties and appointed a crony to the Senate just so his buddy could be minister. When what he promised was convenient, he has done it. When it wasn't, he hasn't. Which, to be fair, makes him no different from anyone else.

Marzo's picture

Marzo

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What we need is to replace our 'first past the post' electoral system with something more democratic. If you live in a riding that's a sure win for one party but not the one you support, then your vote is wasted. In our present system, smaller parties with substantial support get nothing, such as the Greens.
The New Democrats have only won 1 seat in Quebec during their entire history, but in a system of proportional representation (RP) they would no longer seem like a wasted vote to people who agree with their policies.
In the present system, a party with less than 40% of the popular vote can form a majority government. In an RP system smaller parties would have a relevant voice in Parliament to represent their supporters, and maybe even a realistic chance of being in government .

Motheroffive's picture

Motheroffive

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Although those who know me know that I'm in no way supportive of Harper and his ideologically driven government, I think there is some legitimacy in placing some responsibility on shoulders of a previous government. In opposition, parties do their damnedest to try to figure out exactly what is going on in various departments and are somewhat successful. However, until a party assumes the lead role, they will never have a complete picture of what's going on.

Do I think that it's always a legitimate statement? No. Here in BC, for example, Campbell and his cronies still go on about the NDP, who haven't been in government since 2001 -- it's time they start taking responsibility for the state of our province's affairs. They have increased problems in every ministry (consider our Ministry of Children and Families -- the most vulnerable people in our province -- and they have a disaster on their hands) and still we hear the cries of "when the NDP did this...that or the other thing".

Having said all that, I'm glad that it's becoming increasingly obvious that Harper doesn't represent what he said he did. These folks are the friends of power and money and have little regard for the "little" people.

RevMatt's picture

RevMatt

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Yup, this system is deeply flawed, and needs to be turfed. Beyond question.

preecy's picture

preecy

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The thing about Ambrose that really makes no sense is it is one thing for a government to say to the national audience that the previous govt was a total mess up. But Ambrose was talking to an international meeting. They don't care. They want to know what we are doing now and what we will be doing not what we didnt do and how it isn't her fault.

Peace

Joel

ELIENAI's picture

ELIENAI

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You folks make it sound like the present government has not kept any of their promises but it seems like you pick on a few that you like and paint them with a big wide brush.

This government is working hard and accomplishing a lot. Everyday there are problems being solved, so I would challenge you people to make up a list of ten very seriuos nonperformance promises that do not have any baggage attached from the previous government.

When I see that, maybe I will consider taking your drival and whinning seriously.

And don't dwell on a bunch of special interest topics. Lets see if you can come up with things that involve running our country efficiently on a day to day basis.

graeme's picture

graeme

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to wide open, I did not mean to suggest that RevMatt had said anything about the leaders. The trouble with these post is tha answers can come so fast that yours get put under the wrong person.

To the guy before me (I think) who says the conservatives are working hard and doing good things, may I ask what those good things are? Was one of the good things committing troops to Afghanistan without having a public debate or having a plan to maintain them? Was one of the good things as environment plan that would clean up our environment just ten years after it disappears?

graeme

InternetOwl's picture

InternetOwl

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First let me say that I am a Liberal. Next let me say that any party in power blames the last guys there and the opposition blames the party in power for just about everything. Its how the game is played here. But I have to say that if Mr. Harper had honestly come to power and laid down the law (so to speak) to clean up Ottawa I would be a reluctant supporter of his, as I think many others would be as well. I think that in the wake of the liberal governments scandals people were willing to back a 'new' party in hopes of change.

What we got was a party that opposes floor crossing but got a liberal elected MP to cross the floor on the very first day of parliment and sit with the government. He never sat one day as the elected representative of his riding. Not one day. And the PM dismissed the protests about this out of hand. "Just the same ten people all the time.", he said.

Who here thinks that riding is going conservative the next go around?

We got a party that hates the senate and the 'un-democatic appointments' made to it. So naturally the PM appoints a non-elected person to the senate and makes him a cabinate minster to boot. Now he handles public money and has never faced the electorate. But its fine because in the 'next' general election he will stand for election. Hey should be this spring, but if not its only four years to go.

Where is the accountability in that?

There are many things I could point out, and I will even throw a bone and agree that the Conservative government has done some things right in their short time in office. But my opion of them has actually dropped since the election. It seems many other Canadians may feel the same as evidence by the stagnet poll numbers for the Conservative and the rallying of the Liberals. The Harper government, far from returning the people's trust to Ottawa, have instead simply made people who were willing to take a chance on change even more jaded. Of course when the Conservatives in all likely hood lose the next election and the Liberals are returned to power, probably again in a minority parliment, they will blame the media and its 'leftist' bais and liberal dirty tricks for their fall.

Mr. Harper needs to take a long hard look in the mirror. Because the party he portrays is not the one staring back at him from that glass.

dbg's picture

dbg

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"The Onion" did a funny piece after the american mid-terms: "Politicians sweep the elections"... in every riding, in every district, politicians won. :)

This is, I think, the fundamental problem and why so many people are jaded by the whole thing and don't even vote anymore: Everyone on the ballot is a politician. These are, almost by definition, the least likely to be honest and well-meaning leaders. but there's no-one else to vote for!

I don't mean to sound cynical or anything - good ol' Ralph Goodale is my MP and I'd vote for him regardless of what party he's in.

To me, the Liberals are like the lesser of about a dozen evils. Yes, they take up the mushy middle, but to my mind, if they can piss off my crazy right-wing friends as much as they piss off my crazy left-wing friends, then they're probably doing OK.

InternetOwl's picture

InternetOwl

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Everybody it seems talks about how corrupt politics is these days. First off, I think its probably better then it was a ways back, but I agree there is large room for improvement. One of the biggest area for this though is in the voting public itself. Democracy it is said is the only form of government that gives people what they deserve. And thats true to an extent. Just as the politicians have to take responsiblity for their actions, the voters have to take responsibility for actively seeking out true facts and not going by sound bites alone. The information is all out there if people take the time to look.

Its up to us people. The right canidates can't win unless we support them. Do some research before you vote. Don't just buy into the Conservatives are evil line or the 'all Liberals everywhere are corrupt AND evil' line. Think for yourself, vote with your head, and you might be surprised with what happens.

I think we can all say we know what happens when we don't.

Motheroffive's picture

Motheroffive

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Eli, you said, "And don't dwell on a bunch of special interest topics. Lets see if you can come up with things that involve running our country efficiently on a day to day basis."

Special interests -- hmm, what would those be? Matters of importance to women, to First Nations, to those from the communities of visible minorities, to those with disabilities, to workers, to youth, to seniors, to children, to those who care about the environment, etcetera, are special interests to those on the right but those in the business and corporate community, whose agenda controls the whole country, aren't special interests? In my view, they are the ultimate special interest group and are pandered to by both parties who have been in power to the disadvantage of everyone else.

Harper is ruining our country for most of us for the benefit of the rich who are getting richer. Let's hope he doesn't have much longer to swing the wrecking ball.

bilandre's picture

bilandre

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Personally, I don't WANT this government to keep any of their promises. They don't represent me or my views. My local (who is a conservative) is the most sniveling whiny JERK I have met, with regressive backsliding retrograde opinions on almost everything, yet he represents me in the house.

Funny how they don't credit the previous government for current successes the way they blame them for current failures, isn't it?

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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graeme Well you go ahead and vote for Dion. and watch him make the rest of Canada join Quebec, and of course the first language in parliament will be french and us English we be classed second class citizens.

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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internetowl. Well Stephen Harper did get the accountability act passed about time too.

sylviac's picture

sylviac

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bilandre there were no previous successes for the liberals to take credit for. They did nothing about climate control, they were just good at covering up their own misdoings. I would hardly call that success.

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