Tuesday, February 28, 2006 

Emerson Says He 'Would' Win as a Tory

Newly converted Tory Cabinet Minister David Emerson says that he is confident he would win another election this time as a Conservative in his BC constituency. Okay. Good. Fine. Let's see. Emerson should resign and ask Mr. Harper to call a byelection. That would be interesting indeed! It would not be the first time. During the late 1990's in Saskatchewan, Buckley Belanger was elected as a Liberal MLA to the Saskatchewan Legislature. During that term, the provincial Liberals imploded and some of their MLA' s went to form a new political party with the scandal ridden Progressive Conservatives. The new party was named the Saskatchewan Party.

Buckley Belanger approached Roy Romanow's New Democrats. Romanow insisted that for Belanger to join the Caucus, he would have to seek re-election as a New Democrat. That is what happened. Belanger resigned his seat as a Liberal in Athabasca Constituency and sought and won the NDP nomination. Romanow called a byelection - Belanger won and is now a Cabinet Minister in the Saskatchewan NDP Governement.

So - Mr. David Emerson - put your money where your mouth is and go for it!

Monday, February 27, 2006 

Imitation Sometimes More Than Flattery

Canadians should be leery of Supreme Court nominee Marshall Rothstein's forced appearance before a panel of politicians before his appointment is finalized. This imitation of the American appointment process may be more than Harper just appeasing the Republican wannabes in his party. Given the vast chasm that often seperates judge's opinions and extreme right wing ideolgy in this country, this mimicry of the American-style vetting of judges could be a first step toward politicizing the judiciary in Canada.

Friday, February 24, 2006 

Canadians Nervous About Military Role

At the same time that the Harper Conservative government is announcing $5.3 Billion new dollars in military spending, Canadians are nervous about our involvement in Afganistan. A poll taken by Allan Gregg found that 62% of Canadians are uneasy with our current military deployment in the Middle East. The poll commissioned by the Strategic Counsel asked: If you were a MP would you vote in favour of sending troops to Afgainstan? YES: 27% NO 62% Don’t Know 11%. (Toronto Globe and Mail - Feb. 24/06)

Canada’s new Tory Defense Minister, Gordon O’Connor, says his vision for the Canadian Armed forces is for more troops in the ranks, and closer ties with the United States. The Harper Conservatives put forward a number of promises concerning the military during the last election campaign. This, coupled with the ongoing mess in Iraq and recent American sabre rattling towards the Iranians should give all of us some concern. While Canadians have always been proud of our international peacekeeping efforts, our current role in Afganistan may be evolving into something quite different under Mr. Harper's watch.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 

The Assault On Canadian Health Care Begins

With further reference to the post: Quebec makes way for private health care

So you say you don't believe it? So you say that Stephen Harper's Conservatives (Reform Party) promised they wouldn't touch it? Remember that Jean Charest was the leader of the Conservative Party and was a member of Brian Mulroney's cabinet - the ones that brought in free-trade and the GST, and privatized huge chunks of the federal government.

Back to the right-wing agenda. Try this statement on for size:

Michael Walker, President of the "right-wing think tank", the Fraser Institute, was reported to have said the following at the 30th anniversary of the institute:

“Having won the battles against universality, deficits and debt, Mr. Walker said the institute will beturning its sights on privatizing health and education.”
(Winnipeg Free Press October 29, 2004)

The true health care agenda of the right-wing is to turn that care over to the private, for profit, sector. They have an agenda and are pursuing it. See if you recognise the lines:
  • They say medicare worked in the old days, but doesn’t work now
  • They say only "innovative" solutions (read: private sector, for profit), "designed for our times" will fix the "crisis"
  • They say they support public health care and are only working to strengthen it

Their plan (see if this doesn't sound familiar):

  • Allow private hospitals and clinics outside the current public system
  • They will detach “public health insurance” from government delivery of health care
  • Private clinics and hospitals will bill government insurance.
  • Allow opting out from the central insurer

The right-wing plan starts with the "detachment" of what they call “public health insurance” from government delivery of health care. They want to introduce private providers at all levels instead of just in labs and senior's homes. (Doctors and basic clinics are not the kinds of of health mega-corporations we need to worry about, by the way. The right wing always likes to throw that up as a red herring) .

"We took a position this development was something the provinces should be able to do and that continues to be our position," he said.

By that, Harper meant having private providers deliver some services within a publicly-insured system. 'We believe that what matters is people get access to these services, not who delivers them.'" (Stephen Harper, ctv.ca , Election 2004, June 4, 2004)

Watch out Canada

Wednesday, February 22, 2006 

Democracy Watch Challenges Harper

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch revealed the details of the promises Stephen Harper broke on his first day as Prime Minister when he released his new Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders (the Code -- See link to the Code on the following webpage: http://www.parl.gc.ca/oec/en/public_office_holders/conflict_of_interest). The promises were all contained in the “Federal Accountability Act” section of the Conservative Party’s election platform, and on February 6th when the new Cabinet was introduced PMO officials claimed that the changes made to the Code were among many measures the new Prime Minister had implemented immediately because they did not require legislation to be implemented.
click here for Democracy Watch article

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 

Harper Shoots the Messenger

Harper shoots self in foot – then shoots the messenger

After only 2 weeks on the job, Stephen Harper has fired William Stairs, his director of Communications. Mr. Stairs is blamed for the disastrous ‘Emerson’ news coverage. We are waiting for all of the right wing blog sites to get their speaking points from the PMO on this one. Hahahaha


Monday, February 20, 2006 

Elephants and Ethics

As former mail man I'm not often happy to see a dog but in this case I'm glad to make an exception. I am so tired of the self-centered, self- serving and self-righteous posturing of the neo-con right in this country. Doubly so because not only are they American wannabes, but what they want from the U.S. is the worst rather than the best of what the U.S. has to offer. Imagine living next door to an elephant and thinking that the only thing of value it has to offer is steaming piles of elephant shit. Well, say hey to the Canadian neo-con movement.

I see that Democracy Watch has dubbed Prime Minister Harper both a liar and a hypocrite. Democracy Watch apparently gave the Tory ethics package high marks during the election but now says the Harper government has written gaping loopholes into at least 5 areas of the new code of ethics.

That took about 15 minutes and is anyone surprised? We know that when it comes to ethics the neo-cons are gonna want loop holes big enough to drive a truck through because they're not gonna want anything to get in the way of implementing their agenda. I mean, they are (with apologies to royalty everywhere) the kings and queens of the what's-in-it-for-me set, when you're trying to grab up all you can who's got time for ethics?

Friday, February 17, 2006 

Health Care Is Not a Commodity

Quebec makes way for private health care

Last updated Feb 16 2006 12:19 PM EST CBC News

The Quebec government is opening the door to private health insurance for some medical procedures. A policy document was released Thursday by Premier Jean Charest and Health Minister Philippe Couillard.

Charest is touting the plan as the beginning of a "new era for health care in Quebec."

Health Care Is Not a Commodity

There is a concentrated, orchestrated push by the right wing in Canada to kill Medicare. Period.

We were warned by Medicare’s founder that this was going to come at some point in the future and we are there now! Even though 40 million Americans are without health insurance and in spite of the fact that the number one reason for personal bankrupcy in the USA is inability to pay medical bills, the forces of the right want to make health care a commodity that is bought and sold on the open market.

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