Sunday, June 20, 2010

James Travers Laments for a Country

Travers asks us to imagine a country. What I have to say to James Travers is that we also have to imagine a futile opposition that abandoned every one of their known principles to let all this shit happen in the first place. Shame on all of them!

Here's the article in its entirety.

Travers: Changing Canada, one backward step
at a time

Published On Sat Jun 19

By James Travers
National Affairs Columnist Imagine a country where Parliament is padlocked twice in 13 months to frustrate the democratic will of the elected majority. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that slyly relaxes environmental regulations even as its neighbour reels from a catastrophic oil leak blamed on slack controls. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that boasts about prudent financial management while blowing through a $13-billion surplus on the way to a $47-billion deficit. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where a political operative puts fork-tongued words in a top general’s mouth. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that refuses to fund the same safe abortions to poor women abroad as it provides at home. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where the national police commissioner skews a federal election and is never forced to explain. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that writes a covert manual on sabotaging Commons committees. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country dragging its climate change feet as the true north melts. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that silences political debate on the sale of a publicly owned, crown jewel corporation. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that puts higher priority on building super-prisons than keeping people out of them. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where parties that win the most federal seats are dismissed as “losers”. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that twists its foreign policy around the interests of another nation. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that argues that barricading its largest city promotes tourism. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that promises Senate reform only to continue stuffing it with political hacks. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that avoids answers about a controversial war by accusing questioners of supporting the enemy. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where party apparatchiks decide who in a nominally free press is allowed to ask the Prime Minister questions. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where donut shop wisdom is more prized than expert analysis. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that builds a fake lake for a tough-times summit. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that preaches law and order while killing a long-gun registry police chiefs insist makes citizens safer. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where serving the Prime Minister as chief propagandist is job preparation for running a national news network. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country where charities mute constructive criticism of public policy for fear of losing federal funding. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that can spend $1.2 billion for summit security but can’t find the petty cash needed to invest in the status of women. That country is now this country.

Imagine a country that promises accountability only to impose secrecy. That country is now this country.

Every example is familiar, all are documented. Only the cumulative effect is surprising.

Conservatives came to power knowing reluctant Canadians could only be shifted to the political right incrementally. That movement is now advancing according to the plan Conservative thinker, strategist and Stephen Harper mentor Tom Flanagan infuriated the Prime Minister by making public.

Imagine that.

9 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

How do we turn this around James? Who can salvage and restore the LPC?

James Curran said...

A party without members is a party that can't govern. At least when Martin ruined the party, he ruined it with 250,000 members.

We cold start with the Red Ribbon task force, the Renewal Committee, the Axworthy Report, The Change Commission and every other AGM and Bienniel convention full of ideas from the grassroots that this party refuses to act upon.

ck said...

Only a new leader will do: a young fresh one. both Iggy and Rae need to go.

However, an election is more than likely going to be early this fall; it won't happen, unless Iggy decided to resign on his own.

If we're lamenting as Travers is now; that is just with a minority. His column should serve to remind us how powerful a tactician Steve is with a minority. Just think how much worse it will get under a Harpercon majority in under a year of their mandate. He will even change the voting system and remove the per vote subsidy. Try getting rid of him before he tires of the job.

I realize many are disappointed that the Liberals never voted against them, but remember how violently the Timmy's crowd reacted at the absolute horror of going to the polls when Iggy announced he wasn't going to support the gov't. Steve's numbers went right up to majority territory up until he prorogued and they went back up there again when our men's olympic hockey team won gold. What I'm trying to say is that the polling numbers from all the polling firms don't reflect that we would support the opposition for getting, well, oppositional.

Suggest long term plans of rebuilding the liberal party, but when Steve gets his majority; that will all be moot. The liberals as well as other opposition parties will be nothing more than window dressing if that.

Anyhow, those are the choices it would seem to be: evil or lesser evil.

Travers was right about one thing; donut shop mentality is more revered than experts. To the Timmy Horton's crowd; experts are elitists.

I've been sayin' lately; the U.S. has the Tea-bagger hit parade; we have the Timmy's Crowd to pander to. The idea is to convince them, before they turn into the Canadian version of the tea-baggers, that is, if the Harpercon cheerleaders haven't already.

So the question I'm asking is, can anything be done to prevent a Harpercon majority this Fall? I mean, besides change of leader?

Because to take for granted that STeve won't get a majority ever, is underestimating this tactician would be a fatal error.

James Curran said...

No. Nothing can be done. The Party will not be "working" over the summer. Because the party no longer knows what work is. There are no plans for organizing or mobilizing (not that anyone would tell me anyway. Afterall, who amiI) over the summer and we are losing candidates more than we are recruiting them.

And, now, we are launching the leader into a policy tour...4 months too late. Oh well. C'est la vie.

R. G. Harvie said...

James.

The Travers article is everything that is wrong with politics in this country.

It's a misleading and pathetic effort to exaggerate Conservative failings, while ignoring those of the other dominant party, the Liberal Party of Canada.

What we need in this country is NOT further polarization. Further pushing of the populace into camps farther left and farther right.

What we need is more moderation.

What we need are more people like you and I to challenge those at the extremes to say, "Wait a minute.. this is bullshit."

In general, James, you are a credit to your party by demanding reform that rebuilds the party - however, you do a gross discredit to your effort by reprinting the Travers article which is a typical effort at political "two card monte" - accentuating and in most cases misleading the record of Conservative errors while doing nothing to acknowledge the demonstrated contribution to most of those problems by the Liberals in opposition.

We don't need more finger pointing at eachother, pushing politics further right and left.

And the Travers drivel is just that.

Conservatives will move farther right and Liberals will move farther left.

And, as is becoming typical, the great middle will get ignored.

R. G. Harvie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This is the very reason that Jim's blog topic of June 17th, makes so much sense.

If we stop scurrying around like rats from a sinking ship, maybe this idea of
21st century centrism, isn't such a bad idea.

James Curran said...

I'm not going to disagree with my anonymous friend's statement here. Nor yours Rob.

What I've found increasingly tiring is that I know members of all 3 major parties in their 30s, 40s and 50's that have slaved away for a decade or two trying to make a difference...both for their country and for their party and they are now falling to the wayside because they, slowly but surely, are all throwing their hands in the air and saying WTF.

Let them have each other. They deserve each other is the general opinion. And all parties are being left to those entitled to their entitlements once again where the giant grassroots movements have disappeared into the vast political wasteland now known as Ottawa inside the belt.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed it, but did Travers forget:

- In and Out;

- sacking senior civil servants for telling th truth; and

- lying about the constitutionality of coalitions and our Parliamentary system of government?