Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"The government is clean"

An odd line from the throne speech last night that stuck out like a sore thumb. The government is clean. This is apparently an election ready focus group tested phrase that we're likely to be subjected to, no matter when this inevitable election occurs. What does it mean, anyway? When I look at these guys I certainly don't think "clean." I think reneging on Kyoto principles. I think lying on income trusts in order to get elected. I think lying on the Atlantic Accord in order to get elected. I think about people who will no longer have access to legal representation because the Harper minority government has cut funding for legal advocacy groups and the Court Challenges Programme. And I think about the drive-by smear artists who have spent an unprecedented amount of money on negative ads to tar their opposition. Who play dress up GI Joe in Afghanistan and who refuse to speak any truth about it despite the facts that contravene their rosy spin. Who perform in an embarrassingly overzealous partisan manner in Parliament. And who, according to Elections Canada, broke election spending rules by overspending their limits in the last federal election.

Now I don't know about you, but I don't find any of this to be particularly "clean." These guys are the dirtiest bunch we've seen in Ottawa in recent times and it's only been just under two years since they've been in power. Lying, tarring, unaccountable. Those are the adjectives that come to mind, certainly not clean.

Let's consider another result Harper claimed in his speech: "the country is united." Well, gee. Let's ask Bill Casey, the prominent Nova Scotia MP Harper kicked out of the Conservative caucus how united he feels the country is after Harper rebuffed his renomination by his riding association last week. Ask the Premier of Saskatchewan who's pursuing legal action against the federal government. Ask Pauline Marois, perhaps the next PQ Premier of Quebec who, fresh from her resounding recent election, announced her intentions in the Quebec National Assembly last week to continue to pursue sovereignty as a long term goal. Or ask Danny Williams what his view is of Harper's treatment of Newfoundland. What do you think they'd say about the state of the federation's unity under Harper?

And what about this ending to the speech:
May your deliberations be guided by Divine Providence, may your wisdom and patriotism enlarge the prosperity of the country and promote in every way the well-being of its people.
"Divine Providence? Now let me think real hard on this one....who else on this continent peppers their major speeches with religious subtext? Oh yeah, it's this guy. Targeting the religious are we, Conservatives? Because we all know how well that's worked out for our neighbour to the south...thanks, but no thanks.

More, much more, later today I'm sure on the all-election-all-the-time speculation...