Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday notes of the "no" variety

1. "No" to this: "Choice is Tory majority or coalition: Harper." We'll make our own choices, thanks, without any leader imposing his preferred political prism upon us. Imagine, after a summer of not listening to Canadians, with the hue and cry on the census, by hundreds of representative bodies, someone's calling for a majority. After a summer in which a $9 billion military purchase was put to the Canadian people on a Friday afternoon, in a showy theatre with no back-up justification, someone's calling for a majority. After a summer in which more independent public servants have been ridden roughshod by this government, where the dignified head of Statistics Canada was forcibly resigned,where the veteran-supported Veterans' Affairs ombudsman is being shown the door, where the gun registry supporting RCMP Firearms director was sent for remedial French as the debate heats up...someone's calling for his majority. This really is an Arctic fantasy land tour, from start to finish.

2. "No" to this. Glen Pearson has been writing excellent blog posts all summer about liberalism, its past, present and future, the challenges, the difficulties in Canadian society at the moment, you name it. It's been inspirational stuff. Today's post takes on anonymous commenters he's been hearing from who are crossing lines in a most hateful way toward Pearson and his family. A hearty "no" to that. I hope he knows that there are a lot of us out here who have been rooting him on this summer and who are with him in his work.
Yet I’m experiencing a growing sense that the good people of Canada, from all political persuasions, are saying enough to this kind of vengeful influence in this land.
I hope he's right about that. I think things are shifting this summer too, in many ways, but it's hard to put your finger on exactly.

3. Um, Globe, what are you thinking? The hagiography here is worth a gigantic "no": "One day, we'll look back and thank Jim Flaherty." Kevin Carmichael is a great reporter and I enjoy a lot of what he writes, including a fair part of that article. But that headline and the conclusive bent of the piece, Mr. Flaherty is just not worthy of that prediction. The piece itself underscores that in its cataloguing of the disastrous fall '08 financial update, the much criticized GST cuts, the income trusts decision, the stimulus jury still being out and the questionable legacy it will leave the nation...Deficit Jim has a nickname for a reason, you know.

4. This line makes me feel icky so I'm saying "no" to it: "...there is something else there, something positively bordering of friskiness when he is up here." Yes, John Ibbitson's on the friskiness watch up in the Arctic with the PM. That's just plain old icky. Particularly when the trip is one of the most stage managed, expensive series of photo-ops, apparent to all. The core issue for the northern jaunts is this:
The truth is that Harper's government, while giving northern sovereignty welcome profile, has promised much and invested little -- outside of annual photo ops like this week's military ballet on ice and Harper's unexpected northern jig.
Now that's something we can agree on.