Sunday, July 05, 2009

Harper and Ignatieff In Calgary

Ugh ... one of the things I hate about Stampede is that every 2 bit politician seems to think that it's the most wonderful opportunity to come around campaigning.

Harper hasn't helped his case any - not with what he said, or the latest round of attack ads.

Frankly, to infer that opposition to "mandatory minimum" sentences has anything to do with support - or lack of it - for certain varieties of criminals is simply cheap politics on Harper's part. Mandatory minimum sentencing does little in the long run except put more people in jail for longer - the US "War on Drugs" has used precisely this tactic only to achieve the highest incarceration rate in the western world.

The Liberal Leader said the ads, which blast the Bloc for voting against a law that would impose minimum sentences in child trafficking cases, further divide the country.

“I'm in politics to defeat the Bloc Quebecois with real arguments rather than slurs and vicious ad hominem personal attacks,” Mr. Ignatieff told a cheering crowd.

The Conservatives have also run attack ads that criticize Mr. Ignatieff for spending much of his adult life outside the country.

Mr. Ignatieff said there's plenty to criticize about the federal Tories without stooping to attacks on anyone's character or patriotism.

I think Ignatieff's right on this one. The politics of character assassination and slurs are something that Mr. Harper has imported from George W. Bush's America, and quite frankly, it's something that Canadians should walk away from. It does none of us any good, and we deserve better from our politicians than what Mr. Harper has delivered.

Mr. Harper also portrayed his government as trying to get tough on crime but being shackled to the actions of “the three parties of the left.”

Think about this for a moment. Harper's been pretty careful to only introduce the least odious aspects of his legislative program while he's governing with a minority, and he's whining about being "shackled" by the opposition? Just what would he be doing if he had a majority? I suspect it would be bad - bad for Canada, bad for Canadians. As far as I can tell, the Reform "base" is still firmly in control of the HarperCon$, and there's nothing about that political movement that is good for Canada as a whole.

Harper has demonstrated a lack of understanding about human rights, the obligations of the government to its citizens - at home and abroad, fiscal management and accountability. How many more chances does this buffoon want?

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