Saturday, January 04, 2014

Andrew Coyne Is Mystified

Apparently, when you live in the Harper bubble, it becomes an absolute mystery as to why support for the wannabe dictator is falling through the floor.
The paradox remains: How could a government presiding over such a strong economy be so unpopular? It is unusual enough for a governing party to fall, and stay, below 30% in the polls. But to do so in good times? Unheard of.
Seriously?  Mr. Coyne has clearly spent far too much time in Harper's little bubble and has lost sight of how the rest of Canada sees things.  Even in Alberta, support for the Harper Government has been softening.  The reasons for this aren't exactly rocket science.

Contrary to Mr. Coyne's perspective, we aren't living in a "great economy" unless you are part of the 1%.  The Harper Government has been working actively to undermine Canadian workers at every turn (e.g.  the Temporary Foreign Workers program, pre-emptively halting strikes and so on), a series of questionable bills from the back benches that continue to raise "moral issues" that Canadians have long since moved on from, and repeated lies from the Prime Minister himself over the course of 2012 and the Senate Scandal.
It seems, rather, to be almost entirely to do with their no-prisoners approach to politics. 
He's close - in fact, that is as close as I've ever seen Mr. Coyne get to grasping the enormity of the problem with the Harper Government.  This is a government which has used every lever at its disposal and created some new ones in order to maintain its grasp on power and to suppress dissenting voices.  Harper used to oppose omnibus bills, now he uses them as a matter of course with "time allocation" to limit debate.  He has instructed his MPs to reject any amendments to legislation - why?  simply because it would look like a loss of face.

They've already signed one big trade agreement, with Europe, which won them the best press they've had in years (before the Senate scandals enveloped them again).  Others may follow, notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  Assuming continued economic growth - and there are signs the recovery is picking up speed, notably south of the border - they will almost certainly be able to report a balanced budget before then, making way for the tax cuts promised last time out:  income splitting for couples with children, and a doubling of the amounts that can be socked away in Tax-Free Savings Accounts.
Uh yeah - the TPP ... the trade agreement that is being negotiated in secret so that few people have actually seen all of it - and the bits that have been leaked suggest that it will enable corporations to force changes to intellectual property laws that would criminalize most Canadians.  Yes, that would be a real feather in the cap, wouldn't it?  Or perhaps we might want to take a closer look at the economic growth discussion.  Again, Coyne is trying to give Harper credit for the state of the economy, when the reality it has more to do with external forces that he has little or no direct control over.

As for the "proposed tax cuts", all that does is further hobble the government's ability to do things that actually benefit Canadians.  Funding things like EI, CPP and other programs come to mind as important considerations that Harper is gradually removing the government's ability to engage in.  The net result?  The middle class in this country is getting decimated.

... and perhaps most importantly, Canadians don't like being lied to.

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