Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In Defence of the Senate

Seems everyone is fed up with the Senate.

With Harper having a steel grip on power in Ottawa and doing all he can to circumvent scrutiny over the purse strings, it seems like a heck of a time to get rid of the only actual House on the Hill that does anything. Don't tell me that this committee work is unimportant. Don't claim that the Senate no longer functions as a place for sober second thought.

We have one of the saddest excuses for a Parliament in the western world and now we want to make sure they're the be all and end all for governance in Canada? There's no way this improves politics in this country, we're entering dangerous waters here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

While the Opposition slept...

With the NDP (edit: busy) deciding to not not stop being socialists and the Liberals taking their first step in renewal by putting off renewal for two years it seems as though the job of holding the Harper government to account has fallen to twitter.

Also, PMO hides its expenses, no biggie.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Globe stops trying

I know, I know, "they were trying?".

But check out the photo accompanying this Curry article on Rait, hero to the working class. Will they name this one "Riot"?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Inspiring stuff...

Craig Oliver writes:

Two of the party's most impressive leaders laid it out best. Preston Manning and Jason Kenney set out their vision of "managerial Conservatism." Manning insisted Canadians were not interested in a government that is building monuments or seeking great visions.

What they are looking for, in his view, is practical, prudent, day-to-day management of problems and issues.

Presumably "monuments" doesn't include gazebos. Gets the blood flowing eh? Everyone together now: NO WE CAN'T!

Friday, June 10, 2011


of folks back home in Ottawa... sort of.

On the one hand, I've always wanted to see Great Big Sea do a Canada Day show on the Hill. On the other hand, the RCMP completely dropped the ball on crowd control for the Queen's visit. With Will and Kate making an appearance (something that makes hardened Londoners act a bit mad) and Great Big Sea and Sam Roberts on stage, I just pray nobody gets hurt.

I'll be in Trafalgar Square for the annual festivities there, but my heart will be back on Wellington.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Manning Strikes Again

Everyone remember this absurd poll put out last year?

Yeah, well, it's back. So is The Mop and Pail's pathetic coverage/pimping, including what will surely be a fascinating live chat with Preston Manning. We are all Conservatives now.

Update: Ugh, if you're a masochist read the G&M chat. Apparently Canadians are very accepting of tax increases and there seems to be a uniquely Canadian conservatism emerging... finallllllly.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Canonization of Laurier

You can rely on Brian Lilley for stupid columns, and the Sun published a corker yesterday. I won't link to it but the title is Canada doesn't need fixing and it's about how Canada needs fixing. Apparently Canadian progressives want the country to be more like Greece, and we all know how that's working out for them! Lilley and his fellow travellers look south for their policy inspiration, because things are peachy in the land of liberty, apple pie, crushing national debt, and an unofficial unemployment rate hovering around 20%.

But that's not really what I wanted to write about today, I'm fairly sure Lilley's idiocy is generally acknowledged. Instead I want to scratch an itch I've had for some time. In his column Lilley suggests that Canada needs to get back to its heritage of liberty and limited government. This is a meme the new right has picked up over the past decade or so. It has been given a sheen of academic legitimacy thanks to Brian Lee Crowley's silly free market manifestos and received popular attention through The Macdonald-Laurier Institute "think" tank. Crowley has made Wilfred Laurier the hero in his rewriting of Canadian history, and, keeping with the ahistorical theme, completely transformed one of Canada's greatest Prime Ministers into someone almost completely unrecognisable.

A moderate late-19th Century liberal has mutated into a radical post-1980s liberal, a Reagan, a Harper, a Palin. People seem to be buying into it. Even relatively intelligent liberal commentators have adopted Laurier as their new patron saint. The thing is though, it's not who Laurier was, at least not in his policy. Laurier continued the National Policy. He went on a spending spree that's considered a bit much even by today's standards. Canada's protectionist policy remained in place and even proposed reciprocity was watered down. The settlement of the west continued under the federal government's hand. Aside from the rhetoric and the appeal to Quebec, Laurier was a continuation of the policies that built the country.

It's sad that Crowley and company can get away with this nonsense.