Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Prime Minister Hates My Country.

(h/t to Edstock over at The Galloping Beaver.

First, facts about Canada. Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States.

In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance.

Text of Stephen Harper's speech to the Council for National Policy, June 1997

I've never lived in Europe, but I have many friends that do or have, and Canada can only *wish* to have the kind of social safety nets that the UK, Scandinavia, and Switzerland have. To read the words of my now Prime Minister speaking of the basic humanitarianism of Canada c. 1997 in what I can only presume is a mocking tone really bothers me.

It bothers me to read this today. I spent a while this morning trying to watch the Khadr interrogation tapes, and as soon as it gets to the part with Omar putting his head down on the table and seeming to wail "Kiiiillll Meeeee" over and over I burst into tears and I have to shut it off. It bothers me that the Prime Minister of my country has "no real alternative" but to let a young man go through that.

Stephen Harper's Conservatives are to blame for extending the abuse and neglect of a Canadian in a situation involving a foreign government. It's not surprising that that is happening given the less than stellar record they've had with dealing with Canadians arrested, assaulted and even killed in foreign countries. However, Stephen Harper is just towing the Liberal Party line that was drawn when Paul Martin was PM. We can hardly blame the man for not having an "original" idea he didn't steal from the Liberals.

I was accused by an earlier anonymous commenter of suffering from "typical Liberal arrogance" because I'm not an idealist. I too am not interested in expediency, especially political expediency. I'm a pragmatist, I believe that sometimes you have to decide not to do things to get further ahead. You've got to give a little to get a lot in the future and sometimes giving that little leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

I'm not interested in trying to change the world tomorrow, but I am interested in making today just a little bit better than yesterday. Small, incremental steps will get you a lot further than trying to force massive changes over night. Look at the history of social progress in Canada and you'll see that I'm right.

The Conservative Party of Canada doesn't respect Canadians, doesn't respect the rights of citizenship and doesn't respect the nation they're supposed to be leading.

What a sick, cruel joke. He'll dismantle everything in this country that keeps us safe if given half a chance. This needs to end this fall. Help make that happen.