Archive for the ‘CANADA’S ELECTION’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON THE SILLY BUSINESS OF NEWSPAPER ENDORSEMENTS – AND MORE ON MICHAEL IGNATIEFF AS A POLITICIAN   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

ADDITIONAL RESPONSES TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Response to another reader’s comment:

While I agree with your view of traditional Conservatives, genuinely decent men like Joe Clark or Peter Lougheed or Robert Stanfield, what does the once-great Liberal Party now bring us?

An arrogant putz – there is no other word for this dull and uninspiring man who doesn’t even have the faith in democratic values to gain his leadership through democratic means, just as he was parachuted into his riding at the beginning of his Don Quixote quest for political success.

And in the end, his values are nothing of which to be proud. He supported the slaughter of a million Iraqis. He speaks out on none – absolutely none – of the world’s great human-rights problems today despite the flaks’ puff stuff about him as human-rights defender.

He doesn’t object to the sad waste of our lives and treasure wasted in Afghanistan. He doesn’t question the idiocy of Canadian planes joining the Americans in their Libyan crusade, taking sides in a civil war he doesn’t even understand. Israel is just fine continuing its apartheid policies involving assassination, torture, kidnapping, and the regular theft of other peoples’ homes.

And he doesn’t say he won’t serve Pentagon interests by, for example, buying (helping to subsidize) the world’s costliest clunker of a plane, the F-35. No, he dances around saying the procedures were wrong, and he would correct them. Talk about a mamby-pamby nothing.

He goes on the radio with a pathetic ad about his mother and healthcare. Yuck, even a clever high-schooler would know better.

He is a totally inept politician, and his terrible dam-ing legacy will likely be the next five years of Harper’s ripping the guts out of our beloved country and its international reputation as a fair and decent place, turning Canada into a thin-gruel version of Republican Texas.

Thanks, Michael Ignatieff, for not having the courage to admit you do not have what it takes while yet having the diseased ego to proceed anyway.
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A newspaper has no business offering “shoulds” and “it were bests” to its readers, especially in political or religious matters.

It is paternalistic at best, just plain arrogant at worst.

Your job is to report events as scrupulously as you can – in effect, supplying the crucial information for an informed democracy.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: CRITICISM OF THE LIBERAL STRATEGY – MORE ON COALITION – TAX RISES – SERVICE CUTS – HEALTH CARE AS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE – AMERICA’S COMING ECONOMIC TSUNAMI   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY JEFFREY SIMPSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I think you may be right, Mr. Simpson, as you so often are, being the country’s most astute political commentator after the late Jim Travers.

But the Liberals’ great strategic blunder, pre-dating this insipid election effort, was appointing Ignatieff as their leader.

The insiders responsible for this did our country a grave disservice, as will become painfully evident if Harper gets even the slimmest of majorities.

Ignatieff has almost no political skill and appears to be a poor strategic thinker.

More than that, I think it remarkable that a man with the reputation of “intellectual” shows almost no original or innovative thought. I have heard nothing from him that makes me say to myself, well, that’s right.

And, for a guy who supposedly was such a human-rights figure, his voice is never heard on the great human-rights issues of our day, but then I knew his genuine record – not the puff – before he opportunistically made his return to Canada.

Now while there are virtually no good qualities in Harper – poor ethics, poor democratic values, pandering to groups, a poor record of appointments, and a shabby record of dismissing those he doesn’t want to hear from – you must grant him a great strategic grasp of our electoral process. He is a one-man show of extraordinary dark political skills.

A political anti-Christ, I think it fair to say. Not a leader, not an idea man, not a man of principle, but a calculating machine to achieve dominance – a very dangerous man indeed.

Some choice we are given.

No wonder people in Quebec are turning to Layton, who like Elizabeth May, actually stands for some principles, whether they are ones you agree with or not.

But that too is go-nowhere development.

Layton’s replacing some of Duceppe ‘s seats does not really change the dangerous political calculus that may see Canada damaged seriously over the next five years.

What a great irony that Ignatieff, the very man who literally sneered at Dion’s coalition, should be attacked by Harper for intending “to steal the election” with a coalition.

What a great disappointment that so many Canadians are revealed to be so poorly educated that they believe Harper’s school-yard name-calling.

So long as we have the situation we have in Quebec – where Conservatives and Liberals are not contenders – the only way to stop a minority tyrant-bully like Harper is through a coalition.

And coalition is both legal and entirely proper in a parliamentary democracy.

Dion understood that. The pathetic Ignatieff has not.
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“Promising to TAX more? Mr Simpson, I’m pretty sure that even Mr. Ignatieff isn’t that silly.”

Here again is the kind of stuff which painfully reveals lack of education in a good deal of our voting populace, and ignorant democracy is dangerous.

How does anyone like that think Harper will make his vast deficits disappear?

And, at the same time, pay for gigantic and unnecessary commitments like buying that costly clunker of a fighter plane and building a new gulag of prisons?

Of course, the simplistic answer is cuts, and I, as a retired professional economist, am not against judicious cuts.

But you cannot spend the way Harper spends and have a deficit like those Harper has created, and cut your way to a balanced budget.

People like the commenter do not understand that some of our program spending is actually a competitive advantage for Canada, health care being a chief one.

We spend about 2/3 per capita to what Americans spend on health care, and – the statistics speak loudly – we get better overall outcomes by measures such as population longevity and infant mortality.

It is largely because of our health care that traditionally American corporations such as the big auto companies have viewed Canada as an efficient place in which to invest.

Not because our workers work harder, not because they are better educated, but because they start on the job by the companies not having to buy the horribly costly and inefficient private health insurance they must buy in America.

And just so for other of our national programs.
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The single greatest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States is, and has long been, heath-care costs.

It is nothing to envy.

Anyway, readers, I think it quite possible that all the political sound and fury will be for nothing.

Despite Harper and his flaks’ constant blubbering about his economic management, when the other shoe falls in the United States, all bets are off.

People are still walking away from their mortgages there in huge numbers, and the country is spending money it does not have with wars on multiple fronts. It is also running unbelievable deficits in every account you care to mention, from the national budget to current accounts and to personal debt.

A gigantic economic tsunami is approaching the United States, and despite Harper’s childish bragging, it will not spare Canada.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL SETS THE STAGE FOR ITS ELECTION ENDORSEMENT DISPLAYING ITS RECORD OVER MANY YEARS – BUT ENDORSEMENTS ARE OUTDATED AND INAPPROPRIATE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The business of political endorsement by a newspaper is an entirely outdated and inappropriate concept.

It is a practice going back to the days in the late 18th century when parties each literally owned their own newspapers, the newspapers being used for the same manipulation of public opinion we call propaganda when it occurs in places like the good old USSR.

In the 20th century, ownership had graduated to secret smoky room deals between big newspaper magnates and politicians.

Things aren’t quite that black-and-white anymore, but we do know that certain papers favor certain parties, even though they may occasionally break with their favorite when endorsement would be a waste of breath and would possibly endanger relations with a new government, the results being so predictable.

How, in any way, is a group of editors qualified to suggest how people should vote?

It is almost mumbo-jumbo to suggest that they are.

Indeed, you are so dependant on relations with government for everything from access to leaks, your endorsement cannot be genuinely based on fair analysis.

So why don’t you set an example, Globe, for the 21st century and just forget this puffed-up nonsense?

But judging from the day-to-day quality of the editorials in the Globe, cloudcuckooland stuff for certain, there’ll be no stopping your people from marching around the office with laughable gravity and pretensions galore, preening their feathers and expecting to be made much of by the hopeful candidates (or is it hopeless candidates in this election?).

The Globe’s editorial writers have what must rank as the world’s highest usage of words like “should,” “must,” and “incumbent upon,” exceeded only by America’s large flock of evangelical tent preachers.

Grow up, please.