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Harper makes a deal with democracy to stay in power

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Can there be any greater act of capitulation for this Tory than actually increasing the size of government? ...Read the full article

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  1. M W R from Canada writes: Let's hope that this path will start to turn our economy around. To ensure it there are a number of steps that must take place; two that stand out foremost are: a) no increase in government expenditures for any department heads b) most government officials know when they are travelling 2-3 weeks ahead of time-use commercial if it is cheaper than hiring a private jet (which is something for their number people to crunch). A family knows that they MUST balance expenditures with income, why can't our government! National and provincial. Don't spend more than your have coming in. If you need to budget for an event you forecast your income prior to your spending. And I'm sorry, (biased, your opinion) those who pay taxes get the benefits. Basically your don't pay up you shouldn't receive, just like you don't vote, don't b*tch. I VOTE! And not for a government overthrown by Quebec and others! (Off-track, sorry.) Any business student would know that assets must = liabilities. Thus the government's assets (taxes) - government expenses (wages, lease, utilities, etc.) = monies that can be spent on socialist programs. Those who need help should receive it. However there are many out there receiving help who shouldn't be receiving it. We need to step up to the plate and 'rat out' on those who are taking the government and insurance companies for a ride.
  2. Michael Kalus from Canada writes: This budget will do nothing to address the fallout of the underlying problems.

    What it WILL do though is giving Iggy enough pointers to say: 'Well, we can support that'. Harper wins and can keep is place at 24 Sussex and Iggy will have time to rebuild the party and let Harper deal with all the bad stuff that is coming off of it.

    No leadership in this country. It remains to be sad that the only Federal leader (not counting the Bloc here) is actually Layton, he at least stands by his convictions and is willing to fight for it (and yes, many make fun of him for this).

    Just remember this: When the next election comes around, hold your local MP accountable to how THEY did and vote for the candidate in your riding that represents YOU and YOUR riding best. Forget party ideology, there is no difference, it's all a trick that is continuing to hurt the country until the majority wakes up and realizes this..... Of course it may already be too late for that by now.
  3. Mike Keith from Saskatoon, Canada writes: More flip-flopping out of Harper, its becoming more and more apparent that he'll do anything to stay in power (bribe, spend, or suspend democracy).
  4. Jim **** from Canada writes: Conservatives don't have a problem with big governments; the evidence of that is all around us.

    What conservatives have a problem with is social programs, because they violate conservative ideology. They talk about reducing big government, but they're really talking about abolishing redistributive programs because these take from the 'deserving' and give to the 'undeserving'. (as defined by themselves of course).

    Conservatives are happy to have big deficits and bigger debts, so long as the effects don't redistribute wealth from the top downwards.
  5. The Mckenzie Brothers from Canada writes: ' don't vote, don't btch' Who made this rule?
    How about this instead 'You live here so get involved by voting, protesting, finding info yourself, writing, posting or/and B
    tching.
  6. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Jim **, when does your deserving stop. I'm about broke come pay day just from the expense of floating your redistribution idealism.
  7. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Mike Keith from Saskatoon, looks like the only flip flopping will be done by Ignatieff when he signs on to the budget.

    I'll remind you tomorrow along with the others.
  8. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Michael Kalus, Layton got everything he wanted in the bailout. Now he can say anything with zero repercussion, just like Duceppe. Who cares what either think as they do not represent anyone but their limited ideology, one socialist and one separatist.

    In a couple of months Layton will be back asking for more bailout for his union workers and their 70 buck an hour, including benefit nursing bottle at taxpayer expense.
  9. Jim **** from Canada writes: Troubled: You're a victim all right. You're paying more than your share. But if you're that poor yourself, you might ask yourself why aren't the people at the top paying.

    The richest 10% of people in our western countries have more than doubled their share of the national wealth in the past thirty years. And they already had more than their share.

    They got it because the rules changed to benefit people who are rich. They've got tax cuts galore and our governments have looked the other way as they have used tax havens to protect their winnings.

    Redistribution isn't just 'welfare'. It's rules that make the game fair for everyone.
  10. Troubled Youth from Everywhere, Canada writes: Jim **, Are these top 10% the same people who have employment to offer or invest in employment opportunities?

    I keep looking for the jobs offered by the bottom 10% but, can never find them in the paper. Can you give me the listings?

    Naturally, I'd much rather work for the poor guy who has no money to invest, no product to manufacture, and has all the creative genius of a finger painter.

    Those rich people never do anything for society. All those social endowments and such could be supported by you and me come pay day, right?
  11. Dan Chadwick from Canada writes: Conservative economical policies around the globe are the reason the world finds itself in another recession (depression). Policies based on tax breaks/incentives for the rich elite to substain consumerism is a policy based simply on corporate greed. And as long as these kinds of policies are maintained by governments the cycle of recession/depression will continue. Policies based on the advancement of society where the masses have equal opportunties as those of the rich in education, health, and work are the only way to avoid the roller-coaster rides of the economy.
  12. Brenton E. from Canada writes: What in God's name is wrong with these globe writers, Harper makes a deal with Democracy, Christ! Shoot me before I gag. The G&M is so pro conservative that they will say any inane, silly thing to soften these bitter angry greedy neo conservatives. This globe writer states Harper has compromised his ideals, his ethics to stay in power, the writer feels Harper might be flexible, more open to other views etc.. Day after day these G&M writers try to sell us this new Harper, the question I must ask is why they promote an obvious liar, a man so far from the Canadian center that it has created the most polarized parliament in modern history. Why does the Globe continuously promote this man? This party? Their programs? Their ideals?
  13. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: We voted for a minority government.

    You can't expect a decisive minority Government. We get what we voted for. You can't have a well run cruse ship if you have four men on the helm.

    Lets have a Federal Election and clear the air.
    .
  14. Brenton E. from Canada writes: D W from Halifax, Canada writes: So, stow your rhetoric about the 'people at the top' not paying....fool.
    -------------
    so what are you saying? That the gap between the rich and poor is not widening? The the number of poor is not increasing? That the middle class is not shrinking? That quality jobs are not being shipped out to the 3rd world so shareholders might make greater profits? That we do not import products that do not conform to standards we force our own providers to comply with? That the average ceo in 1966 did not make 20 times the average worker salary? That the average ceo in 2006 does not make 2000 times the average worker salary? That the top 10% did not control 60 cents on the dollar in 1980? That the top 10% does not contol over 90 cents on the dollar today? That the distribution of wealth has been strangled by conservative fiscal policies? That 1 in 4 workers were not unionized in 1980? That 1 in 10 workers are not unionized today? and finally, just who's rhetoric do you embrace?
  15. Voiceoftheelder lee from Canada writes: The final count is in. We have now accepted the reality that Canada is a socialist nation. Most of us have always secretly known that. We have health care, EI, CPP, OAS, regulated banks, and all the identifying bells and whistles. Now even our most right wing party had adopted a solid socialist agenda. I think these pretenders should step aside and let the real socialists run this deficit during our recession/depression. Layton for PM. Dont be afraid. Let the master steer the ship and we can go full steam ahead through these rock infested waters.

  16. Mike M from Toronto, Canada writes: Exactly what conservative principles did Mr. Harper have to lose? He certainly talked a good game as head of the National Citizens' Coalition, but talking is easy. Since he came into power he has done nothing but spend - putting Mulrooney and even late era Martin to shame. He has presided over the largest budgets (per capita, adjusted for inflation) in canadian history, and that was before this 'stimulus' budget.

    Why is it that people think this guy is a conservative? Since he became leader of the Conservatives I've seen no evidence of it whatsoever.
  17. P Martin from St. John's, Canada writes: Harper has been spending like a drunken sailor since he got in power. This is nothing new. Even if he did nothing yesterday there still would have been a massive deficit. Heck, even much of yesterday's 'new' spending is not actually new but has already been implemented or is old spending initiatives. Get rid of Harper. Go Coalition!
  18. R M from Toronto, Canada writes: I know many conservatives on here are obviously going to complain about liberal posters here, since liberals were demanding that the conservatives give up concessions. But now that the Conservatives have given up concessions, why not let a party that at least is willing to tax and spend, do the tax and spending?

    I've heard enough from the municipalities saying that this infrastructure money might not even get going. I say it's time to let a party that understands spending do the governing, rather than continuously having to ask the opposition how to do it's own job.

    Of course the Liberals were going to demand the Conservatives make concessions; that's what you do when you're in opposition, and especially when you've got the majority of the country behind you.

    The fact is this: the Coalition is stronger than the Conservatives. In essence, it's telling an element of the parliament weaker than itself how to govern. How does this make sense?

    The Conservatives should have introduced a conservative budget and let that play out. Now you've got Conservatives without an ideology and trying to mimic the Liberals. Why keep them in power? They're finished.
  19. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Mike M from Toronto, Canada writes: '...Why is it that people think this guy is a conservative? Since he became leader of the Conservatives I've seen no evidence of it whatsoever. '

    Mike, the reality is that any PM will govern fiscally from the middle.

    Harper has yet to table a 'conservative' budget.

    He has, however, tabled a number of social conservative bills/initiatives (e.g. Bill C-10, reopening SSM, etc.).
  20. a l from Toronto, Canada writes: Harper will grip, claw and hang on to power at any cost. That is his ideology - nothing more, nothing less.
  21. Mike M from Toronto, Canada writes: Compos,
    What you say about governing from the middle may be true, but that doesn't make Mr. Harper any more conservative.

    Even his so called 'defence' of the traditional definition of marriage was pretty weak- he allowed it to go to a free vote, and there were no repercussions whatsoever to members of his caucus who voted against him. This demonstrates to me that preventing SSM was hardly a priority for him. (For the record, I am strongly in favour of permitting SSM).
  22. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: Why are you surprised at Harper's behavior Konrad? Both Harper and Flaherty have flip-flopped so many times in the past two years it is impossible to know what they stand for.

    Personally, I think this budget is an over reaction. They should have kept their powder dry. Too bad for Harper that he flubbed the fall update so bad. Not only would he still be facing Dion, but he could have had a more thoughtful budget this March.
  23. garry heaps from Canada writes: even the most ardent harper supporter has to wonder what his motivation was for tabling this budget.

    it is possible that it is strictly for altruistic reasons.

    perhaps he was truly concerned the liberal's would vote it down with out enough spending measures.

    i don't like the guy so i'm not surprised by any thing he says or does.

    but here's the thing,

    why didn't he table a con budget and let the opposition vote it down and then force an election over the 'financial direction' of the country?

    if his 'vision ' was better he could easily construct an election platform, and take it to the people- unlike his last election platform 'don't worry, be happy.'

    isn't it just possible that he likes the motorcades and the security and he has hood winked you from day one? if you are a con supporter i have to believe u are thinking about all of these things.
  24. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Mike M: I'm not trying to defend Harper as a conservative.

    What I'm trying to point out is that labels such as 'left' and 'right' really have no basis in (political) reality anymore. If you look around the world, (non-coalition) governments are abandoning their ideology in favour of staying in power - period.

    Just look at all of Harper's budgets; not one has been a 'conservative' budget.

    The only way Harper could get his social conservative Bills through parliament was to make all of them confidence motions (or bury them inside other Bills); banking that the opposition would not trigger an election.
  25. agent sixtynine from Canada writes: What the heck, my grandchildren can pay this off.
    Thank you Iggy.
    Thank you Layton.
    Thanks you Gille.
  26. Alan Burke from Ottawa, Canada writes: A politician is one who thinks that the worst possible outcome for the world is that he not be re-elected.

    Where are the statesmen of yesteryear?
  27. Joe V from Canada writes: Where have all the old-fashioned conservatives gone? I miss the days of the fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal, and thoughtful conservatives of yore. For a while, the Liberals were at least close to that ideal, but now they have strayed too far into NDP territory. In the meanwhile, the 'Conservatives' have gone even further and have become fully fiscally socialist. Only the Green party seems to have an intelligent plan for dealing with the current economic situation. Unfortunately, they have no chance of being elected, as the country bumpkin electorate of this country vomits whenever they hear the word 'Green', no matter how well-reasoned the party's positions. This situation is like a tragic comedy.
  28. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: Konrad forgets that Harper is a politician and to expect a politician to give up his dayjob without even attempting to change his stripes.. well its just unrealistic.

    Of course Harper was going to cave on his principles because he has none in the first place. no politician ever does. All they do is mimic the principles of the block of people that they are attempting to get to vote for them.
  29. Trev C from Orleans, Canada writes: It's funny to hear people cry about Harper wanting to keep the PM job.

    Who did you vote for by the way? Layton or who ever the Liberal leader was at the time?

    I am sure we'd be walking on sunshine if either were top dog.
  30. John Smith from Orleans, Canada writes: agent sixtynine from Canada writes: What the heck, my grandchildren can pay this off.
    Thank you Iggy.
    Thank you Layton.
    Thanks you Gille.

    You're welcome.
  31. Karl Lauten from Nipawin, Canada writes: Harper bows to the lame ducks but now is criticized for doing what they want????? Is it that the critics are just appearing more childish or is it that the spending has more oversight than any Liberal can bear??
  32. Obiwan Kinobe from victoria, Canada writes: DW from Halifax needs to take a math course. High level family incomes in Canada are something like 125K and more. Median family income in Canada is around 50K. If 10% earn around 125K and pay lets say half (not the case) in taxes that would be 62.5K in tax. Let's say the median family pays 20% (low estimate) having them fork over 10K. If we took 100% as 10 and assumed then one person earned 125K their overestimated share of tax output is 65K, while the remaining 9 people are each forking over 90K. Already apparent that the majority of Canadians (not earning the top 10% level of incomes) are paying the majority of taxes, most of which, under a conservative agenda are used for means other than the greater good. Maybe the screech is going to your head DW.
  33. t. c. mits from toronto, Canada writes: 'Dick Garneau from Canada writes: We voted for a minority government'
    --------------------------------------
    Dude, we elected a minority government. Nobody voted for one.

    Another election won't help.
  34. Compos Mentis from in the Darwinian, Wild West..., Canada writes: Karl Lauten from Nipawin, Canada writes: 'Harper bows to the lame ducks but now is criticized for doing what they want????? Is it that the critics are just appearing more childish or is it that the spending has more oversight than any Liberal can bear?? '

    Karl, I would not use the word 'oversight' with the Harper government.

    Details do matter, but not, apparently, to Conservatives.
  35. Akbar M from Canada writes: It wasn't a Hobson's choice. Hobson's choice would be more readily rendered as a 'take it or leave it' choice. This was more like he had no choice at all to save his skin. More akin to blackmail than Hobson.
  36. Richard McAllister from Canada writes: The socialist ' opposition coalition ' is dead . Long live Canada.
    God keep our land ' Glorious and Free '
    But first let's banish Jacko to the Antarctic.
  37. Jim **** from Canada writes: Troubled Youth and DW: Redistribution happens both ways. Under conservative western governments of the last thirty years, redistribution has been upward.

    Talk all you want about taxes, the wealth has been accumulating at the 'top' at an unprecedented rate.

    Governments here in Britain bent over backwards to sell off public services, created PFI's, etc. Now when the going gets tough, and profits are in the tank, government gets to take them over again, often a large cost to the taxpayer.
  38. Jeff Pritchard from Canada writes: Brenton E. from Canada writes: D W from Halifax, Canada writes: So, stow your rhetoric about the 'people at the top' not paying....fool.
    -------------
    so what are you saying? That the gap between the rich and poor is not widening?... just who's rhetoric do you embrace?

    >>>

    All valid questions, Brenton.

    It never ceases to amaze me how relatively poor people constantly seek for ways to justify their own low position in the hierarchy, all for the sake of clinging to a fallacious just-world ideology. Even when there is a steady stream of recent evidence to indicate just how selfish and ignorant the rich really are.

    The rich do not work harder than the poor.
    Success goes to the luckiest, not the most deserving.
    Our ongoing viability as a democratic nation does not depend on kowtowing to the supremely wealthy.

    Psychologists and sociologists are in substantial consensus that 1) violent crime, and 2) feelings of anxiety and unhappiness are in large part caused by wealth disparity. If wealth disparity does not bother you, you are either a) a fan of violent crime, b) working for the pharmaceutical industry, or c) someone who places faith over science.
  39. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: This budget is in keeping with Mr. Harper's clear objective of emasculating the Federal Government. He has succeeded in spending all of the surplus that he inherited. He reduced taxes to the point where deficit financing was inevitable even without an economic downturn and now he camouflages a further 20 billion dollar tax cut inside his 'stimulus' package. At the end of the 'stimulus' period the Government of Canada will be so short of income that of course they will have to 'cut' programs and Mr. Harper is just the man to do it. As usual, its all politics all the time.
  40. t. c. mits from toronto, Canada writes: Jeff Pritchard from Canada writes:
    'The rich do not work harder than the poor.
    Success goes to the luckiest, not the most deserving.
    Our ongoing viability as a democratic nation does not depend on kowtowing to the supremely wealthy.'

    _______________________________________-
    Jeff...Heres my opinion of your opinion.

    'The rich do not work harder than the poor.' Wrong. Overall I think they do. They just don't complain about how hard it is.

    'Success goes to the luckiest, not the most deserving.' Wrong again. Success results from effort. Luck helps but it's not the key ingredient. And deservings got nothing to do with it. Nobody deserves success.

    'Our ongoing viability as a democratic nation does not depend on kowtowing to the supremely wealthy.' True enough but irrelevant. Luckily we live in a country that provides everyone with the opportunity to achieve supreme wealth. If you want it, it's there for the taking.
  41. Jim Carson from Owen Sound, Canada writes: Does Mr Flaherty's deficit budget mean that he will no longer be able to hold up to ridcule Bob Rae's attempt to spend his way out of the 1990's recession ... surely what was ludicrous then is still ludicrous now or do politico chameleons ignore the past and deal only with the political expediency of maintaining power and to halifax with political philosophies, principles and beliefs because 'Pink Floyd' ... erh ... Jim has not been on a road to Damascus... There used to be two parties which one could depend upon to uphold political principles within the realm of debate ... now there seems to be one (Bob Rae not withstanding) ... and while we're at it why not throw in another billion or so for the national daycare package to at least give something of value to the people that will be dealing with the payment of this debt ...
    And please... a little less credence to Jon Stewart Daley and his 'dumbing down to Americans for a laugh' one liner about Canadian politics ... we have enough punditry of our own to confuse our political 'theatre of the absurd' farce
  42. Michele K from Ottawa, Canada writes: To TC Mits, Jeff Pritchard perceptively wrote: 'It never ceases to amaze me how relatively poor people constantly seek for ways to justify their own low position in the hierarchy, all for the sake of clinging to a fallacious just-world ideology. Even when there is a steady stream of recent evidence to indicate just how selfish and ignorant the rich really are. The rich do not work harder than the poor. Success goes to the luckiest, not the most deserving. Our ongoing viability as a democratic nation does not depend on kowtowing to the supremely wealthy. Psychologists and sociologists are in substantial consensus that 1) violent crime, and 2) feelings of anxiety and unhappiness are in large part caused by wealth disparity. If wealth disparity does not bother you, you are either a) a fan of violent crime, b) working for the pharmaceutical industry, or c) someone who places faith over science.' I would only add to this that I think the poor and/or disenfranchised seem to buy into the, 'we're all equal' myth primarily because they also believe other TC Mits fop like, 'if you work hard enough, you'll be among the rich and powerful, too'. Used to be, that was the American Dream, but it sure seems to have taken route here in Canada too, thanks to neoCon spin. Don't schools teach critical thinking anymore? You have to wonder.
  43. Michele K from Ottawa, Canada writes: Taken root (not route)!
  44. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: MWR Canada writes: "We need to step up to the plate and 'rat out' on those who are taking the government and insurance companies for a ride. "
    =================================================

    And what about the Insurance Companies and Government who are taking the people for a ride?
  45. Ice Rider from Canada writes: The previous economic update was Harper's Reform/Conservative take on the economy i.e. take care of your friends and beggar your enemy. Similarly, gutting government revenues to make good on an ideological promise to cut taxes -- even when such action was foolhardy at best given the state of the national debt -- was pure Reform-a-Tory voodoo economics.
    Yesterday's budget was all Michael Ignatieff's work. The Liberal leader can hold his head high supporting this financial plan since without it, most Canadians would have been abandoned to market forces by harper and his crew. The last desperate vestiges of Harper's bully-boy partisan "devil-take-the-hindmost" philosophy have been well tempered by Liberal concerns for the poor and vulnerable.
    One can only wonder how long the Reform rump and the formerly progressive Conservatives will put up with Harper given his failure through three elections to take the social cons to their "new Jerusalem" and now has to have his economic platform dictated by the Libs.
    I guess it's true, pride doth goeth before a fall.
  46. Trillian Rand from Canada writes: This article, like so many others and even more of the comments, takes the position that we should care if the budget is Conservative, Liberal or reeks of any other political philosophy.

    It's time we put aside self-righteous support of one party or another and the mindless cheerleading that not only accompanies, but encourages it. It is time we simply asked, "Is this good for Canada and Canadians?" What does it matter if a policy was put forward by one party or another, has the appearance of being from one or another as long as we, Canadian citizens, benefit?

    I don't care if Mr Harper has had to sacrifice his long-held Conservative/Reform/Christian/Other beliefs. He wasn't put into office to advance his own beliefs to the exclusion of all others. He was put into office to run it effectively and in the best interests of all Canadians regardless of their political/religious/other leanings. If and when someone else gets the chance, he/she will be expected to do the same.

    If nothing else, we must learn to be as selfish as politicians. How many have said they want power and will do or say anything to get it? Well, we want good management. Are we willing to do anything to get it? Every time we encourage a politician to act in a partisan way, we injure ourselves. We must end the abuse and look to our own self-interests. Otherwise we will continue on the same course, worrying whether something is Liberal or Conservative and therefore, good or bad, our decisions made not on the merits of the action, but on meaningless partisanship.

    It's time we put Canada first. It's time we demanded all politicians did the same.
  47. George George from Canada writes: Power never concedes willingly; greed never says 'enough.'
  48. Jeff Pritchard from Canada writes: t. c. mits from toronto, Canada writes:
    Jeff...Heres my opinion of your opinion.

    >>>

    Thanks, t.c. but you've mistaken my stating of a few simple facts for opining. If I decide to state my opinion I'll be sure to let you know.
  49. Dr. Winston O'Boogie from Aberdeen, United Kingdom writes:
    Ya - Harper got his a$$ handed to him on this budget (and this article).
    No suprise w Jimbo on Finance, now is it?

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