"Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?"
-- Han Solo

But with a different meaning since you been gone

Well, that didn’t take long. The typical jackassery that we poor fools have come to accept as what constitutes an election campaign has begun in earnest.

Stephen Harper today pledged to cut the GST from 7 percent down to 5 over the next 5 years. Sound familiar? It should…our morally-challenged former prime minister promised to abolish the GST entirely way back in 1993, a couple of years after the Progressive Conservatives introduced the damn thing in the first place.

But it gets better…here’s how Harper explained this promise: “I believe all taxes are bad. Lower taxes are good.”

Wow. It’s hard to believe that we don’t just hand this guy the keys to the kingdom without waiting for that pesky election. With pearls of wisdom like these, who needs all that complicated “planning” or those responsible “commitments”?

In some kind of twisted effort to sabotage all the work gone into making him look less redneck, Harper first pledged to backtrack the equal marriage bill if he were to become prime minister. I’m sure that’s going to win him tons of votes in Ontario and Quebec, where governments are made.

Of course, Martin isn’t exactly winning any points yet, either. So far, all he’s done is bad-mouth Harper and spin stories about how wonderful Liberal rule has been over the last 12 years.

Mr. Martin? Mr. Harper? I’ve got some free campaign advice for you, because you both really seem to need it. It’s pretty simple, actually: Implement a sustainable solution for public health care. Address the rising cost of education. Provide incentives for the accelerated development of “green” technologies. Fund our military appropriately for their commitments.

This election was a waste of time before it even started. A couple of days into the campaign, it sure looks like it won’t be improving anytime soon.

14 Responses to “But with a different meaning since you been gone”

  1. I must agree, for me the election is already over… I am afraid of Stephen Harper, and would never trust him to run the country. I was thinking of voting NDP again, until today when Jack Layton announced a bail-out that would be implemented to save the dying North American auto industry. (Ok folks… the reason it’s dying is twofold: 1 – can’t design cars that people want, esp. less gas guzzling; 2 – can’t produce them economically because of the power of the unions and how much they are costing. Why throw money at a dying industry when it is dying for good reason??)

    So… that leaves me with the Liberals. And regardless of how you feel about Gomery, the reality is that this election was called when it was called so that the Conservatives and NDP (and bloc, I guess) could control the date and have more time to campaign and to prepare. Unfortunately for them, I don’t think it’s helping, only hindering their campaigns.

    By the way, I honestly think that an income tax break is a faster and more popular way to get money back into middle income Canadians’ pockets, and appeals to more voters than a GST break, esp. one over 5 years (gives politicians a lot of time to forget the promise!)

  2. Hear, hear, Kaveman.

    Vote Quimby!

  3. excellent , my Electoral candidate is gaining prestige .,. Vote Quimby ..

    PS .. Kaveman how true.. Vote for me because the other candidate sucks .. now if the election were Porn …

    anyhoo vote Quimby

  4. Kaveman, you’ve made clear what most Canadians have wanted from their government for some time now. My big questions are “what are they actually planning on doing?”, in addition to “why don’t they bother listening to what the public has to say”? Canadians, as a group, have felt quite similarly about many issues you brought up: Healthcare is failing, something needs to be done. Education is slipping, something needs to be done. We’re overtaxed, with the money collected being thrust into short-term, ill-thought out pork barrel schemes which do not benefit the majority of our people. It’s beyond infuriating.

    The latest call to elections will be met with anger, disbelief, and learned helplessness, which will translate into poor turnout at the polls. Not that I blame the average Canadian: there’s no one inspiring enough to believe.

    Try to talk to the electoral volunteers in your riding (being at home during the day allows me to actually do this, though it’s been an exercise in futility so far…). They parrot out the party line (which is a lot of blather, with little substance and even fewer facts), and NEVER answer your questions clearly. Ask about the education and the environment, there’s the inevitable “our party feels strongly about these issues”, but never any concrete plans on how to accomplish this. Ask about income tax relief, and there’s a stammering, some mumbling about “yes, Canadians are interested in this”, but no actual answer (but multiple mentios of cutting the GST). Ask about immigration, and it’s a resounding “we favour increased immigration numbers!”. But then ask about the quality of said numbers (are these people we need – like tradespeople, doctors, nurses, etc, whose qualifications will actually be accepted by our government), or simply increases overall, regardless of qualifications, and you’re met with a shuffle, and a “well, we’d certainly prefer if many of our new Canadians helped contribute…” Overall, the electoral volunteers (perhaps because they get minimal training? I don’t know – I’ve never done it before…) have a canned speech, but seem to have extremelly little knowledge given to them about actual issues.

    At this point I simply take their pamphlet and have given up with the questions. Sad state of affairs, I agree, but I feel like I’m not being heard by ANY of the parties…

    We need a hero (or heroine)…

  5. I agree with Kaveman!!!

    Read a couple good columns in the Globe this week about how we need a leader than thinks POSITIVELY about the future and how we need to tackle some serious issues and quit our petty navel-gazing. This country has plenty to feel good about right now but the politicians have us squabbling about nonsense. I’ve only just realized how perfectly named Harper is.

    As for the GST, what a joke. How can he accuse the Liberals of bribing Canadians with their own money and then come out with this. I really don’t want the $4.5 BILLION in savings to eat into our surplus so I can save TEN DOLLARS on a one-thousand-dollar purchase.

    BTW, I love the Vote Quimby campaign, we should seriously do something with that.

    But in the meantime, join me in voting GREEN, as I’ve done the last two elections. Don’t ask me to defend all their policies, or their leader, I’d just like to do some work in supporting a viable alternative and help them get more exposure.

  6. BTW, did Harp-er want to ensure that he has no job in February as early as possible?

    As Rick Mercer pointed out: “in the interest of appearing moderate, he waited five full hours after the dissolution of parliament before starting in on the queers.”

    That…is why you fail.

  7. I Will now put in a serious Post .. vote Quimby .. ooops sorry ..

    Now Seriously Grabber , makes a good point . all the parties a Sprouting the party line , and for a good reason . if you take a stand you will offend everyone. and the electoral workers ..trg? nope .. not required they are either being paid or are volunteering their time , but they do not know the issues .. they don’t need to .. but they have been told to “use the sound bite ” for lack of a better description .
    Any 1st year Public affairs student is taught that .. you need to keep repeating the message .. “We need to cut the GST.” say it enough and people will believe it .. I think that the HARP-ers released that to test the Waters.. (really) a 2% cut) how will the population react .. ?? someone in an earlier post said it .. buying our votes with our own money ..Or words to that effect ..

    The one thing is for sure , all the parties will not have anything groundbreaking to say .. there are no issues that they can point too without having the ” I am good and they suck .. vote quimby Response” .

    Education : they all agree that we need to increase spending , smaller classrooms , better trg aids ..etc.. but no one has a plan for how they will do it … except of course .. the above I am good and they suck .. vote quimby Response.

    Health Care : same as above .. and I tell you , try and find a family physician on the Hull side .. Julie has been looking for like a year..none are taking new patients.. and she works in health care …

    the Environement : Clean energy , or not clean Energy .. how much for infrastructure NUclear or Wind Farms etc,..and what Conglomerates loose money and cut jobs because they can’t mine coal or cut down trees anymore ..

    The Military : well for those who know me .. I live this .. we have had yrs of neglect but are expected to do everything and right now .. but we can’t get there without help of our allies , we can’t sustain a force there long enought .. but everyone wants us because of the level of Expertise we bring to the table . ( US , UK , Holland etc…) but Money for the military comes after all others health education infrastructure etc.. but maybe it shouldn’t. At least I don’t hear the what do we need a military for anyway .. anymore..sorry Ranting

    Anyway .. watch those penguins on TV.. they all say the same without commitment .. Except for Duceppe .. who we know full well what he wants ..

    anyway vote Quimby and stuff ..

  8. Here’s a nifty tool “Vote by Issue” It’s by no means perfect, especially when they ask you to agree/disagree with a statement which contains 3 totally separate and unrelated ideas! But it’s probably better than talking to joe volunteer who shows up on your doorstep spouting the party line (It’s also sad that the green party isn’t included). It’s no shock that I agree with the NDP the most, and disagree with the Conservatives on a lot, but interesting that I actually agreed with the Bloc on a lot of issues, except of course on the fedralism bits :) .

  9. Ok my attempt to make a link didn’t work, here’s the url: http://www.votebyissue.org/cbc/

  10. Well, that gave me even more of an indication that I can’t find a party that adequately represents my interests.

    Layton: agreed on 9 issues, disagreed on 3
    Martin: agreed on 7 issues, disagreed on 5
    Harper: agreed on 7 issues, disagreed on 5
    Duceppe: agreed on 1 issue, disagreed on 11

    Have to admit, wasn’t expecting to agree with Layton on as many statements, but I was also having big problems choosing between statements (I agreed with more than one statement in many cases, hence the number of agreements adding up to more than 12 issues).

    Of course, part of the problem is that these are just isolated statements, and as we’ve been discussing, we need to see an actual workable plan to implement some of these.

    OK, where’s that Green Party website… :-)

  11. *Anakin Skywalker voice*

    “What have I done???”

    I just signed up as a volunteer on the Green Party site.

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

  12. Well, Kaveman, I was going to say that I was not surprised that you would agree so much with Harper, because in earlier posts, the things that you have wanted for Canada have been ideals most likely to be espoused by the NDP.

    Then I took the test myself. I too agreed with more than one statement per category, and I too found it hard to agree/disagree with one statement that had 3 different components. This was especially a problem when I agreed with one part of the statement, and was ambivalent or completely ignorant about the other two components. So I wound up agreeing with:

    Layton: Agree 9 Disagree 3
    Harper: Agree 9 Disagree 3… Now, is the universe going to implode or what?

    Oh, and Duceppe: Agree 5, Disagree 7
    Martin: Agree 6, Disagree 5, missed 1.

    While it indicates that I can’t really find a party that fully suits my needs, it also indicates that I might need to educate myself a bit more before election time.

  13. And speaking of the green party…

    Checked out the website, and I think it may have been beefed up quite a bit since our conversation over breakkie on Sunday. I see some interesting stuff with respect to the seal hunt and the GST (which may go some way to satisfying my need for savings at point of purchase on green technology and products – do tell me if I am wrong, oh economics magi?), and certainly the environmental profile is there. I don’t see much with respect to the big issues like health care, education and military, but as has been pointed out, this party does not expect to get the leadership, their aim is to get seats; so I suppose that these candidates will judge their acceptance of any strategies to combat these issues based on the sustainability of those strategies.

  14. Agreed with…

    Martin: 11
    Layton: 10
    Duceppe: 6
    Harper: 4

    Though I have to admit I did it quickly and found myself going “sure, fine” for many issues.

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