What a mess, what a wrong-headed, stupid, avoidable, politically driven mess.
That’s what this week in provincial and national politics looks like to me.
Here in BC we have a government playing a labour dispute to improve their chances in a couple of by-elections. Not to deal with real issues in the public education system. Not to improve the system. Not to improve falling test scores or growing class size problems. But to re-engage right wing voters leaving the BC Liberals in droves.
The government introduced a budget with the same rationale. After a flurry of independent reports describing how the BC Liberals have decimated our forest resource, made life worse for the most vulnerable children and plugged up our legal system letting criminals go free, Premier Clark crafted a budget full of questionable numbers designed to grab back fed up conservative voters.
Sitting in the gallery, clapping along with the trained seals on the BC Liberal benches, was a terrorist convicted of attempted murder and ICBC fraud, who was also charged in the beating of former Premier Ujjal Dosanjh. Invited by the Premier’s office, would be assassin Jaspal Atwal has been rumoured to be a key operative in Clark’s leadership campaign.
This says more about the government than anything else this week. Wanna be assassin? Thug and fraudster? The Premier and the BC Liberals shrug it off because Atwal has something they want so they are willing to play.
This is a government with no moral compass, no ethical guide to their actions. It’s a government that will do anything to get re-elected. And that only grows the more they don’t deserve it.
Ottawa this week shows where that leads.
It started with Vic Toews beginning the slow walk back from the internet surveillance legislation he never read. Not reading his own legislation didn’t stop Toews from calling citizens opposed to unwarranted surveillance ‘child pornographer friends.’
But the week really got rolling with the growing scandal over Conservative led voter suppression campaigns. “No evidence”, Harper repeated over and over again. Then Elections Canada admitted there was evidence.
“The calls were made by Liberals” trumpeted Harper’s stand in, only to apologize a few hours later. ‘I mixed up the names of a couple of phoning companies,’ he said in defence. Translation: ‘I’m stupid and my party may be evil. Who cares?’
Then Elections Canada found more evidence of a Conservative voter suppression campaign. 31,000 complaints about Conservative voter suppression efforts.
This isn’t Canada. It’s Putinville.
Even Conservative apologists in the media – like the Globe’s John Ibbitson – are getting mad as each new revelation makes them look more like the foolish toadies they are.
To take the heat off – I repeat, the heat off! – Harper’s Cons are looking forward to an awful, horrendous cost cutting budget. Never mind the fact that economic growth slowed in the last quarter, which means a slash and burn budget is exactly the wrong thing to do right now.
The Conservatives increasingly seem to specialize in “the wrong thing to do”. Just like their sister government in BC.
All in all the goings on this week make it seem that, while we weren’t looking, Canada has become the US, circa 2004. What’s next: “hey, let’s bomb Iran.”
What a pathetic country we’ve become in so short a time.