January 25, 2006

"Progressive Conservative?"

In its story about the victory of Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party in Canada, the BBC says that Harper was able to transform his image as a "hardline right-winger" to that of a "progressive conservative." That sounds even better than George Bush's "compassionate conservatism."

Of course, it's a crock of first rate bull.

Harper is Bush's kinda guy.

  • He is opposed to gay marriage, abortion, even civil unions.
  • He is opposed to trade unions, in favor of tax cuts, and wants a bigger Canadian military.
  • Harper opposes the Kyoto Protocol on global warming (taking the chill off George Bush's cold, cold cockles).
  • He opposes "death taxes," the same Bush euphemism for the inheritance tax (let's not even hint at any classism or inequity in either American or Canadian society).
  • He supported US President George Bush's war in Iraq, calling the Canadian position "abrasively neutral."
  • He supported George Bush's US Anti-ballistic defence shield.

Harper's words and positions on a whole host of issues is scary and revealing.

The Conservatives have won 120 seats (36% of the vote) in the new Parliament, the Liberals 104 seats (30% of the vote), the Block Quebecois has 51 seats, and the very progressive New Democratic Party (which actually saw a gain) has 29.

The Conservatives do not have a majority and need to find a coalition to rule.

Let's hope that any coalition partners extract commitments from Harper that will rein in his most extreme ideas and policies.


nightquill said...

Oddly, I think there's a real parallel between the two elections this week. I don't think most Canadians agree with most of Harper's policies, and I don't believe most Palestinians believe in the hardline elements of Hamas' policies either. It's a vote of frustration with the current corruption in hopes of cleaner goverment.

Let's hope in happens here in the Fall.

Stephen McArthur said...

I agree. I think we can attribute the Hamas win more to the Arafat/PLO/Fatah corruption than Palestinian support for terrorism. The Palaestinian people want food, education, health care, jobs and a responsible leadership. I believe the reality of leadership will moderate Hamas.

I think Bush's approach to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, one of benign neglect, has also contributed to the Hamas win. His "roadmap" has become a dead-end.