Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vision vs Opportunism

When you compare and contrast Dion and Harper, it's not difficult see the vast differences. You see differences in the men, specifically in terms of civility, honour and integrity and you see differences in how they approach the issues facing this country.

As I've written previously, the situation in Quebec is disturbing and seems to be getting worse with each passing day. Harper's closest ally in Quebec is the ADQ, who of course capitalised on the whole Hérouxville debacle earlier this year and brought this sordid, regressive view into the national spotlight.

Harper for his part, fueled the argument with his whole "Quebec is a Nation" ploy. Even Con supporters cannot deny that Harper is desperately looking for votes in Quebec.

Yes, of course all politicians are looking to increase their vote share there and elsewhere, but Harper seems to blithely plod along in his lumbering gait, without thinking through the consequences. Gains are more important to him than actual future results of what he and his gang present in the Commons. Witness how many changes have been made to what Flaherty has presented. Witness the number of amendments made to most of their bills, not necessarily to take Opposition views into account, more so to correct the errors made by an inexperienced bunch more concerned with rushing their ideology through than making good law.

When you think about the "Quebec as a nation" resolution, it's worth noting what Dion has said:

For many years, I have maintained that we Quebecers are a nation, by which I mean a community that is proud of its own identity. Mr. Harper’s office consulted me before a resolution was put forward in the House of Commons last November to recognize Quebec as a nation. I voted in favour of the resolution, but my vote was accompanied by a proviso warning people about some aspects of Mr. Harper’s political manoeuvring. The English version of his resolution said “the Québécois form a nation”. This suggests an ethnic definition of a nation, that does not include all inhabitants of Quebec, whereas the French wording does not mean the same. It was clearly a attempt to allow Conservative and Bloc politicians to interpret the resolution and comment on it in their own different ways, which of course they did. This kind of political manoeuvring is not in the interest of Canadians and it deserves our disapproval. My Quebec nation includes all inhabitants of Quebec.

By way of contrast, Harper could not care less about the people of Quebec, all the people of Quebec. No, he was interested in pandering, period.

Sadly at this point, we really only see these contrasts in print. Harper obviously gets more press and more favourable press. He's the PM. It's odd though. When Harper is covered, the media tells us what he's announced, not that it's a re-announcement, not where the objective originated, was cut then announced again under a fraudulent Con guise. No, they are more focused on internal battles within the Lib's, real or imagined. Both riveting and, oh so pertinent.

Harper obviously still has that bad taste of "opposition coverage" in his mouth, so he is playing up his role as PM for all it's worth. I cannot figure out why the media still fawn, without reporting all compelling details but perhaps they too will shake themselves out of this inane lull and focus on reality before it's too late. I'm not a country music fan, but perhaps a few listens to the Dixie Chicks, "I'm not Ready to Make Nice", might be in order.

Not much governing going on, but ton's of announcements of Liberal plans are. Not much governing, but hey, let's "play" election.

One man has a vision of this country, the other has opportunism in his sights. His intent is to bring about an ideology that is not only regressive, it's wrong, wrong, wrong.


Anonymous said...

I watched William Johnson interviewed this morning and it was quite interesting. He's the political analyst/journalist who wrote the book on Harper.

He said that Harper is using Ronald Reagan's plan (financially) cut social services and cut,cut, cut taxes until there is nothing left for the services and nothing left for Liberals - sound familiar? Ya, Reagan, Thatcher and Mulroney ran their countries into debt.

Also, he said that Canada has it wrong to think that in a minority situtation it is the responsibility of the opposition parties to always oppose. Johnson said that all other coalition countries (those having more than one party if government/minority) do not do this. They try to work it out and it is not their responsbility to oppose government but to try to work it out. We are the only so-called democratic country that expects opposing parties to always oppose.

He didn't seem to think what Dion did was wrong.

The sanctimonious NDP thrive on opposing and yet they are the ones who want proportional representation. If so, they really need to "grow up" and act like their trying to make parliament work.

Abdul-Rahim said...

Harper is doing the right thing, it just happens that in this case doing the right thing means getting rewarded (with more votes)

knb said...

anon, thx for that. I looked up the interview and agree it was interesting.

While I think Dion has chosen the right strategy, in abstaining, I'm sure the facts that Johnson put's forward are on his radar.

abdul-rahim, how is Harper doing the right thing? I'm not sure what part of the post you picked up on.