Friday, May 30, 2008

Insite vs Ideology and Ignorance

I don't suppose many people are surprised by Clement's announcement that he will appeal the B.C. Supreme Court ruling. He has after all given every indication that he was leaning that way. He's stalled, commissioned studies that he hoped would buttress his case and avoided all and any direct answers for months.

The problem of course was, whenever he called for a study, the results came back in favour of the program. What to do? What to do? Not really a difficult question for this guy or the government he represents is it? They ignore fact, reason, science and create their own bizzarro world. They then proceed to lie and make it up as they go.

I watched the committee meeting yesterday and witnessed the arrogant Clement bluster his way through nonsense, absolute nonsense. He cherry picked a couple of items from a report and decreed that the science was 'mixed'. Baloney! The science is clear. What's foggy is this government refusing to own up to what they believe. He said that policy had to be based on more than science, it had to include ethical judgement. In this case, the word ethical is a substitute for the word 'moral' as defined by the Conservative Party of Canada.

This decision gives way to a much larger problem of course. You see, the funding is not really the issue here. It's important, but what the Con's are really trying to do is eliminate the extension of the exemption from federal drug laws. In doing so they would succeed in cutting off funding not only by the Fed's, but all levels of government and even private and social agencies. Clement can claim he doesn't want to shut Insite down, but that of course is precisely what he wants to do. One member on the Con side actually said that abstinence is the answer here. That would be David Tilson. He goes down in my book as the MP most deserving of the 'I'm angry at everything!' award.

It's obvious to me that this government ignores, or is incapable of seeing things in broad terms. They get stuck in their ideology and I presume determine how to play that to their base but this isn't just about addicts. It's about the community at large, you and me. It's about safety in that area for those who inhabit it. The Con's miss that of course and narrow the discussion to what I would term a juvenile overview.

This is not the only example. Consider Bill C-10. That's the Bill that has hidden in it's hundred's of pages, provisions for the Minister of Heritage to deny tax credits to the Art's community retroactively. Who do they have as their spokesperson? Charles McVety. Anyone who claims he does not have a narrow view of the world needs help. They don't cite him as their champ, but they aren't denouncing him either.

Then of course we have the Bill that will be voted on, on Monday. Hidden in there was the Immigration rights that go to the Minister. They lie about that too and have even advertised as to what the Bill will do, dishonestly, before the Bill has passed.

Then we have the Khadr debacle and the lies they tell around that. More on that in a later post.

My point here is this. The Harper government touted themselves to be on the 'up and up' and straight shooters. They are anything but. They have no qualms in discounting their opposition, no matter where it comes from. They call those who oppose them wimps, terrorist supporters and worse. Their supporters use more colourful terms, but lack the depth to debate, let alone see a full picture.

Guess who doesn't have courage here?

The Con's hide behind catch phrases and ludicrous commentary rather than be honest and say 'this is what we think'. They couch their views, because they know that is not how Canada thinks. That my friends is cowardly behaviour.

Polls last night told me that Canadians may be catching on. Here's hoping that trend stays fast.


Red Tory said...

Well said. There does seem to be a growing realization that this government isn’t very forthright in its dealings and that, contrary to their campaign promises, they’re anything but open, transparent and accountable. Well, no surprise there, I suppose. Would the Liberals be any better? I’d certainly hope so, but will remain skeptical about that until it’s actually proven to be the case. In the meantime, it seems fair to criticize Harper’s crew for their egregious shortcomings in this regard.

Karen said...

Thanks RT.

You're right to say we can't know that the Lib's would be any better until they show us, but I've never seen anything quite like the bunch we have in power at the moment.

I'd certainly like the chance to contrast and compare.

Anonymous said...

Yes the Cons trying to implement their agenda. It is debatable to me how disingenuous they have been about it. Do they seek to soft-sell their legislation to a centre-left electorate - I grant you that.

So where is the intellectual and ideological consistency for the LPC? If the Con attempts to shut down Insite, to the 'reform' immigration legislation and make it less accountable, to destroy our domestic film and tv industry with Bill C10 are so heinous, why won't the Liberals join the NDP and Bloc and bring down this government? Why does the LPC continue to be the 'Artificial' Oppostion (h/t blogging dead horse).

In terms of Omar Khadr, I think it is shocking that libloggers are now decrying the governments lack of commitment to his repatriation.

Are you kidding? Omar was captured in 2002 when he was 15yrs old. The Chretien and Martin regimes did not fight hard enough to get him back. They sent security officials to interview him but didn't demand (in accordance to Cdn values, international conventions on child soldiers, or basic habeas corpus) for his release.

Bill Graham can regret all he wants that the Liberal govts under Chretien and Martin didn't do enough to win Khadr release, cold comfort to this young man who was tortured and kept in near complete isolation for the last 6 years.

NDP MPs have been demanding that the Canadian government (whether Liberal or Conservative) stand up to Bush and demand Omar's release since 2002.

Once again, the LPC finds its principles when it is easy and/or convenient.

RuralSandi said...

Or, is it that Clement, et al are helping out an old friend, again???

Somebody might as well make a decision
By Paul Wells
May 28th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

So a B.C. judge has ruled that the Insite safe-insection site can keep operating, in defiance of any decision Tony Clement may or may not someday eventually make. (You want a decision from Clement? You are guaranteed a wait time.) This will come as a disappointment to many, including John Reynolds, who registered as a lobbyist for an “alternative” to Insite. After swearing he would never be a lobbyist. (Mind you, he wasn’t paid.) After co-chairing Stephen Harper’s 2006 campaign with that noted advocate of elected senators, Michael Fortier.

....seems to me Reynolds' name just keeps popping up....

You know, going back continually to the Chretien/Martin governments is just a waste of time - newsflash folks - they are no longer leaders of the Liberal party - those days are 'over'...time to move on.

Karen said...

Anon, I know being the Con's echo chamber, 'why don't you vote', is the NDP latest strategy but a thinking person realises it is not black or white.

That said, I think I'd prefer to go now.

As for Khadr, I would agree that the Lib's didn't do enough, but again, the times were different and the issue was not black or white.

For the record, I've always thought he should be brought back.

You know, with every passing day some in the NDP seems to climb onto a higher horse. I personally find that as vulgar as Harperites slinging mud.

As for principles, get back to me when your party is in a position to actually implement a policy.

Karen said...

Geesh, you're right Sandi. Reynolds is a mighty popular guy.

It seems to me that he was a Con pundit for some time there then he abruptly disappeared from the airwaves.

I wonder how visible he is out west?

Anonymous said...

It's not about higher horse it is about having principles and acting consistently. I am sorry that it is difficult for progressive Liberals that they are the rump of their party and that they are used during elections and ignored once the party obtains power but that is simply historically demonstrable.

It is an hoary old adage - campaign left and govern right.

If your choice is to stay with a party that ignores many of your key issues and values that is fine but you shouldn't get defensive when you are challenged on your analysis that whitewashes your parties own history.

Karen said...

Anon, I'd hardly call Dion right leaning.

I'm not being defensive, I'm simply pointing out that the NDP risks nothing by trying to take down the government every other week.

Do you really think Layton would have done much differently had he faced the same challenges?

I've wished a couple of times that Dion had gone, but as it turns out his strategy seems to be working and no it's not about gaining power or entitlement. I happen to believe that Dion honestly wants to be able to do what is right for this country and to go head long into an election without a shot at changing the government is foolish, imo.

Sir Francis said...

I'm simply pointing out that the NDP risks nothing by trying to take down the government every other week.

Actually, given current poll numbers (especially the indications of fairly resilient Green support), the NDP risks annihilation, or at least significant humiliation. The next election may not risk putting the NDP into a position of governing power, but it will certainly put the NDP itself at grave risk. Thus, whatever our own attitudes to them may be, Layton and his people have good reason to take themselves quite seriously.