Why I fear a Conservative majority government....
It pains me to say it, but the new Conservative majority government scares the hell out of me.
Not because same-sex marriage will come to an end, or that abortion will be banned, or that the CBC will be privatized, but because a Conservative majority government will be much like a Conservative minority government.
To be sure, it would actually be fairly competent, if somewhat boring.
But my problem is that it would also way too timid and way too arrogant.
And, while some may say it’s impossible to be both timid and arrogant, I say these two traits sort of define the Harper government.
Arrogantly timid! It could have been their campaign slogan.
I long for a Conservative majority government that would boldly tackle some fairly important issues, like:
Revamping the tax code to eliminate corporate loopholes while moving towards a flat tax; tackling inefficient government bureaucracies that stifle innovation; reinstating the merit principle for all federal hiring; introducing shared parenting and ending the blatant discrimination against fathers in divorce and alimony payments; reforming immigration into Canada and streamlining the refugee process; ending silly rules about bilingualism throughout the civil service; showing a commitment to resolving native land claims and responsibly reforming the Indian Act; putting some sense back into the CBC and making it accountable to its listeners and viewers; changing the Status of Women Canada to the Status of People Canada; turfing agricultural monopolies that inflate consumer prices and reduce choice; starting a real discussion on health-care reform that allows for private experimentation; ensuring the Canadian Human Rights Commission doesn’t stifle speech; and working with the Provinces to stop graduating illiterate students.
And, that’s just the small stuff.
As I have written before, we now have a chance to come out of our American shadow.
If the world economy stays relatively healthy, we can expect to see much higher revenues from the Alberta oil sands, and before we know it, we will be back to surpluses. Two weeks ago it was reported that our deficit is falling faster than expected.
Canada is thus poised to play a much bigger role in the world.
So, we can go in two directions – we can become a mini Saudi Arabia – sit back, bring in large amounts of temporary foreign workers and let the petro-dollars flow in. All the Federal government has to do it dole out money to the provinces for our healthcare and our welfare.
Or we can actually make something of ourselves and do something big.
What could we do? I believe we could be the champions of democracy, both at home and abroad.
At home, we can renew our democracy by loosening the power of our political parties over elected MPs; give Parliamentary Committees real powers; have more free votes in parliament, and thus allowing for cross-party coalitions on various issues; and restore true debate to the House of Commons.
Abroad, we could be the driving force for a new Council of Democracies; first to augment the UN and ultimately to replace it. We have the credibility few other countries could even hope for.
It won’t be all sweetness and light. We’ll have to stand up to China, and yes, our troops will have further missions abroad. And, instead of peacekeeping, we’ll be fighting for democracy. We’ll have to take a leading role in NATO, and we’ll actually have to remind the Americans about their commitment to human rights.
But, people around the world will understand that Canada will be there for them...and as dictators fall, people will remember who was there to help and advise.
Can you think of any better way to build long-term friendships, and ultimately open up lots of foreign markets???
To pull this off requires a government with vision and some bold thinking.
Does that describe the Conservatives?
I don’t think so.
Gee, I sure hope they prove me wrong.