Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Budget about Nothing will bring the House Down

On the afternoon of March 22, 2011 Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on behalf of The Harper Government stood up in Parliament to introduce a budget designed to offend nobody and give at least a crumb to everyone. With nominal tax credits to many it is a "stay the course" budget which does nothing substantial for anyone. It is a cleverly crafted budget designed to draw the votes of those who really don't care about the Government in Ottawa. They can continue to ignore issues and wonder what all the fuss is about that should cause an election. It is indeed a "Seinfeld" budget. A budget about nothing.
The difference is Canada is not a comedy show and Canada needs more. This is a challenging time when so much more is needed. The undecided NDP who were reluctant to enter a campaign where they would as a result likely end up with less seats could not accept this budget. Jack Layton immediately announced that his party would oppose this budget because it does not do enough. The Official Opposition Liberal Party had already decided enough is enough and Harper and his cronies must go. The Quebec separatist Bloc Quebecois had also calculated that it would be a good time for them to make gains at the expense of the Federalist parties in Quebec. And so we will go to the polls in May.
Forget about this budget it is not the issue. The issues are really outside the budget. They relate to what the budget does not do. Jim Flaherty expressed surprise that people would raise the issue of $35 Billion or more for new jet fighter planes since it "is not in the budget". That is certainly an issue as is the failure of the Harper Government to be honest in divulging the full price and service costs of the new jets or the costs of new jails and "tough on crime" measures. The issue will be the ethics, attitude and values of the Goverment and the many indiscretions of the people in it such as Bev Oda, Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney and Bruce Carson. There is the "in and out" scandal where improper election spending has led to criminal charges against Conservative Party officials. The main election issue will be contempt of Parliament even though a vote on that will be avoided by the nothing budget being defeated to trigger an election.
The question is are enough people watching and do enough people care to do something about the abuse and contempt Mr. Harper shows for our democratic institutions. There is no exciting alternative to inspire Canadians, but a new Government led by Michael Ignatieff will certainly restore the democratic Parliamentary process to governing Canada after 5 years of one man rule. This election is about something.

1 comment:

A Eliz. said...

This election should be about Health care, Natives, Childcare,.looking AECL, ..what time to privatise it..it should remain in Canadian hands..period!