This is the first in a series of “political” blog posts. Most will be related to the campaign of our local Liberal candidate, David Remington, whom I have known for many years. This is his second campaign to be the Member of Parliament for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox&Addington. I will be commenting on David’s, and the Liberal campaign–promoting it as I see fit, but criticizing where I think that belongs. I will also be commenting on the issues being raised–or not being raised–in this campaign.
My bias will be evident. I do not like Stephen Harper and the Conservative party, and I do not want them returned to office. Michael Ignatieff may have been a bit of a slow starter as Leader of the Opposition, but from what I have seen so far, I think he will make an excellent Prime Minister because he will respect parliament and work with the other parties to implement his programs–something Harper has failed to do.
Education; prevention; connection. Those three little words could sum up discussions held at the Liberal Party’s March 2010 Canada150: Rising To The Challenge conference, which looked ahead to what our country might be when it celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017. Of course there were lots of other words that came up in the discussions and presentations, held on everything from pension reform to energy and the environment, to Canada’s role in the world, but those three words seemed to come up time and time again.
Those three words seem to be coming up a lot in this election campaign too, and they relate to three others: democracy, hypocrisy, and a near-hybrid of those two: Harperocracy–a word first coined in 2008, and certainly one that fits this election campaign.
Unlike some pundits who’ve said they don’t think a substantive issue has emerged in the campaign so far, I think there is indeed one—democracy—or the lack thereof. The current government seems to have forgotten the meaning of the word, and the fact that in 2008, they campaigned on, and indeed credited their victory with, a promise to have a more transparent, democratic system in place, something lacking, they said, from the Liberal government they’d defeated. So much for election promises.
The Harper government, as Stephen Harper wishes it to be known, has prorogued parliament twice—in order to avoid the risk of being defeated on a non-confidence motion, and to avoid any political “distraction” [embarrasment?] during the Olympics. That is not democracy, nor does it keep parliament working to do the job its members were elected to do. Let’s remember that this election was brought about because the Opposition parties defeated the government on a non-confidence motion, and members of the Conservative government were found to be in Contempt of Parliament. Yes, Mr. Harper–many of us DID want an election.
Hypocrisy is defined as being “an application of a criticism to others that one does not apply to oneself. “ There are too many examples of how the Harper government has been hypocritical, to be able to outline them here. Suffice to say that if Harperocracy is allowed to continue, we won’t recognize this country—just as he predicted we wouldn’t when he became prime minister in 2006.
Democracy. Hypocrisy. Harperocracy. Those are indeed substantive issues in this election campaign. The Liberal party has embraced them, and are showing Canadians they offer alternatives to the hypocrisy and the Harper government. David Remington describes himself as a “grass-roots guy” who always wants to find the democratic way to work together to find solutions to the problems we face, Education, prevention and connection are words he likes to use—improving access to all levels of education, from early learning to post-secondary; prevention of illness to develop a better health care system, and connection between himself and the communities he strives to serve.
I’ve been disappointed that in the year since Canada150 Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal party has not risen to the challenges outlined during that conference. They seem to be doing it now.
I believe that David Remington and the rest of the Liberal team will once again restore democracy in Ottawa, get rid of the hypocrisy, and defeat Harperocracy.