Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Giving up everything for nothing.

Are you upset that the government sold out Canadians in the 2009 Conservative budget? Do you worry that it was hard for Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper to swallow their free market principles to do what was "necessary," to pass a budget that spends $85 billion more than it takes in?
Nonsense, says Andrew Coyne:
Why is everyone so surprised? The budget the Conservatives produced last week may have been startling in some respects... but it was hardly out of character. It was the logical terminus to a decade of climbdowns, reversals, and broken promises, dating back to the first efforts to merge the old Reform and Progressive Conservative parties. What began in fear and deception has ended in confusion and incoherence. Predictably enough.

So let us have none of these astonished little essays on how difficult this must have been for Stephen Harper, how the Reformer who had entered politics to fight deficits had come to embrace them. Once, this would have been hard for him, but by now it is second nature. And spare us, please, the cries of betrayal from stalwarts of the right, who never imagined that a Conservative party could produce a budget like this. Where were these people the last 10 years? I’ll tell you where they were: right by the party’s side, urging it on.
There is no betrayal here. They were all in this together.
Not only have the Conservatives given up everything they once stood for, according to Coyne, but they've gotten next to nothing in return.
So they’ve given up everything they ever stood for, and what have they got in return? Pretty close to nada. They’re stalled in the polls, again. The fabled majority remains firmly out of reach. Those disposed to mistrust them are as suspicious as ever, while their own followers are now thoroughly demoralized. They have not moved to the centre; they have only succeeded in shifting the entire political spectrum to the left.
It's hard to argue with Coyne's overall theme at this point, in my opinion. I'd disagree that there hasn't been anything good accomplished under Harper - there are a few important changes that have been made, though they were overshadowed by so many bad decisions. And sure, there are those who would follow Stephen Harper right off a cliff and would vote Conservative if P.E. Trudeau came back to lead the party, but at this point it's tough to find anyone with much better to say about the Conservatives than "Well, just look at the alternative!"
Read the rest of Coyne's article here.

Cross-posted to the Shotgun

6 comments:

NorthernRaven said...

I think that we have to give the Conservatives some slack until they have a Majority in the Senate. So after 2010, we can really push for Conservative change, and we do NOT necessarily need a majority in the Commons to accomplish many reforms.

Remember the Senate blocked the Term Limits Reform, some crime legislation, immigration reform, and it appears that the Liberals will NOT be supporting any CHRC reform. So we will have to be patient.

Springer said...

Harper et al sit across the aisle from a collection of leftwing wannabes collectively holding a gun to his head.

In a minority parliament of a country that has been carefully and deliberately socially engineered over four decades to always keep within at least spitting distance of the government teat.

The only reason, if we are honest, that the Reform/CA/CPC was/is so strong in the west is not so much because the west is somehow genetically or philosophically predisposed to "conservatism"...

But because the west, to a great degree, has a fairly deeply embedded mistrust of any and all things federally Liberal, thanks mostly to a century of being economically raped without any kissing to go with it, the NEP, and last but not least, that POS Bill C-68...all of it courtesy of either eastern leftwing Liberals or Red Tories.

Frankly, all things considered, I can't even fathom at this point why Harper still wants what has to be just about the most thankless and frustrating job on God's green earth - being PM of this country.

Basically, the moment you even think of doing the right and sensible thing...

You're basically already political toast.

...cynically speaking, of course.

wilson said...

'They’re stalled in the polls, again. The fabled majority remains firmly out of reach.'

So what.
It's been like that since 2006,
and yes, the alternative is Iffy, led by the ring in his nose, by Danny and Duceppe.

More sickening than Liberals saying 'we'll keep him on a short leash' like PMSH is some kind of a pathetic pooch,
is Conservatives and Conservative bloggers that have attacked PMSH non-stop since the budget.

Everyone follow Senator Duffy's advice,
give it a rest.

Janet said...

Springer - that's why I've quit politics in favour of trying to make changes in the court of public opinion.

wilson: "'They’re stalled in the polls, again. The fabled majority remains firmly out of reach.'

So what.
It's been like that since 2006, "

Yep. That's the point. Thanks for making it that much clearer, though.

caz said...

And I suppose sitting as the official opposition for the next 100 years is an alternative. All the arm chair critics in the world who have NO IDEA how it is to be sitting prime minister and having to deal with this ridiculous leftist cabal that knows nothing except how to bleet and scream consistently about how stupid Harper is....are not thinking rationally. Honstly...."give it a rest" is an understatement. Without a conservative presence in the senate and an increasingly expanding Conservative cabinet...the conservative dream of EVER accomplishing anything of substance will never happen! Please people ...this is not the time to abandon Harper. In our instant society we all want what we want NOW!!! I thought conservative canadians were more pragmatic than that. Instead, I'm listenng to the Liberals and the NDP screaming for MORE stimulus.. think people think!

Thucydides said...

If we stay too focused on the federal scene, people who follow the principles of classical liberalism (free speech, property rights and the Rule of Law) will find the rug pulled out from under them at the local and provincial level.

The anti property rights antics of most city councils is a far greater threat to freedom than the CHRC, since the unencumbered use of property is one of the practical applications of our rights. Provincial governments are huge offenders with their grasping hands in so many fields, from restrictive trade regulations to monopolies on education.

The "culture wars" is another area classical liberals must engage in, otherwise the message of free speech, property rights and Rule of Law will be submerged in political correctness and constrained thought and action on the part of the uninformed public.

Freedom is a self help project.