column was published in the North
Shore News on
Nov. 1, 2000)
Check Liberal party's record, not values
By Leo Knight
the forces of the Dark Side," Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
told the assembled lickspittles at the 50th National Liberal
he has just won the complete works of George Lucas or Warren
Kinsella is now writing his speeches as well as conducting his
backroom propaganda campaign.
his speech, Chrétien did not name the Canadian Alliance but
left little doubt to whom he was referring. The prime minister
was trying to paint the Alliance and its leader, Stockwell Day,
as extreme right wing types who will destroy this country.
it should be said that Liberal spin doctors were quick off the
mark to deny the prime minister was referring to the Alliance.
Considering he is embroiled in an election campaign and recent
polls show his lead is slipping and he referred to "those
who would like us to lose the election," it is left for you
decide if he was trying to paint the Alliance as fascist,
extremist and evil.
launched his election bid saying it is all about
"values." Liberal values, presumably. He said the
election is about the future. Good thing, I suppose. The last
thing this government should run on is their record. Which, I
should point out, is a whole lot less than stellar.
1997, Chrétien dissolved the shortest mandate since 1911 to go
to the people and got a substantially reduced majority
government. He has managed to beat that record in calling this
election with two years to run on the last mandate. Political
opportunism is certainly the reason.
1993, Chrétien vowed to rid this country of the hated GST. When
exactly, he did not say. He promised to re-negotiate free trade.
He hasn't. Why exactly, he did not say.
failure to keep campaign promises brings into question his
so-called mini-budget, which because it was never debated in the
House prior to the election call, is nothing more than a
all of this is really minor stuff. Telling perhaps, but minor.
this election should really be about is the scandals and whether
or not Canadians want more of this.
many more police investigations and charges laid will be
required into the HRDC debacle before someone in Chrétien's
government takes some responsibility? He just doesn't seem to
care. He even kicked off his election campaign in the same hotel
in Shawinigan which received $600,000 in federal grant money
before it even applied. The police are investigating that
particular little sleight of hand but the prime minister doesn't
even care about the optics of having his campaign launch there.
shut down the Somalia enquiry just when it was starting to get
to the meat of the issues (and close to the government). What
about the whole Hep-C fiasco? Or pulling the puppet strings on
the APEC enquiry by planning to pin the blame on the police
commander on the ground, Hugh Stewart?
a protester by the throat, pushing a reporter, gutting a cabinet
minister so he could appoint a non-MP to his cabinet simply to
court the Atlantic Canada vote. These are all sins of this prime
then there's the whole Project Sidewinder issue. In my view,
Sidewinder should itself be enough to ensure this man never gets
close to the levers of power again. But there's hardly a mention
so far this election campaign has been all about trying to paint
the Canadian Alliance as extremist, right-wing fanatics who
would destroy this country. Not that there's any evidence of any
sort of extremist views. On the contrary, it seems to me that
the views expressed by Stockwell Day so far have been measured
and sprinkled with a large dose of common sense.
thus far the media, with a few notable exceptions, have yet to
provide a serious analysis of the Liberal record or the
principle differences between the two main parties. Instead, we
get drivel, like complaining about Day's grammar when he speaks
French. Given the way Chrétien massacres the English language
one is hard pressed to understand how a Toronto Star
columnist could devote any space to that topic let alone the
bulk of a column.
discussion groups also seem to be indicative of the same thing.
Alliance and other supporters try to talk about the issues and
the Liberal proponents will not debate. They trot out all the
fear rhetoric that Chrétien himself now seems to be resorting
like to think of themselves as the natural party of government.
The way this campaign is evolving it seems they will do or say
anything to get re-elected, even raising the spectre of the
horrors of Naziism.
I'm on the topic, what's with Premier Ujjal Dosanjh? Has he no
shame? In the past month he has evoked the memories of Pierre
Trudeau and Heather Thomas to try and shore up his
ever-diminishing political fortunes.
never met Trudeau, though he's every bit the socialist Trudeau
was. As for young Heather Thomas, he had lots of time while
Attorney General to get tough on crime and repeat offenders.
What he did was ensure repeat offenders see no consequences for
cannot now claim the higher moral ground on crime issues. He was
wrong then and he is wrong now. Especially on the issue of
pedophiles. Good Lord, he was responsible for the sweetheart
deal given to former school principal William Bennest.
is he trying to outdo Chrétien in the arrogance department?