Political subsidies drive electoral zeal


While sitting on a plane to the Centre of the Universe, I found myself reading The Reagan Diaries, meticulously kept by Ronald Reagan throughout his presidency.  As I was reading words written nearly 30 years ago by the 40th President of the United States and reflecting on this federal election campaign, I was struck by how little had changed in the politics of the liberal left in the intervening years.

On February 27, 1982 Reagan wrote: “A half dozen Dem. Gov’s. Kept sounding off on how our programs we unfair and favoured the rich – paralyzed the poor.  Their answer?  Cut defense spending.”

He continued, “Food stamps are budgeted at $4 billion than 1980 and 3 million more people are getting them.  As for taxes favouring the rich – they are already 25% across the board and indexing the tax brackets does nothing for the rich – they are already in the top tax bracket.”

Sound familiar?  Change the dollar values and percentages around a little and this could be the Canadian federal election campaign of 2011.  (Wouldn’t you like to have only to pay 25% income tax?)

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is still banging on the tax the banks and oil companies nonsense and NDP leader Jack Layton is still harping on his tax the rich refrain.  The rhetoric is as predictable as an early start to golf season for the Leafs.

They both want to kill the F-35 contract without offering even a suggestion of what else they would do.  And we know how well that worked when Jean Chretien killed the Mulroney government’s contract to replace the aging, and now decrepit, Sea King helicopters described by the pilots who fly them as “10,000 nuts and bolts flying in loose formation.”

I expect the man behind the mustache to thump his socialist drum ad infinitum.  But one would think that the Harvard professor would be smart enough to understand that any increase in corporate taxes affects all business and is a job killer at a time when the economy is showing signs of life.  Or that any increase in cost to any business is added to the price of whatever goods or service they offer and is passed on to the consumer.  Surely he should realize this fundamental aspect of business.  Surely?

Iggy is trying to frame this as an election of ethics and who you would trust.  Then he promptly trots out former PM’s Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.  Yikes!  Chretien oversaw the most corrupt government this country has ever seen and Martin was the finance minister when all those billions were getting sucked out of the public purse in what was dubbed Shovelgate and the Billion Dollar Boondoggle.  And then there’s Adscam.  Ethics?  Not in evidence of late in the Liberal Party of Canada.

Proven again with the two teens who claimed they were tossed from a rally for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Vancouver Saturday night.  They weren’t.  Once they were identified as Liberal supporters, they were twice asked if they wanted to go in and listen it was fine, as long as they weren’t disruptive.  They declined because that scenario wouldn’t fit the script that Iggy was about to deliver in Edmonton with Paul Martin by his side.  Iggy was actually quoted by the pliant media lapping the milk from the saucer he was holding, saying that the actions of the Conservatives were “grotesque.”

No over-reaching hyperbole there even were it not a blatant set-up.

May 2nd can’t come fast enough for me.  It feels as though we have been in election mode ever since Harper tried to get rid of vote subsidies for political parties back in Dec. 2008 while in a minority parliament.  That attempt,  I might add was the impetus for the opposition parties to try and form Coalition #1.  Iggy has been trying to take over the government ever since.

Harper has made it clear that if he gets a majority government he will turn off the spigot to political parties.  Make no mistake, that is the life’s blood for the Libs, the NDP and most especially, the Bloc Quebecois.  They will do whatever they have to do to try and stop Harper from doing this.  No matter what Iggy says about not being a part of a coalition.  A coalition by any other name is the same thing.  Not necessarily a coalition, but a coalition if necessary.

They can spout all the empty rhetoric they want, but don’t be fooled.  This unnecessary election is only about political subsidies.   It’s been coming since Dec. 2008.  And Iggy, Jack & Gilles will do anything to stop Harper from keeping his promise.

Leo Knight


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