Saturday, January 14, 2006

Drunken Hystrionics Etcetera

Reviewing the late-night, insanity-fuelled posts below, there is a method to the madness somewhere... I should add that Cherniak deserves more respect for his loyalty than many give him credit for - I think we just fundamentally disagree on the correct tactics of electioneering. He also has a far greater history with the Liberal party, and perhaps is more forgiving in the face of alternatives than I tend to be. His is at least much more admirable than the gloating of Kinsella in recent days. I wonder how long it will take for the wounds of the Chretien-Martin camps to heal, and worry that will trump more critical idea-oriented discussions that need airing. Much depends on the new hierarchs of the party drawing on new blood.

And I will let the rest of the music (and inexplicable commentary to it) stand where it is posted. I had a great story about the craic: about how I won the draw early at Stayner's Wharf again and exchanged the prize of gift certificate, hat, shirt, and bottle of Vodka for a chance to choose the mystery box, even as I knew it would be a lesser prize. I should have stayed with the Red Snapper, Cuni, as only a $3 bottle of Hot Sauce was in the box. Stupid! You're so stupid! In my defence, I did it for the craic, because it was such an absurd choice no one else would make it.

On a serious note, as Tiger notes below, the Globe (predictably at this point) jumps on the bandwagon and endorses a change. I'll close with a few lines that well summarize my thoughts:
Hard choices give way to easy spending, and long-term thinking is overwhelmed by short-term calculation. Lacking firm policy anchors, a heavily politi-cized Prime Minister's Office bobs from issue du jour to issue du jour, neglecting enduring challenges in favour of quick hits that hold out the promise of instant gratification.

Fresh thinking is demanded, but the same old elected officials supported by the same old circle of advisers naturally come up with the same old solutions.

Mr. Martin, a modest and honourable man personally, has done little to challenge this culture, despite so promising during the leadership race. His parliamentary reforms proved a damp squib. Electoral reform died on the vine.

The final reason summarizes everything in 6 words: "Change is essential in a democracy." For all the worry at Cherniak's and others, there is a telling unwillingness to rebut these charges. I would venture it is because they cannot.

When Liberals claim no one else is fit for the job as the main reason for their re-election, something certainly needs changing. Harper isn't as scary as more of the same. A lot of "progressive" bloggers have been shown up in the past month as Liberal partisans who desperately need to start putting the true interests of the country over party.

I may be proven wrong about Harper. But at least he will be up front about his positions, the West will feel vindicated after many years in the dark, and we can get on with discussion about the changes the nation requires. And it will be interesting and a tad unpredictable again.


Anonymous CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

Globe & Mail having buyer’s remorse on Harper before even making the purchase?
Seems so. Perhaps they should have taken a bit of time to examine whether this leopard had really changed its spots, or just hidden itself in sheep’s clothing in its stealth campaign to win power. Today’s G&M has this hand-wringing article about Stephen Harper’s US-style political views:
“With one brush, he tarred both the independent judges and the independent civil service on whose expertise he will have to rely if his party wins power. Questioned yesterday by reporters, he hedged slightly but did not retract his view.
It is a pernicious view, and raises serious questions. If he sees the courts as a Liberal bastion arrayed against his Conservatives, would he systematically appoint known Conservatives to the bench as vacancies arose? And what of the Supreme Court of Canada? The top court has been remarkable for the evenhandedness with which Conservative and Liberal prime ministers alike have appointed excellent judges. There is certainly room for a public process to review nominated judges, as Mr. Harper himself has pledged, but that speaks to the benefits of an open process, and not to any record of blatantly partisan appointments. On the contrary, the court might have most to fear from a prime minister who, to right an imagined wrong, would stack it with partisan choices.
Mr. Harper's them-versus-us view suggests the seesaw politics of the United States, where Republican and Democratic presidents compete to place judges on the Supreme Court who reflect their views. It is not a system Canada should go near. The same applies to the senior public service, where politics trumps continuity in the U.S. in a way foreign to this country.”

It’s not too late, G&M: now that your eyes are opened, you can withdraw your support of Harper and his rightwing US-style neocons ...

12:22 PM  

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