Interesting things are happening up north. Harper & the conservatives ousted the liberals from power. Harper is now the PM, and Martin has stepped down. I thought Martin was doing a decent job, but his party has had a good run of corruption and arrogance, so they all paid the price.
– As a fiscal conservative, the first thing on Harper’s agenda is a reduction of the GST (national goods & services tax) from 7% to 5%. Not a horrible thing really, as Canada has been bringing in a consistent surplus. But, the govt still carries a significant amount of debt. Personally I would have preferred to leave it at 7%, and keep paying that down, or divert those funds to healthcare.
– Harper’s Federal Accountability Act looks good, attempting to cut down on financing and lobbying in Ottawa.
– Harper is not known for being progressive towards green technologies or green legislation.
– Harper promises to improve relations with the US. While good relations with a neighbor is always a nice thing, the US has recently required a hell of a lot of kowtowing for the ‘privilege’ of relations. It is not hard to see that one always needs to keep Canada’s sovereignty in mind when dealing with the south.
– Harper’s campaign director Tom Flanagan, has some interesting views on Canada’s First Nations people. He argues that the only sensible native policy was outright assimilation. Harper has yet to respond to an urgent open letter demanding to know if he shares Flanagan’s views.
– Stockwell Day would probably become Foreign Affairs Minister. Day is a fundamentalist, and has given Israel carte blanche in the past. “He had expressed the view that we should place child abusers in the general prison population so that those prisoners could summarily execute the abuser. He was also proud of the fact that he made a point of being one of the first customers at holocaust denier Jim Keegstraï¿½s new garage after he was convicted of hate crimes.” Ah yes, what a sweetheart. Doesn’t this guy sound like a great Foreign Affairs Minister?
– Harper & co were/are pro-war. It is strange to me that both Harper and Day were for going to Iraq, not so much on the disarm Saddam meme that was so popular at that moment, but more towards ‘loyalty’ towards the US and the UK. In other words, how much lumber is a war on false pretenses worth?
– Harper claims to be not pushing a conservative social agenda. However, he wants to reverse last year’s law legalizing gay marriage. I’m sure there are many more things in his plans, but it remains to be seen how much power he will have to make any changes.
Harper could be bad, or good for Canada. It depends on what support he is given from the rest of the government. As the leader of a minority government, he is going to have to do a lot of persuading to get things through parliament. I wish him all the best on the Accountability Act, but I would hope that Canada does not move backwards in other areas.