Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If You're Canadian

I was up 'till 2:30 last night watching the National Leaders English Debate (as any of you who follow me on Twitter know full well...).  If you're American you might want to skip this post.  Because, you know, it's international politics so it really doesn't matter.

In case you don't have over two hours to watch the debate's entirety here are the general impressions.  If you're Canadian, though, I do recommend viewing it.  And then voting.  Because you live in a democratic country and you better appreciate that.  Just watch a news clip on Libyan rebels for a little perspective.

The Bloc Quebecois: Duceppe treated this debate exactly as one should expect of a Blog Quebecois leader.  Quite frankly, it got boring.  He referred, at least twice, to Quebec as a nation.  None of the other leaders were stupid enough to point out that he was  sorely mistaken.  The poor guy is a little misinformed.  Not in good taste for a party leader.  I, however, am an unpaid semi-anon blogger with no influence in Quebec so I don't mind saying that, in actuality, provincial referendums have defeated sovereignty  twice.  Grow up, suck it up, and learn to contribute to the actual country you help govern.

I'm not anti-Quebec.  I've lived there and I have struggled to try and form some degree of pride in our dual-heritage.  My redneck friends aren't helping and neither are the separatists.  It's extremists that make me want to swear off French.  A shame and something that's not going to do Canada a bit of good.

Oh, and taking a question about immigration and using it to yell at Layton about bill 101?  Not classy.  In the end I just want to laugh at Duceppe's obvious agitation, singular agenda and pronunciation of "ghetto," (geeto) and "ship."  I'm sure he's owning in today's French language debate.

The New Democratic Party:  Jack Layton was clearly upset at references throughout the debate to the fact that the next government will be either Liberal or Conservative (even if, more then likely, a minority).  I can understand that it gets frustrating being the head of a party that never even gets the title of official opposition.  However, Layton needs to realize his party is unproven.  His flippant idealism has to be accepted because it's never been tried nationally.  Somehow he managed to avoid straight-up saying that the NDP really isn't all that concerned about the deficit or tax cuts.  The NDP wants to promise ready medicare solutions, open immigration policies and an environmental agenda.

Layton also went out of his way to slam the Liberal leader for supporting certain initiatives brought through by the Conservatives.  Look.  Nothing wrong with that.  If it's something they can support then, for crying out loud, support it.

NDP's economics freak me out.  Jack Layton will appeal to the buy-now pay-laters.  People without foresight.  In short, the NDP will win a few seats thanks to socialist votes.  I think high-spending socialism is something Canada has taken to far already.  Layton, however, is also the most engaging of the four leaders.  The one that I can most easily imagine buying his grandkids ice cream.  He was well spoken, at least.

The Liberal Party:  This is where the politics gets serious.  We're down to the two top parties in Canada's history and the Liberals want their lead back.

There is really no argument that the three participating opposition leaders pounded away on Steven Harper throughout.  Ignattief contributed his share in attempting to paint the Conservative party as one full of scandal.  Expected, I suppose, given the historic coalition and the contempt of parliament against the current minority.

The Liberal leader did, however, bring some valid points to the table.  He is fairly adamant that something must be done to remedy Canada's falling reputation on the international stage.  He was the only leader who pointed out that an American justice system doesn't work.  He was also the main voice for initiative in healthcare that begins with education and Canadian effort.

Ignattief readily stated that he's fond of the idea of raising corporate taxes.  He figures this will fund extensive moves in post-secondary education, in child-care, in green initiative and in international policiy...  For a start.  Certainly strong promises.

The Conservative Party:  Harper certainly took attack after attack in this debate.  Not surprising.  He has been governing the country for five years so everything can be blamed on him.  Opposition mostly had to do with a lack of releasing certain financial reports, a plan to buy fighter jets and the traditional conservative tendency to avoid international spending and meeting environmental targets.

Harper was steadfast and brought replies to the table that focussed on his party's commitment to easing the deficit and lowering taxes in a bid to improve the economy.  In my opinion Harper was the only leader who willingly laid out strong economical intent.  He also stated several times that we're in the throes of an election "that Canadians didn't want."  He's actually being ballsy enough to say he wants a majority so he can get things done.

Harper may hurt himself with an endless focus on tax cuts.  What do Canadians really want?  He's refusing to make promises in regards to the international stage and the environment.  Healthcare is a major debate that I did not hear any definite conclusion to from Harper.  Medical coverage is something embraced by all Canadians that is not going anywhere.

Harper doesn't have all the answers.  He certainly doesn't have all the election promises.  But if they country wants a stodgy follow-through on solid economic effort he may be in the right place.

I don't actually like politics.  They will not be making a regular appearance on my blog.  I will, however, be voting.  If you're Canadian then I expect that you will be too.


starTHINKer said...

This is really good, Kris. I'm really proud of you for being pro-voting. I don't think enough people our age are (that may be a slight stereotype though). Sad I missed the debate, but your blog definitely did it justice. Thanks!

Kara said...

I missed the debate because of work, but I've heard enough through Twitter and other social media to know that it was like any other. Attack, Response, etc... But - Thank you for posting this! I, personally, find Jack Layton well spoken yet annoying. I covered a rally of his for a university publication and he forced me to shake his head. Maybe I'm just bitter.

Coyote Rose said...

I really really want to understand this post, cause i like international politics.... at least when they apply to Germany and England. But i am so lost here. Stupid, stupid American.

Kris said...

Silv- Thanks! It's a generalization, but a very true one.

Kara- I was at the work for the debate too. My link leads to the full thing online, but I recommend watching at least the short highlights? It was a lot like any debate, but relevant. I'm glad to hear we agree on Layton.

Rose- You're comment totally made my night! You're not stupid, at all, haha! I think you're incredibly well informed. If I wasn't Canadian none of this would make a bit of sense to me either. And I'm sure if you went off about even German politics I'd be just as lost almost as quickly.

Anonymous said...

Hey - I am definitely happy to find this. Good job!

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