Tag Archives: right-wing

For Me Mentality Misinterprets the Political Forum

By Jason Menard

For me.

These two words are what have been holding me back from making any sort of comment, posting any sort of reply, or engaging in any sort of debate.

For me.

As in, why bother trying to be rational because the Twitter debate is exclusively centred around, “For me.” Continue reading

Tories a Political Trojan Horse

By Jason Menard

At the rate we’re going, this country is going to wake up with one heck of a hangover on Jan. 24 th. Of course, when you sleep with the Conservatives, don’t be surprised when you wake up with blue balls.

Canadian memories may be long, but they’re selectively so. While this orgiastic flagellation of the Liberal Party of Canada continues for the sins of its past continues, we are crossing into a dangerous new area – especially for left-leaning Canadians. In the zeal to punish the Grits we’re setting the stage for a Tory majority government.

We remember the Liberal transgressions because they’ve been thrown in our faces repeatedly by the opposition. We forget the steps the Party has taken to clean things up and the measures for greater accountability that have already been put into place. And that’s fine because, as an electorate, we have the right to feel swindled. We have the right to choose to go another way in government. But for those on the Left, is letting the Right into absolute power the right thing to do?

Since we’re on the topic of memory, let’s not forget where the Conservative Party came from – Reform. This party, just a scant few months ago, was watching its leader bleed out from the knives in his back. And the hidden right-wing agenda is not so hidden, but Stephen Harper and his handlers have done a masterful job of taming the wolf and parading him around in sheep wear.

In fact, some Canadians view the Conservatives as a gentle, moderate alternative to the ruling Liberals. They believe Canada will be the same as it ever was. But these are not your father’s Conservatives. People are forgetting the opposition they felt for the Reform and its offspring, the Alliance. Those parties were dismissed as too right wing, yet when the swallowing of the old PC party by the newer Reform/Alliance was finally complete, only the old PC guard – your father’s PC party – was upset about the merger, because they knew the moderate small-c conservative voice was silenced.

Yet, in this election campaign, another voice has been silenced – or gagged, as you may have it – in that we’ve yet to hear the annual right-wing outburst that would shed light on the truth behind the image. A friend and astute political observe recently said to me that his concern was that the right-wing hawks have had the gaffer tape stretched across their mouths for the duration of the campaign, and it’s only a matter of time after an election for the tape to come off.

The Conservatives have done a masterful job of defining the media coverage. Their policy-a-day platform has kept the media interested on what’s next, without leaving the time to delve into backstory. The campaign promises of a GST tax cut have been well received by those who will be most negatively affected by it – the poorer members of society. And, finally, when all else fails, they’ve effectively rallied the public against the concept of Liberal corruption.

But what are we forgetting? Are we forgetting that Harper eagerly swallowed Bush’s weapons of mass destruction claims in Iraq and would have sent Canadian troops into a questionable war with no definable exit strategy? Are we forgetting that Harper has gone on record supporting a continental economic and security integration with the U.S. that would include a broadened continental energy strategy? Are we ready for that?

Consider what appear to be the issues facing this world in the next few years. The back-burner flames that are Iran’s nuclear issues appear to be on the verge of raging. With his support of the U.S. stance on Iraq, do we expect any different when and if the U.S. unilaterally decides to take proactive measures against Iran? What about our richest natural resource – water? Already the U.S. is looking for additional supplies of fresh water and we have more than we can imagine. Water is going to be the new oil in a few years, but do we want someone so eager to cede control of our natural resources in charge? Gay rights? Abortion? Social programs? Do you really know what you’re getting, or is this “at least it’s not the Liberals” conviction enough to base your vote upon?

You don’t want the Liberals in, fine. But don’t go thinking that the Conservatives are a moderate, closer-to-centre alternative. A Conservative minority may not be a bad thing, as long as there’s a solid NDP/Liberal presence to hold them in check. But are we ready for a full-scale paradigm shift in the House of Commons to the right? Remember, a majority means five years – FIVE YEARS – of right-wing leadership with limited opposition.

Thanks Jack Layton for being Harper’s most effective campaign tool. You’ve been so effective in bashing the Liberals that the Conservatives are now on their way to a majority. And your decision now to target the front runner may be a case of too little, too late.

So what is a left-leaning Canadian to do? Do you hold your nose and vote for the Liberals because they’ve at least proven that they can effectively manage a country? Do you cast your ballot for the NDP, which has never had an opportunity to show what it can do at a federal level? By splitting the left-wing vote are we allowing the Conservatives to pass in the far-right lane?

The Conservative Party is a political Trojan Horse for Canada. The Tories appear to be a gift for those voters disenchanted with the Liberals – but we all know how that gift worked out for the Trojans.

We have to choose the Canada we want, but when it comes to who will rule ad mare usque ad mare, we have to keep in mind another Latin phrase – caveat emptor, buyer beware. Personally, I’ll choose to live in Soviet Canuckistan over America North any day.

2006© Menard Communications – Jason Menard All Rights Reserved

Right or Left?

By Jason Menard

What’s this country coming to? Lately our country’s political map displays all the form and reason of an Escher print! Like an ambidextrous drunkard, we’re having trouble differentiating our rights from our lefts.

On the one hand we’ve got Belinda Stronach throwing support behind gay marriage, while our Liberal party continues to waffle on the subject. Who knows what phoenix will arise from the ashes of Sir John A. MacDonald’s PC party, and is that really Ed Broadbent back on the radar?

Buckle up Canada – with an expected election just around the corner, we could be in for a wild ride.

Whatever happened to the days when you could define people by the colour of the electoral signs on their yard? Blue meant right, Red meant left, and Yellow meant you were probably out hugging a tree! But now, we’ve encouraged and fostered a hyphen-obsessed political landscape that can leave your head speaking.

We’ve got Liberals jumping to the right, Tories dancing to the left, and other parties desperately singing their own tunes trying desperately to be heard over the din of the allegedly different, but vaguely similar song played by the big two. Candidates no longer define themselves by party focus – because most parties don’t have a defined focus. You have your social-conservative candidates on one side mingling with the fiscal-liberal hopefuls – their party colours only separated by the slightest shades of gray.

On the other hand, you’ve got those on the other end of the spectrum, either proclaiming themselves true blue and longing for a return to a more conservative past, or lamenting the loss of social concern and caring that was the hallmark of Liberal parties of days of yore.

So where does that leave the voter? More and more we’re finding our electorate swinging faster than Benny Goodman on uppers. And for a country that has long identified its political leanings based on party politics, this new dynamic can be frightening. But, believe it or not, this new reality can – and will – work out in our favour.

Perhaps we are now entering a time when political upheavals won’t be the grand tidal waves of the past, washing one party out of power just to return that party to prominence years down the road when that initial tide ebbs. While the party system is too strong at this time to do away with, we seem to be now entering a time when our elected Members of Parliament will have to be accountable to their own ridings – a shocking concept!

What politics should be about is electing the person who most effective combines the wants and needs of his or her constituents with the greater good of the country as a whole. I once was a party voter, believing that my ideals meshed with the philosophy espoused by one or another federal party. But due to the changing dynamic of our political landscape, that type of thinking is outdated – and adjusting to the new reality requires effort on all our parts.

No longer should we ignore the election process and simply vote for our traditional party. Now it behooves us to go out and learn about each candidate in our riding, and vote for the one who best fits our needs. On a macro level, the party differences are so insignificant for the most part that it’s at the micro level – the constituency – where the greater variance takes place. And it’s on that variance from which we should determine our vote.

Now, obviously it would help encourage this new voting dynamic if we had a strong alternative party – either from the left or the right – to provide a legitimate alternative to the Liberal juggernaut and to combat voter apathy. Many choose not to vote if the conclusion seems foregone.

Yet this upcoming could be the most exciting yet! In addition to the new faces in new places, we’ve got a chance to truly effect change on our own level. We’re arriving at the dawn of a new era in Canadian politics — but just don’t try to follow the traditional maps to get there!

2005 © Menard Communications – Jason Menard All Rights Reserved