Why I will never vote Conservative

The last Conservative Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney, is still fighting allegations of *personal corruption* relating to the Airbus Affair. His associates have also been implicated in the BRE-X scandal… and we’re *still* living with the GST, which was a Conservative creation. (Yes the Liberals promised to get rid of it.. of course they didn’t)

Wikipedia has an excellent rundown on the past and current tribulations of Mr. Mulroney.

In his book ” A Secret Trial” published by McGill-Queens University Press in 2004, William Kaplan (a historian and former law professor) calls Mulroney’s sworn testimony about his “peripheral” relationship to Schreiber evasive, incomplete and misleading. But Kaplan concludes that Mulroney’s testimony does not rise to the level of perjury. He adds that no evidence has ever emerged that Mulroney was involed in the decision to purchase Airbus airplanes. To this day, many questions about the Airbus affair remain unanswered.”

So forgive me if I consider the Conservative party to be any less apt to corruption than our current Liberal party. I will resolve *not* to be one of those voters “with a short memory”. I remember the scandal of past governments… every government has had them. This government is no different. Yes it’d be nice to see some fresh blood in the PMO, but not at the expense of the values and political ideals that I believe in.

What I want to see out of the Gomery inquiry are criminal charges. I would love to see some former and/or current Liberal MPs be charged and go down in flames. That would satisfy me that those involved were punished and that the corruption was dealt with through the courts as it should be. That is the best way to insure that members of *all parties* think twice before corrupting the Canadian government and duping the Canadian people.

In the end, this is a criminal matter. It does not change my political views, and it make me no more inclined to vote for a party that does not share my political point of view. In fact, the Conservative Party, in its’ current incarnation, is so far from my political point of view that I’d rather abstain than vote for them…

I don’t think it’ll come to that… I will probably be voting NDP in the next election because the candidate in my riding will have a chance to win and I know will do a better job of representing our community than the current Conservative MP.

12 thoughts on “Why I will never vote Conservative”

  1. Like Harry Truman or someone equally famous and colorful said “well, so-and-so may be a son of a bitch but he’s OUR son of a bitch.”

    After further reflection, I might agree a little bit with you, Chris. Jimmy Carter was as pure as the driven snow but the most inept president since Herbert Hoover and as an ex-president he’s a meddlesome fool. Ronald Reagan (who I did not vote for as I was a new-deal Democrat in those days-thank God the veil has been lifted from eyes) with the Iran-Contra business and other mini-charges of corruption managed to restore the country’s confidence and vigor in spite of his minions’ character flaws. So maybe like the Canadians say, a little corruption is to be expected for the good of the country. heh what a pretty pass we’ve come to. People used to resign when they were caught with their hand in the til or their pants down. Now they’re just plain brazen, daring you to “prove it” and even when it is proved they say “so what?”.

    But this wholesale bribery and under-the-table money is appalling even by Canadian/European and UN standards. Some house cleaning is long over due and when it comes to that in my country, I’d say the same thing. As an aside, here in the USA some very arrogant thieving business men are cooling their heels in jail right now. Is it a new day dawning? Hang the rascals and throw ’em out of office, I say

    Well, I’m proud that I spurred you to post why you will never vote conservative. Never is a long time, Chris. I predict that before your lifetime is over, liberalism as you know it today will exist only in the history books. It’s a house of cards and will fall in on itself when the looming bills become too big for a shrinking tax payer base to support and that is realpolitik in my opinion.

  2. Jane:

    you said:

    “People used to resign when they were caught with their hand in the til or their pants down. Now they’re just plain brazen, daring you to “prove it” and even when it is proved they say “so what?”.”

    You’re absolutely right.. too many politicians these days, of all stripes are far too brazen. It used to be that if there was even a hint of scandal, those involved would resign immediately. It also seems that it takes a much larger scandal before some will even consider resigning.

    Case in point is the Gomery Inquiry… or, the false pretenses given for going to War in Iraq.

    Personally I see a bloody war started by gross exagerations is far far more damaging to a country, emotionally, socially and economically than a case of a bunch of bigwigs getting big paycheques. One has to wonder why either case hasn’t led to the automatic dismissal of the governments responsible.

    But that is just my opinion. I don’t expect you to agree. 🙂

    You could be quite right about liberalism, but what I think you don’t take into account is changes in liberalism itself into something more realistic and economically sound. I see this already happening in my province… there was a time when any party, but especially the NDP (being the furthest left of the left) thought nothing of running up huge deficits in order to pay for massive programs. Now, we see platforms from both the provincial and federal NDP that talk about fiscal responsibility and balanced, even surplus budgets.

    Times change… realities change.

    On this point I see a very weird reversal of reality in the US. It’s something that I really don’t understand and I think boggles the mind of many Canadians… and that is the current US Administrations ballooning Deficit and Debt.

    At the same time that you have these huge debts accumulating… you’re cutting taxes and raising spending? It simply doesn’t make sense. And the fact that the last Administration to have a balanced and surplus budget was Democrat is even more weird considering they are supposed to be the “Big government, Big Deficit” types.

    And here we are in Canada with our ultra-Liberal (by American standards) ways and our massive taxes (which, if you eliminate the GST aren’t actually any higher than the US) and our massive social spending and we have surpluses year after year for 7 years running.

    Granted, eventually the economy will cycle downwards… but it appears that Liberalism has done anything but hurt the social and economic well being of Canadians in the past decade.

  3. As I recall, you’ve been calling for government subsidized day care and have lamented that that issue is depriving Canada of productive contributions from parents who can’t afford to pay for day care and educate themselves. How can Canada afford a new government service such as universal daycare if, as you say, they are trying to cut back on spending? It’s probably going to pass after the next election.

    Anyway, if you people paid for the defense of the North American continent as well as Europe for the last 60 years, you’d be running deficits. You have nothing to brag about. The war in Iraq was a strategic mission to counter Islamic terrorists and it is working whether you admit it or not. We’ll handle the deficits in the years to come. The tax cuts helped the economy and that will balance out soon enough. (WWII was financed on IOUs and we survived that) The US has power and we use it for the betterment of ourselves and others. That carries a price tag that we think is worth it. European liberals (that includes Canada) have abdicated the responsibility of their own safety and security to the Americans. Until we got into a war you don’t approve of, ya’ll up there were perfectly happy to let the good ole US of A foot the bill for defense while you offered not much in the way of help but picayune criticism of your arrogant southern neighbors.
    We’ll adjust our spending soon enough.

    Besides that, our deficits are our business. Like your lack of a national defense is your business. Americans are just dumbfounded by Canadian and European military weakness as a policy. Even if ya’ll raised a real military you couldn’t work with us or defend your borders because you have no military technology to speak of.

    And your contention that the war was a fraud is just too stupid to comment on. Your analysis is completely biased and IMO it’s time people like you started looking forward instead of backward. The future belongs to those who figure out how to co-exist with the growing power coming out of Asia. Europe is over. Hang your hat with them and you’ll go down with them.

  4. Here’s a thought Jane:

    Maybe the US doesn’t *need* to provide security to the world. It seems that the only people clamouring to defend the world are Americans… maybe the reason no one else is is because they don’t think there is a need to… not because a they don’t want to take charge of their own security, but rather because they don’t see a threat worthy of the level of security.

    What’s a ballistic missile or nuclear submarine going to do to a terrorist on an airplane anyway?

    I, for one, would be quite happy to see the US scale back its’ forces…it would give less reason for people to fear the US and more reason for other developed nations, like Canada, to take on more of the responsibility of defending their own borders.

    Deficits and unmanageable debt become our business when it affects us. The US is the most powerful and influencial economy in the world.. so it’s definitely of concern to us when the deficit and debt runs out of control/

    And was Clinton not paying for all that defense as well? How did he managed to balance the books? And if you say it’s because of all the military cutbacks, why then are you still running deficits when the military hasn’t reopened any of the bases that were closed, and is, I believe, only now returning to pre-Clinton recruitment.

    Oh.. and since the second or third year of surpluses, the Canadian government stopped cutting spending and started restoring services… the 2005 budget showed one of the largest increases in spending in many years across many sectors including defense.

    If it looks like exagerration (nothing on the ground), smells like exagerration (changed stories from the Adminstration) and walks like exagerration (multiple government reports saying CIA was false.. and knew it)… then it probably is exagerration.

    You’re saying I should look forward instead of backward? Does that include in this corruption scandal? Should I ignore it because it happened yesterday, no of course not… why? Because the same people are still in power.

    Same goes for Bush and Co and Iraq.. what’s worse in Iraq.. is the scandal is still continuing and costing lives of innocent and brave Americans and civilians every single day.

  5. Your take on the Iraqi war is your personal interpretation of events and factors. It’s not necessarily the “truth”.

    You can complain all you want about US defence spending. When we were containing the USSR, nobody thought we spent too much. The situation now is the result of European dependence and willingness to allow Americans to take on that burden for them while they developed very nice “governtment services” instead of paying for a military.

    You know what Chris? We don’t want to do it anymore. We gonna let Europe fend for itself like it wants. You ought to read a brilliant piece entitled Power and Weakness by Robert Kagan. Just google and it will come up. It is a great explanation for the difference in European and American attitudes regarding power and its uses.

    As far as Clinton’s prosperity is concerned, it was an accident. He did very little to make it happen. The so-called “tech bubble” is well known to be the underlying and inflated source of economic expansion. The tech industry is regarded by ALL analysists to have been overvalued in the extreme. When the “bubble” burst, a lot of paper millionaires were looking for jobs. You should be well aware of that phenomenon as you are in that field albeit as an educator.

    And, Clinton cut military spending dramatically. We had 400,000 forces in Europe when he took office and less than 100,000 at the end of his administration. I’m sure there were other cuts as well.

    We are running deficits simply due to the cost of the Iraqi war. Easy answer. Remember, Chris, in the US, 9/11 changed our direction. You don’t agree with the war. I do. I’ve heard all your rhetoric and it hasn’t moved by position one millemeter. In the long run, the war is the beginning of the effort to weaken and eliminate terrorists and their supporters.

    You don’t see any threats. Hope you are correct because most threats when they penetrate the heads of ostriches and are inescapably obvious do not allow the time and money for building up a nation;s military before the threat is in their living rooms.

    You may think our deficits are your business. I’ll grant you that American economy is important to the rest of the world and the reverse is true. But in the end, you have little power to affect what the US chooses as its foreign and domestic policies. You can set up a blog, which you have, and you can complain about our policies but that’s it. We are not obligated to run the US to suit your interpretation of world events and what’s best for Canada.

    Oh and I guess I misunderstood your comments about Liberalism changing with the hint that spending had been cut back. My error. You said there was “talk” of cutting spending. I’m sure those receiving the benefits are not gonna’ give ’em up quietly. The beat will go on, in Canada and Europe. When is the reality of changing demographics going to penetrate the minds of you folks who think the purpose of your government to exist is to take care of all your needs? When are you going to recognize that the “tax”
    dollars aren’t going to be there soon? Europe is not going to take care of its retires by selling arms to the Chinese. Too little too late. Not enough money there…besides that issue threatens the very existance of Nato (which is a good thing IMO).

    Well, I’ve satisfied my need to lecture a liberal off (however inadequately) for this morning so I must go back to my mundane duties here at the office. Have a good day…I mean that.

  6. As always, I think you’re full of poo and barely have a clue, Jane. (Yes I worked very hard on that rhyme) 🙂

    But I respect your opinion and appreciate that your willing to voice it in “hostile territory” as it were.

    Of course.. it’s not that hostile… just different.

    Have a great day.. it’s beautiful and warm here today. If my stupid laptop had a battery that could actually last more than 5 minutes I’d be working from the grass outside my office window. Oh well, at leat my window opens… and I have an coffee and lunch to soak up the sun.

  7. Chris and Jane,

    To argue that our allies haven’t been pulling their weight is to overlook the way US deficits have transferred the defense burden to foreign lenders. Asia and Europe are comfortable with an arrangement in which we provide the military power and they pay for it, because in neither region do nations want their neighbors to remilitarize and we don’t want them remilitarized either.

    The real problem is that our ability to police the eastern hemisphere will decline as other nations modernize. Five percent of the world’s population (the USA) will sooner or later be reduced to five percent of its power as the rest of the world catches up. This won’t happen for many decades but it will happen by the end of the century and a tipping point may come by mid-century. When that comes, we could be back to 1914 (or worse, back to the summer of 1940) if great powers are at each other’s throats over things like territory, oil, the environment, and the control of outer space.

    The United States needs to belong to a larger grouping. To do that, we will have to give up some of our sovereignty in order to induce partners to do the same, as we did when we agreed to join NATO. A further step will be needed, probably by merging NATO and the EU and making the result a true federation that is open to other democracies. The alternative of preserving national sovereignty in its present form will be to bring back a world of great power rivalry and war.

    I don’t have the exact numbers but my impression is that in both world wars Canada’s per capita losses exceeded those of the United States. Canadians also have the dubious honor of being exposed to missiles from North Korea and China that go off course, as many are expected to do if there is a nuclear war. Military and foreign policy decisions made in Washington over which Canada has no control will affect Canadians as much as Americans. Our differences with Canada are really not that important in a larger context.

    Regarding conservatives and liberals, at least in the United States I don’t think any ideology has an indefinite lease on the public sphere, and the differences over spending involve only a few percentage points of GDP.

    The real danger is the drive to convert political differences into religious ones. Whatever their personal views, I don’t think most Americans want to go down this road. In the unlikely event that we do, the evidence of other tyrannies shows that a country can’t suppress intellectual and personal freedom and remain competitive for very long.

  8. David

    Excellent comment. You see things with a wider vision than most I’ve read lately. But I wonder, Does the US, France and the UK still fear German and Japanese rearmament and potential for agressive nationalism? From what I read of sentiment in both countries, especially Germany, they still struggle with the guilt and shame of WWII and are adamant foes of any type of militaristic ideology and the Iraqi war is one of the chief reasons why the US is so unpopular at the moment on the European continent. I don’t see them as partnering with us militarily to forestall Asian military power.

    I thing also you may exaggerate the potential here in the US for religious domination of the political ideology. I don’t think that a hedonistic society where our family life and public morals promote only self-gratification with little responsibility and easy answers to complex ethical questions will be more likely to preserve our democratic freedoms and could lead to tyranny just as easily as a repressive society would. That would be a completely extreme outcome of the goals of the red state voters.

    Most American conservatives are merely expressing “let’s stop and consider the long-term effect of the changes the Left is promoting “. We are in the midst of a national debate on many issues centered around the ubiquitous expressions of “values” and what they mean and what they should be in our society. As is usual, I foresee over time a moderation of many views until we meet somewhere in the middle. The extreme-left and the extreme-right are neither one likely to prevail with its particular ideology in the long run. At least I fervently hope so.

  9. Chris, you seem, ever since Jade was born, to be inordinately preoccupied with “poo”….hmmm.

    Anyway, two can play the poet’s game:

    Here’s to Chris,
    he loves to dis
    the good ole USA.
    In the end
    he will say
    he is our friend
    but …..
    seems to show us
    in the strangest way.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Worth mentioning that the size of the current American deficit dwarfs all spending on the so-called War on Terror. Although it is a cause, it is not the only cause of America’s money troubles.

  11. Jane,

    I don’t think there is any sentiment in Germany for militarism. But there is still a lot of nervousness about Russia. If the American nuclear umbrella is withdrawn and Russia moves back into eastern Europe, Germany will be much less secure and might want to acquire nuclear weapons. The alternative would be for the European Union to become a federation with its own armed forces. The Germans want this but the British don’t and the French are ambivalent. I’m afraid Europe without the United States would be a much less stable place.

    Asia is even worse. The recent tensions between China and Japan show how close to the surface historic enmities still are. If America pulls out, the Japanese will acquire nuclear weapons and tensions with China could escalate. Russia could also have renewed problems with China if the latter wants the resources and land of Siberia and Central Asia. Europe can stay neutral in any confrontation between America and an Asian great power, but if nuclear weapons are exchanged in any quantity the fallout will circle the northern hemisphere and rain down on everyone.

    The only real solution is for NATO and the EU to absorb most of Eurasia and form so huge an alliance and community that it can deter any single nation from going to war with a neighbor. The United States has to be involved for that to work.

    You make a good point about hedonism and utilitarian ethics being as dangerous as religion, if taken too far. I didn’t mean to imply that one was any less dangerous than the other. At the moment conservatives are in the ascendancy and so their issues are the ones that dominate the agenda.

    Personally I think the values debate is mostly an expression of post-1960s backlash. Anyone calling in the name of family values for a federal amendment to outlaw gay marriage, and not an amendment to outlaw divorce, isn’t serious about morality. There was no middle ground over laws outlawing racial intermarriage and there is no middle ground here. But time will settle the issue.

    The reason why I worry about religion in public life is that people can lose faith in moderation if their lives become more insecure. It is as much the fault of liberalism that so many Americans have turned to fundamentalism for a sense of direction. But the civic culture will break down if party conflict turns into religious warfare. I think we will pull back from this but it worries me how close we have come.

  12. Again, David, thanks for the insights. I suspect you work for the State Dept 🙂 you seem so scholarly in your perspective. I’m going to save your predictions for further pondering. I’m most interested in the coming world situation and how the US will fit into the larger scheme of things. To me the use of nuclear weapons is unthinkable by anybody.

    I believe the controversy over gay marriage is heightened due to the proposed legalities being rushed and yes, that has created a backlash. Only two or three years ago, the average American had never even contemplated such an idea. It seemed totally preposterous to me when the discussion began or reached my ears. However, I, too, realized that if legally we who care about the moral fabric of our country can believe that divorce is an acceptable outcome to a failed marriage, then why not same sex marriage. Both are prohibited by the Christian scriptures (although that is debated adamantly in some circles) and I have been converted to the reality that all so-called immoral human behavior does not necessarily need to be prohibited by law. In other words, I believe that same sex marriage or some form of legality will be a reality here in the US within a decade of two. The average American just needs some time to get used to the idea.

    The reason I don’t get very agitated by the Religious Right in our political arena, is that the overwhelming majority of Americans are not extremist and don’t have the energy to be so. Moderation is what is comfortable. And that is what we get in the long run. Remember prohibition? Well, me neither but I read about it. It was just an experiment that failed.

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