We are confronted, in this election, with the saddest collection of
Leading in the polls is a man who believes that political expedience is,
above all, the paramount concern. Prior to his election as leader of this
country I wrote him a letter. Roughly, what it said was that there were
Canadians living overseas, paying Canadian taxes, who could not vote in the
referendum (being held at that time - in the early 1990's). I had requested
his input (and support) in changing this. It didn't seem fair, or appropriate,
that a Canadian, paying local taxes, should be barred from voting in Canada
when others, ie, the military, could vote. The fact that military personnel,
ambassadors and other political figures living abroad could vote suggested to
me that solutions to this problem were already in place and there was no
reason this condition should persist (let alone exist). Mr Chretien's response?
"Vote 'Yes' in the referendum." In other words, "It does not suite me to
involve myself in this issue, it is not relevant to me so I will simply not
respond to your direct question."
Watch, if there is a way for Mr. Chretien to ignore your question (unless,
of course, he can score big political points) he will. Let us remember,
it is widely understood that, in the last election, each time Mr. Chretien
spoke his rating in the polls dropped. He didn't really win the election,
Ms. Campbell lost it. Mr. Chretien just happened to be there.
So what does Mr. Chretien stand for? I'm really not sure (except, of course,
for getting re-elected)! He has NO intention of changing the
GST (let alone scrapping it). If you want to know what he really said in his
last campaign, why not ask your local television station to rerun those news files?
The cuts in employment are seriously overrated. What happened to these people
who were cut?
Have you asked yourself where the hundreds of thousands of jobs (that the
Liberals created) are? They're in government. Departments closed, services
were reduced, buildings were abandoned and civil servants were moved to other
departments. The cuts were, and are, smoke and mirrors. Mr. Chretien is the
What you will see is Mr. Chretien, once again, saying as little as possible
during the course of this election.
What about Mr. Charest? His platform is a bit of a surprise to me. He
stated, "The Conservatives have always been for Canada." Mr. Mulroney proved otherwise.
Mr. Charest denies the true Conservative history. He doesn't look ahead,
rather, he looks back and seems to be saying, "what errors of our modern
history can I repeat." Perhaps he would like to revive the failed
"Charlottetown Accord". I've heard him say, "Give Quebec 'distinct'
status" (which is the cry of every other party) and "The Liberals are
wrong." He has said "We will cut taxes." He has complained about the
rash of layoffs in Ottawa. How does he propose to cut taxes, maintain
employment levels, restore the civil service, build his floating castle
(in the sky) and all those other things he seems to want to do with money?
Perhaps he would like to enslave Canadians to do these things for free...
Personally, I'm not impressed. By the way, has anyone else noticed that
Mr. Charest's promises (taxes, Quebec and the budget) are exactly
the same a Mr. Mulroney's were? (Mr. Mulroney didn't keep any of them
Mr. Manning is interesting... So far, he has proven he's a thief - not much
else. You and I, the general Canadian public, would be charged with possession
of stolen property if we had turned up with the Liberal's new "Red Book" prior
to its release. It is my personal belief that Mr. Manning, as with all other
politicians, will do what ever he has to for power. I don't trust that he won't
take racists (again) or separatists into his party to accomplish his objective.
Ms. McDonough, oh, Ms. McDonough or, as we lovingly refer to her
around this house, oh, "Ms. McDonut"... Doesn't she understand
anything? We can't spend our way to riches. Did her daddy never tell
her, "A fool and his/her money are soon parted"? Oh my, oh my, oh my.
She wants to spend us into the poor house so we can have money. Someone
should tell her that if we can get out of debt the problems will fix
themselves through increased confidence. It's true that you must "spend
money to make money" but we cannot afford to pay our debts now. Any
successful financial manager will tell you that you don't profit by
increasing uncontrollable debt. You spend what you have, not what you
don't have. This is a fundamental principle of effective financial
management and if we do increase taxes to the rich (those that can
afford to leave) they will leave and if you leave that debt for the
middle class, it will just be a question of time before they are
poor too. Haven't we heard enough in the past years about the shrinking
Sorry - nothing to say about the Bloc - they're just hypocrites who are
looking to milk Canada before they pull out taking, and keeping, anything
they can. They are a bunch of immoral b_st_rds and I can't even see taking
them seriously as political leaders in Canada. Since they claim
they wish to be an "inclusive" society, it is notworthy that they are the
only Canadian Federal party who's web site is unilingual.
It is unfortunate but Mr. Harris (Ontario's premier) is (basically) right.
We cannot afford the level of services that we've been taxing for in the past.
(No, I don't think we should be paying his green fees or laundry bills - that's
[more than] just ridiculous. After all, a salesman who has his suite dry
cleaned isn't even allowed to deduct that from his taxes.)
If we can eliminate our debt we can (and should) restore social services.
If we can get control of our debt the economy will improve, business will be
excited about establishing itself in Canada and unemployment will fix itself.
In the meantime, we must, as individuals, be as generous as we are capable
and help organizations like the food banks, homeless shelters and drop-in
What are the differences between the Liberal and Conservative parties?
None, really. A hundred years ago, the platform of the Liberals was that
of the Conservatives today. They believed in free trade and business
oriented politics while the Tories were, by today's definition, Liberals.
The only objective I've been able to see of any party in power in Canada
is to keep power at any cost. The only objective I've been able to see
of any opposition party in Canada is to say that the party in power is
Unfortunately, we have not had real leadership since the Trudeau era.
I believe it was time for him to leave (I believe he stayed a little too
long) however, we have not seen statesmanship or Canadian leadership of
that caliber since Mr. Trudeau's departure and sadly, we will probably not
see that kind of leader in this generation of Canadian politics.
What are the differences between the leaders? They all want to give
Quebec "distinct" status (except, of course, Mr. Manning and Duceppe).
They all want to rule (not run) the country (except, of course, for Mr.
Duceppe - who wants to run from the country). They all (except
for McDonough) want to cut taxes (or so they say) and they all claim to
want to decrease unemployment (I don't believe they really care). I see
no substantive differences between one and the other.
On Quebec Inclusion
Am I the only one who remembers? Our reporters (eg. Jason Moscovitz -
Chief Political Correspondent for the CBC) don't seem to. Quebec was never
excluded from the constitution. They elected (under Mr. Levesque) not to
sign the constitution. Let us not forget the history.
While living in Quebec I opposed distinct status. Now that I am outside
Quebec I still oppose distinct status. It is my belief that Quebec will
not be happy without complete and total rule over the rest of Canada or
separation. Quebec has stated, under no uncertain terms, that they will
not accept distinct status if it is also given to any other group. Who
more than the natives deserve to be recognized as distinct? Newfies have
their own language and their own lifestyle. They don't even live on the
continent. Vancouverites, once again, live on the other side of two major
mountain ranges. Their lifestyle, as is their climate, is quite distinct
from the rest of Canada. They are Asian in many ways. Their second
language, according to some, is English. Even the prairie provinces
are distinct in their life styles and geography from the rest of Canada.
Sorry, I just don't think that Quebec's clamor for recognition as being
the only unique society in Canada is valid. They are only different
in their language. In every other way, they are quite
like the rest of Canada. Indeed, they are very much like the rest of
Quebec has, through its own actions, excluded itself. Canada has a
law forcing French on all product packaging in every province. In Quebec
you will find packaging with French only. French is permitted on signs
in every province outside Quebec. (Need I say more on this issue?)
My grandparents ran from Europe because of oppression and risk of life.
Well, I don't believe, at this point, there is any real risk of life but
I will not have government telling me how to live and think. It is not
the place of a majority to do this either - certainly not when it
interferes with individual rights. Had I grown up in a house where
French was my first language I would still feel the same way. Let
us remember that the "not withstanding clause" was invoked to make
Quebec's (otherwise unconstitutional) language laws legal. Now that
legal use of the "not withstanding" clause has expired, English Canadians
in Quebec are being persecuted, contrary to the constitution of Canada.
Quebec, by its own actions and inaction, excludes itself from the rest
With all these nincompoops running for leadership of this country,
how do we choose a leader? Well, that points to fundamental problems with our political
It really doesn't matter who runs in your riding, you'd still be voting for
the leader of the party of which he is a member. I, personally, am
considering the local independent. If someone can think of a real good
reason for voting for one of the established parties, I'd like to hear it -
and don't try feeding me this "If you don't vote for one of them, your
vote won't count" crap! If I had the choice, I would want to see Mr.
Charest as prime minister but I would not want to have
the Conservatives in power.
Here is what little I do know... The government doesn't create
lower interest rates or lower unemployment. All the government can do
is help to create a good climate for investor and consumer confidence by
controlling debt. If they can keep control of our finances,
everything else will follow. We don't have to throw money at
corporations, we just have to demonstrate that we can control our
finances without taxing them to death. We don't have to tax individuals
who earn a good living into the ground to create a good consumer
climate. Neither do we have to throw massive cash gifts at them. We
have to allow them to enjoy the fruits of their labour, while making
their contribution to society, or we will find they don't want to pick
those fruit in our back yard. We need to hire good money managers for
our political offices.
COMMENTS posted here may be edited
for length and/or language but not for substance
"I believe it is inevitable that we hand over the running of
the country to business.... If a business would operate the
way the government does, the whole management would be replaced."
A. Mitsche - April 15, 1997.
"I ... can't say that I disagree with you."
R. Gale-Deslauriers - April 15, 1997.
To read Yvonne's earlier paper on Quebec politics, please go to Oh Canada!!! or to read my earlier paper on
Quebec politics please go to ...Oh Quebec.