The following lists the factors that denied the Harper Tories a majority despite facing the weakest lineup of opposition leaders in recent memory.
1. They played Liberal identity politics with a vengeance. Tribal/religious/territorial payoffs, apologies, pandering, appeasement to Chinese, Punjabis, Aboriginals, Sikhs, Quebecois, etc. What about Canada? The vast majority of Canadians are united in the conviction that laws, regulations and programmes should treat all Canadians to whom they apply equally. (See Spicer Commission Report, among many others)
2. They utterly failed to abolish some glaring travesties, ie; the gun registry, the election
gag law, the colossal abuses of our immigration system perpetrated by some
individuals and groups, and the grotesquely mis-named Human Rights Commissions.
3. They shamelessly reversed themselves and pandered to the Global Warming
Swindlers to the tune of several billions of our tax dollars instead of putting those
dollars to legitimate environmental improvements by supporting the building of
sewage treatment plants, clean coal power generators and solid waste incinerators.
4.They exploded the size and cost of the national bureaucracy and programme spending.
5. They failed to stimulate the domestic business climate enough by retaining internationally uncompetitive levels of tax and regulation.
6. Their PoliOps group smashed member loyalties in many ridings by denying them their fundamental right to choose the person to represent them in the election.
7. They increased, instead of decreasing, socialistic nanny-state regulations thereby
further reducing personal freedoms and increasing compliance costs to business.
8. They utterly failed to even discuss, let alone introduce, such sorely needed electoral reforms as free votes, recall, referenda & initiatives, election of party leaders by caucuses, a committee-driven Commons and a Citizens’ Assembly. None of these required Constitutional change. Instead, they smashed through, in record time for a non-emergency measure, a law to fix election dates which they then proceeded to break on a weasel technicality. This law was not called for by Canadians, was totally contrary to Parliamentary practice, and violated the Tories’ own policy #10 of taking any electoral reform proposal to the Canadian people in a referendum!
9. They continued their misguided practice of abdicating more powers to provincial
governments thereby further weakening Canada with particularly severe consequences for our health care and education systems, trans-Canada business operations, external affairs and a host of other issues. The Canadian people have repeatedly and overwhelmingly said they don’t want a balkanized federation, they want a united confederation – a single nation of 33 million equal citizens, not a collection of semi-sovereign independencies, equal or otherwise.
10. “Conservative” needs to be replaced. The last leader to have a positive effect on its reputation and popularity was Robert Borden. The new principles and policies for which the Canadian people are yearning to respond need a new brand name.
Charles W. Conn, Mississauga.
October 17, 2008