Watching politicians prostitute themselves to save their necks is never a pleasant experience. Despite all experience, the hope that it will be different this time springs ever fresh. Alas, the script was well-telegraphed, and yesterday the Finance Minister stood in the House of Commons and confirmed that Brian Mulroney’s quip about Bryce Mackesey — “there’s no whore like an old whore” — can now fairly be applied on both sides of the aisle, as naked ambition overcame any whiff of principle, honour and care for this Dominion and its bien-être.
I refer, of course, to the budget, that disgusting debt dragging on our futures, our children’s futures and no doubt their children’s futures in the name of political expediency and rank followership today.
Expect me to say nothing about the specifics. I have already had my say on how budgets should be constructed. As a proof of moral cowardice the Budget Statement of 27 January 2009 is a textbook case.
Demonstrating decisively that (a) no opportunity to miss an opportunity should be passed by and (b) no amount of pandering to those who want handouts does the job, the NDP and the BQ immediately dismissed any consideration of passing this budget — not, of course, because it is evidence of a failure of moral judgement but because it (a) doesn’t have “enough” in it and (b) rejecting it might lead to “power now”. Although the Liberals under Ignatieff have been more measured in their response (although not all: the media had absolutely no trouble finding front bench Liberals willing to go on air, rattling their sabre) they, too, find the budget “insufficient”.
This is why, philosophically, the only response to leftist thinking is to expunge it; giving leftists (mild, medium or hard-core) a bone or the keys to the vault only leads to immediate demands to go further, offer more.
One might, in a rational world, have expected that if any political party would have offered an alternative might just have been our so-called Conservatives. That they, in turn, are the Government might even had led to a budget that honoured some semblance (a) of restraint and (b) fiscal conservative principles. Alas, the exigencies of immediate political and personal survival trumped any appeal to principle.
If offering up the Opposition’s style of budget — no decisions to cut essentially complete programs, to cut the civil service, to (in other words) find the money for the new initiatives you want to put forward but rather to burden the country with a permanent massive increase in the size of government and massive deficits to burden the citizenry with taxes for years to retire these expenditures — is considered good policy by the Harper Government, then I say that “I’ll take my Liberalism straight up, thank you”. (Or, rather, since I voted Conservative in 2008 to avoid precisely this sort of outcome, you just lost my political and financial support. You want to be Liberals in Blue Clothing, you can enjoy Liberal financial and electoral prospects.)
Harper and Flaherty have established, for any that are watching their behaviour, that they have no moral fibre, no principles beyond their own personal political advantage, no concern for Canadians and their futures, and no ideas beyond the bankrupt Keynesian economics of the global left.
This volte-face is political whoring, pure and simple. Far preferable would have been to stand on principle, put a principled Conservative budget to the vote, and be honourably defeated on principle rather than to sell out, body and soul, for the mess of pottage that is an amended set of handouts.
Indeed, not only would this have been moral behaviour, it is also better politics than what we will see in the days ahead. Consider the question of the Government falling:
- The Governor-General would have grounds to consider an election request — an election to be fought on two clear alternative philosophies of governance — as the naked ambition and promises to bring the Government down “no matter what” from the NDP, BQ and a sufficient number of Liberals demonstrate that this vote is about seizing power from the elected choice of the Canadian people tout simple.
- Even if the Governor-General turned to the Opposition Leader to form a Government, the “coalition” as put forward by his predecessor is not a given, and a Liberal Government might well easily fall, leading us to the polls. The posturing of Layton and Duceppe is just that — posturing — and Ignatieff’s implicit “coalition if necessary but not necessarily coalition” would be put tot he test.
- If the Coalition as Dion put it forward did come into power under Ignatieff as Prime Minister, the Liberals and NDP would then “own the recession”, making the eventual campaign that would emerge at a later date again a battle of philosophies putting forward a principled Leader in Harper against a vendu in Ignatieff.
Well, that’s all off the table now, for Harper is not a leader — or, if you like, he is a leader like all the others, indistinguishable in any respect that matters from the self-serving, tap the public purse to re-elect poseurs that ignore principle on the front benches of the opposition parties.
Thanks, Mr. Harper, for selling the body of your new Conservative Party in full violation of your own party’s stated principles. Another Liberal — the party that puts power ahead of principle — Party now exists in its place.
Resign! Perhaps your successor can restore the notion of a principled party to Canadian politics. Your ability to do so is no longer credible.
I do hope you enjoy your bag of quarters, because yesterday you showed us all that you’re nothing more than a two-bit whore.