I Thought Prostitution Was Illegal

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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7 responses to “I Thought Prostitution Was Illegal

  1. Its easy to blame all the problems in the world on the Left, but it can never be that easy.

    The world doesn’t just get better if the Right runs the show — absolute power corrupts absolutely and its a story that proves itself true throughout history.

    Its not that the budget isn’t “enough” for the NDP, Liberals and Bloc, its that it isn’t *their* budget.

    In the United States, the Right has destroyed that country for 8 years, and 1/3 of the Stimulus is tax cuts, yet the Republicans aren’t happy, it “isn’t enough”.

    When partisan politics are involved, on any issue its “never enough”, the Left isn’t greedy, its posturing.

    The minority government we have had has served us very well, its been productive, and its shown Canadians that we can get work done and move this country forward.

    This is not the case anymore, and the blame rests solely on Prime Minister Harpers shoulders, after winning an increased mandate, his first act was to throw a hand grenade at the opposition parties to cut funding.

    Had this not occurred, you would have your Conservative budget, you would have Dion as the interim leader until a late-spring convention, and the Harper Government would probably live to see another winter.

  2. Hi, Jeremy:

    Welcome to the discussion here. I’ve enjoyed our back-and-forth on Twitter & it’s good to see a longer comment from you.

    I personally am neither a Rightist nor a Leftist (so-called) although if those terms must be used I suppose I’m closer to the so-called Right than the so-called Left.

    What I am is someone who thinks of society as the unfolding of a tradition of culture and civilisation that binds together past generations and what they held dear, the issues of today that should be solved by moral reasoning in that history-laden context, and stewardship toward future generations. This makes me a traditional Canadian Tory in the Macdonald Liberal-Conservative spirit, but with what today we would call a “Green” edge.

    Of our current parties, the Conservatives were the best shot I had at finding politicians that might share that sense of history, future and moral integration, especially if one looked at the 17 principles the party claims for itself.

    Instead, what I’ve gotten is a party “of the Right” — but the right is ahistorical liberalism (what matters is now, anything from the past can be overturned as needed and the future can take care of itself (despite program spending). Neo-conservatives on both sides of the border, in other words, are “Right Wing Liberals”.

    Yesterday this was made clear: principles could be tossed on the trash heap of history with ease to “save the Government’s skin”.

    Already, of course, we’d seen that for the BQ and NDP power exceeded moral consideration.

    I give Ignatieff — but not his party (yet) — some credit for understanding this (which is why many people refer to him as a centre-right Liberal or a Blue Liberal), but the Liberal Party itself has always been about ahistorical power: I want to see that “Ignatieffism” might be gaining ground before even considering them further. Certainly Dion and Martin Liberalism was wholly unacceptable to me!

    The other thing I have wanted is politicians (of any stripe) to recognize that they are elected to make choices. They get one half of that: they choose new programs. They don’t get the other half: there are times to say programs are done and to walk away from them. Walking the streets of Ottawa last night I saw the blocks of Federal offices and wondered to myself how much of what is done in them is still relevant and productive. Without choices, we’ll never know.

    I refuse to be a spokesperson for any party. Increasingly, I refuse to affiliate to any party — and I am one of those rare Canadians who puts out over $1,000 per year in donations and (aside from being out of the country due to a strike) have never missed an election. Yet I am leaning strongly today toward merely critiquing and not paying for politics, nor voting.

    That’s how broken I think all the parties are, and our lives are suffering for it.

  3. Pingback: Liberals restore adult supervision « The Web Columnist

  4. bluegreenblogger

    I was shocked by this vacuous budget. The neo-conservatives have no political home in Canada. Not being a neo-con, you’d think that I would glory in this, but it’s no good thing when the majority of Albertans, plus a hefty minority across the country have no political outlet.
    I find myself unwillingly drawn to the conclusion that some form of proportional representation is fast becoming essential if we are to retain a healthy confederation.
    There are now multiple distinct political philosophies in Canada, and the formal big-tents are not able to form an acceptable plurality anymore.
    Approximately 10% of the electorate, the Greens are completely dis-enfrancised. A seperatist party enjoys unbalanced power in our Parliament. A perverse alliance of tories, and neo-conservatives will probably fracture in front of our eyes. The NDP has a slow policy influence, and is probably the only Party that is able to make a positive contribution through their traditional role as gadfly.
    The transition to coalition politics, which ought to be the natural result of a fragmenting electorate, doesn’t seem to be happening. If we formalise the fragmentation with PR, then the PC’s can return, the Reform can return, the Greens, NDP, Bloc, and Liberals can all take up their seats, and hammer out the governing coalitions that can pursue a coherent set of policies. I’m a little fearful of the policy drift that may come from this, but it simply has to be better than our current prospects.
    I always harboured deep reservations about PR, but we now have the drawbacks, without the benefits.
    Wouldn’t it be the strangest bedfellows of all if the tories, social conservatives, socialists, and greens were all to make common cause in pursuing PR?

  5. Hi, BlueGreenBlogger:

    You and I share a lot of the same ideas, starting with the fact that disenfranchising whole skeins of political thought can only lead to trouble.

    PR does seem to be a real need. I know I’d prefer STV over other methods, but whatever the method, First-past-the-post (FPTP) and “big tents” have had their day. Now it’s time to deal with the issue-based and philosophy-based threads modern communications make possible.

    The coalition attempt these past few weeks rightly was seen as a power grab, not an attempt at real reform. But coalitions are coming, and we need to allow our systems to support them properly.

    I like the image of your “strange bedfellows”. I can get behind this. Thanks for writing. In the meantime, I presume you’ll continue to try and build your Green EDA — that’s necessary work. I don’t know yet what I might do personally. But my last few posts have shown just how much common ground there is out there when we check our party affiliations at the door.

    I’m glad you write here.

  6. Cheating, lying, stealing is as well is illegal for politicians

    http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/accountability/

  7. Pingback: Post-Party Depression « Worth the Fee to Read It

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