Aug. 24, 2021

Political party leaders need to can the trash talk

Canadians don’t care what party leaders think of one another. Much of the election campaign rhetoric sounds like the trash-talk of televised pro wrestling or pro-sports players.

Party leaders are seeking our authority to govern for the next four years. The least we can expect from them is decorum and respect. Leaders must focus on the significant issues that confront us and how they plan to resolve them.

Many of us were forced to work from home for months. Lifestyles were turned upside down. Accommodations made to deal with a surreal situation have become routine. How do we deal with that situation going forward?

Disruptions in supply lines have led to shortages which in turn drive up prices. When goods cost more, we have less disposable income. That means an increase in the working poor who barely make it from pay to pay. How do we address that?

Carbon taxes increase inflation. Everything we buy arrives at the retailer or vendor by petroleum-fuelled transport. We can’t change or control our climate. Politicians who claim they can need to read the story of King Canute. We have to adapt to a changing environment. How will we do that?

Petroleum products supply 80 per cent of Canada’s energy. Pretending that we can fully transition to other sources in the short term is ridiculous. We might make it in three decades provided that we can attract investments to support the costs. Currently, investors are shunning Canada. How do we change that?

The government record for picking corporations to support is dismal. An enterprise blessed with a forgivable loan or grant is usually doomed. Government must provide a level, stable regulatory and taxation environment for businesses to thrive.  

Our government needs adult supervision, and our political leaders sell their parties like cereal or soapsuds – 30 per cent more – better than other brands - try us, you’ll like us. That is not respectful.

The Liberal attempt to discredit O’Toole by leaving out an essential element of his pitch on health care is disgusting, particularly by the deputy PM who claims to be a journalist. If I pulled similar stunts, my subscriptions would deservedly evaporate.

Trudeau doubled down and promised to spend an additional $8 billion on health care to cover up the O’Toole faux pas, but the cupboard is bare. That is $8 billion in added debt. Moreover, health care is a provincial subject; Trudeau cannot tell the provinces how to spend their money.

Finally, the federal government has been meddling in provincial health care for 56 years and was caught flat-footed and gaping by COVID-19 – completely unprepared. The notion that the Liberal can fix health care is ludicrous. Their record is abysmal.

Jagmeet Singh of the NDP wants the federal government to take over personal care homes. He has not considered the costs of expropriating $ billions in land and buildings.

Considering the federal record of caring for Indigenous people, I would not subject our seniors in frail health to similar risks. Personal care is a provincial responsibility. Provinces need their feet held to the fire.

I am not a fan of federal meddling in provincial sovereignty. I described why in The Honey Trap. Besides the constraints on provincial budgets, shared responsibilities mean no accountability. The provinces blame the federal government for not doing enough and vice versa, so no one is held to account for failure to provide the services mandated by our constitution.

The useless finger-pointing in the current federal campaign is indicative of a cynical and hypocritical mindset. Bluntly, the rules apply to you, but not to me. We are tired of repeats of the same charade.

Our politicians have done their best to stamp out patriotism in Canada. We don’t teach civics or the framework of our constitution in school. Trudeau’s mumbling about a ‘post-national world’ underlines the objective. Our political class wants us to swear allegiance to their political party rather than the nation that sustains us. Most of us love Canada despite it being politically incorrect to say so.
Our challenge is to rebuild Canada as a constitutional monarchy with strict attention to the power structure laid out in our primary law. We elect people to represent us in parliament, not to represent the ideology and principles of a small core within a political party.
Top-down governance has driven us into a nightmare of several unresolved crises. Political leaders have under four weeks to figure out that the usual campaign slurry will not get them elected.