By Jeff Groat
The ballots are counted: Canada is to be governed by a Conservative majority government for at least the next four years. We can wait eagerly for the results of promises of pushing through “100 bills in the first 100 days,” as Mani Fallon said, Conservative candidate for Newton-North Delta. A tough-on-crime approach in the face of falling crime rates is first on the agenda. It’s a promise to spend billions of dollars on prisons – a promise not to spend that money on tax-payers, but instead spend it on criminals.
Surely gone are voter subsidies of political parties. On the surface, this looks like a very good move to save taxpayers’ money from being spent by politicians in Ottawa. But Stephen Harper is not acting for the benefit of all – he’s acting to save his own oil-soaked skin. Such a move would effectively bankrupt the opposition parties w
ho have not managed to establish a working system of external fund raising as well as the Conservatives have. It is totally calculated.
Next on the docket is a raft of measures to ensure the big oil companies and tax-evading mulit-nationals are free to pollute our rivers, cash in on tax breaks for wealthy corporations, lobby government and drown out the voices of average working people in Canada.
If this election were called because of the Opposition’s refusal to put up with any more disrespect for Canadian democratic conventions, that luxury is now gone with a Harper majority. The Conservatives are now more than free to insert as many “nots” as they wish, cover up the true cost of expensive jets and security details as much as they wish, continue to centralize power and decision-making in the micro-managing PM’s office.