Dr. Dawg

E-Day 2019: PastMedia endorsement

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Harper leader endorsement.jpg

It’s a hard call this time, but we believe that the best choice for government in next week’s general election is, once again, the Conservative Party of Canada.

We would be the first to admit that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not pleased everyone. In fact, when he refused to resign after he won a slim majority in 2015, we were shocked and disheartened. At the time, we had endorsed the government but not the Prime Minister, and the logic of that appeared overwhelming. His style, after all, had given needless offence, even if his government’s policies were generally sensible and sound.

Since then, we have been concerned to observe even more of Mr. Harper’s dark side, toward which his government has, to some extent, strayed. For example, we have seen the routine use of the “notwithstanding clause” in legislation to effectively nullify the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Muslim citizens have been sent to internment camps without charge or trial. Peaceful environmentalists have been charged with terrorism and treason. The definition of terrorism, in fact, has been extended to strip the citizenship of hundreds of Canadians merely for expressing anti-Harper views. We have also seen the widespread use of the Great Lakes for the dumping of spent fuel rods and other nuclear waste, with substantial effects on the tourism industry.

We have expressed our criticism of these and other measures, such as further lowering the GST, in previous editorials. There has seemed to be insufficient rationale for them, and none were properly debated in the House of Commons or the Senate, where time allocation was imposed even before any constructive discussion took place.

On the other hand, as the world economy has improved in fits and starts since the 2008 recession—more than a decade ago—it has been reassuring to see professional hands on the ship of state. Interest rates have been kept moderately low. Corporate taxes have been further reduced over the years, and we are bound to see investors take advantage of them soon, to everyone’s benefit. While unemployment is unacceptably high, major public works programs for EI claimants—ritually denounced, of course, as “workfare” by the opposition—have borne fruit. We have these programs to thank for new highways, mines, forestry management, and oil spill clean-ups, among other things. Paradoxically, perhaps, Canada is richer for its unemployed.

The NDP and the Liberals continue to call for “humane” social policies and programs, but they fail to give credit where credit is due. Consider, for example, Mr. Harper’s national childcare program, where Canada’s youth are cared for under trained supervision, given proper nourishment and uniforms, and instilled with a deep love of Canada and her flag. There is something more than a little hypocritical in the chorus of criticism that has greeted such initiatives.

This brings us to the opposition leadership. Paul Dewar has been competent enough as NDP leader, after the sudden resignation of Thomas Mulcair, and he has grown into his position. He is knowledgeable about foreign affairs, and has a lively sense of humour. But his policies are out of date and out of touch. As for Mr. Trudeau, as Leader of the Opposition he has been a disaster, as people on all sides of the political spectrum agree. He and his team of Liberals appear to stand for everything and nothing: his speeches and interventions in the House of Commons have been frequently rambling and incoherent.

A strong country requires a firm and prudent leader who inspires public confidence. We are no longer suggesting, therefore, that Mr. Harper resign. While his manner is too often surly, and many of his actions and initiatives unfortunate, he has proven himself to be the steady hand on the helm that Canada needs. He and his party will serve the nation well for the next four years.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 17, 2015 2:52 PM.

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