Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Buying Canadians off with their own money?" Why is this coming from the left?

Recent comments from Rick Mercer have me thinking of the old Animaniacs "Good Idea/Bad Idea" sketches.

Good Idea: Rick's hysterically funny "Letter from the Desk of Stephen Harper". I almost hurt myself laughing, particularly with this bit: " In an effort to appease Ontario voters it is imperative that we bring forward an image of moderation. To this end I would like to point out that I waited a full five hours after parliament dissolved before I started in on the queers."

Bad Idea: Rick's Rant of November 29th. What in the name of all that is sane are otherwise left-leaning people doing using the line "bribing/buying off Canadians with their own money"? This is about a Conservative a talking point as you can get. One of the fundamental premises of left-wing politics is that governments should be collecting taxes to pay for initiatives that Canadians want. If you're going to complain about the flurry of last-minute spending announcements, complain that it has taken so long for the Liberals to finally start using some of the surplus on needed initiatives.

The logical extention of the case that goverment spending is "buying Canadians off with their own money" is a call to cut taxes to "give Canadians back their money." Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather not have to raise university tuitions, increase classroom sizes, eliminate kindergartens, see more and more health care user fees, and slash welfare rates in this country. I lived through the Mike Harris years in Ontario, and have had quite enough of that approach to governance. If you believe that one of the functions of government is to redistribute income from the wealthy to the poor, and to use the pooled taxpayer income to provide services that can not be created piecemeal, then it's a good thing to have government spending. I expect this kind of rhetoric from Stephen Harper, but not from Liberals or New Democrats.

Let's all be a little more careful with where we get our talking points from, shall we?

P.S. - My apologies for my severe negligence in posting of late. It's been the end of term crunch here in Sackville. Today is my last day of lectures, so regular posting should be resuming shortly.

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