It’s my duty as a citizen, taxpayer and as someone with a free mind to not follow any leader or political party blindly, but I must say that some in the anti-Harper crowd are really not helping their cause.
Why? It’s because of that some go into full blown hate. Since 2003, they have been running the same hidden agenda thing. After eleven years it’s starting to sound tiring. It’s seems like the boy who cried wolf, because when you rip your shirt for everything and nothing, at the end, people don’t believe you when it’s something important. I am not talking here about people who don’t vote CPC, but about a crowd who are hating Harper, up to the point of losing all their rationality. It’s agreeable that the CPC gov’t had done some bad policies and have a problem in term of transparency and communication, but Harper is not the devil.
If Harper policies are so bad and evil, why do the Liberals support 90%, and the NDP support about 70% of them? Even on foreign affairs, the three main parties have a very similar foreign policy platform.
This is somewhat the major problem with the Harper government, there has been very few bold policies. Many policies are status quo, other are policies which are really bad, like giving a gazillon tax credits and pass that as »pseudo-tax cuts » instead of having a simple, fair and non-loophole tax code.
So what’s the beef with the hidden agenda, you say? It starts with the Liberals in the 1990’s.
There is also a sort of mysticism related to the former Liberal government. On the environment for example, action haven’t followed all the cheap talk. Under the Liberals, GHG emissions had been up for example.
The other big mysticism is in foreign affairs. The Liberals under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin were not like Mother Theresa, it had some peacekeeping missions which turned into massive disasters (like Somalia) and no doubt that the mission in Afghanistan was horrible as the Canadian troops were into a very difficult region of Afghanistan. It is a good thing that the Canadian Forces did not went into Iraq, but they had a mission in Afghanistan which was probably the most traumatic of any mid-sized countries in NATO.
This was the Liberal »hidden agenda » in the 1990’s. They were able to sell a policy and do the complete opposite. It’s indeed an incredible feat to have a party running on the Red Book in 1993 to be able to be re-elected when going against many of their promises. Free trade not repealed under the LPC, it was doubled down. The GST was not abolished it was »harmonized » under the Liberals.
Now with Stephen Harper »hidden agenda ».
The paradigm is that having so-called »progressive » ideas needs new revenue tools. And in a federal system of government like in Canada, the tax pyramid is higher because it’s divided in three.
And any new taxes which are giving new money are unpopular. Why? Because you have one way or another to raise the GST, the income tax for the middle class or to rise fees or charges in order to have any sizable new revenues. There is no magic money tree in any other option.
It’s no doubt that it’s really difficult to win an election on a platform of tax raises for the majority of voters. It’s a third rail issue and one of the reasons why governments in Canadian politics become really unpopular, really fast just like the former NDP government in Nova Scotia. The HST raise is also not helping lately the Manitoba NDP government in power since 1999. In British Columbia, even if the BC Liberals were re-elected, the unpopular HST measure was defeated by referendum even if poorer people had HST rebates.
This is Stephen Harper real hidden agenda. Based on circumstances and perhaps not by his own intent, he made it impossible for anyone to run on tax raises for the middle class to have a shot at winning any election. Even the BCNDP had understood that by opposing the HST while it’s a very good tax to raise money for social programs. Even in Quebec, when her election campaign was going nowhere, Pauline Marois was promising out of the blue tax cuts as quick as possible.