Saturday, May 20, 2006

I Have a Dream

- US President Al Gore
- US Vice-President Hillary Clinton
- Canadian Prime Minister Bob Rae

Just imagine the world we could create: fiscally, environmentally and socially responsible; fiscally, environmentally and socially progressive. Leaders who have a sincere desire to make the world a better place for all, and the vision and skill set to make great improvements.

Okay, it won't happen, at least not in the US. But playing with the idea brings to mind the oft-heard comment on the left that it doesn't matter who's in power (Liberal/Conservative, Democrat/Republican) because they're all the same.

That's so tragically untrue that it's criminally negligent. (I mean you, Ralph Nader.) Can anyone argue that the US is the same place with George Bush at its helm as it would have been with Al Gore? Does anyone remember all the great things that Jimmy Carter did? Imagine the world if he had been reelected (as he might have been if not for Iran) and if the entire Reagan era had never happened.

I believe that presidents and prime ministers should govern from the middle. Once elected, their constituents are not just the folks who voted for them - a leader must represent and do right by everyone. That means that the base doesn't get everything they want. Being a left-wing politician means you care about everyone's welfare, and you don't enact economic policies that benefit the employed by creating more unemployed. But governing from the middle and being fiscally responsible does not mean that a center-left government is anything like a right-wing government.

Another sentiment popular in both the US and Canada these days is that all parties are so corrupt that it doesn't matter who you vote for. I think we really need to give ourselves a shake and drop all this cynical crap. Most politicians are honest and our political system works. There has been corruption but it's not systemic. If you want to see what systemic corruption feels like, try living and working in Africa for a little while. When there is systemic corruption, you won't just read about it in the news; when it exists, you'll experience it first-hand.

In the case of Canada we had a financial scandal that toppled our government. It was a very serious scandal and we should do all we can to ensure nothing like it ever happens again. However, let's keep it in perspective. This scandal occurred in a desperate attempt to keep Quebec from separating from the rest of Canada. It seems likely that the financial scandal was not the whole story; there was probably also voter fraud in the 1995 sovereignty referendum. The people who did these things should be punished and steps should be taken to prevent them from happening again, but this kind of malfeasance is different from personal financial corruption.

I'm not claiming that we have never had any corrupt politicians who used their position to get rich. Before letting the Tories take the high ground on the corruption issue, everyone should read Stevie Cameron's 1995 classic On the Take: Crime, Corruption and Greed in the Mulroney Years, which details the hundreds of things the Mulroneys did to line their pockets while he was prime minister. One of her most serious allegations, the Karl Schreiber Airbus scandal, has since been confirmed by Schreiber, who admits to giving Mulroney hundreds of thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that the litigious Mr. Mulroney never tried to sue Cameron over any of her allegations.

I recently read an Ipsos Reid poll that said only 20% of Canadians support conservative values and policies. For everyone who does, I say vive la difference and go for it. But for those who have different values, it's tragic that our own cynicism and partisan blinkers should keep us from achieving our vision.

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5 comments:

ae.scott said...

Al Gore really should be running the U.S.--he was elected. but Bush was 'pushed' in' How different... Iggy as Ambassador or Foreign Afairs, A Liberal PM and Ms. Clinton as President...what a difference.,,,and fresh air !

Anonymous said...

Al Gore really should be running the U.S.--he was elected. but Bush was 'pushed' in' How different... Iggy as Ambassador or Foreign Afairs, A Liberal PM and Ms. Clinton as President...what a difference.,,,and fresh air !

jasonr said...

There would be lots of group hugs. But you made a statement that made my jaw drop, "it was a financial scandal...but people have to remember that no money went into Mr. Chretian's pockets and they were trying to win a referendum"..or words to that account! What is amazing is that there is still very little recognition of stealing. Unless your stuffing your pockets with food to feed your children, stealing..funneling...what ever nice term you want to use...is wrong, you cant justify it. Standing before a judicial inquest and saying " I didnt have sex with that woman"...that was a lie...Clinton lied to the voters, lied in the eyes of his god...he lied. And when Bush is gone, it will be found that he lied about Iraq, a lie that will have cost millions of lives. The Left has no moral high ground on the Right...it just amazes me how the supporters of either can turn a blind eye to what they're own party has done or is doing. Liberals are out of power because they lied and stole, and until someone says.."ya that was pretty shady of us"...you give Harper a free ride.

Joe Edmonton said...

I agree, while you can't say they were stealing for a good cause, obviously they weren’t stealing to enrich themselves. So that makes this stealing quite OK.

And I'm perfectly willing to have my tax dollars stolen and distributed through Liberal backroom deals if that will keep other parties from power.

After all, stealing to keep the Liberals in power is a way better idea than what I'd have done with my share of the dough (I would have wasted it on something like new shoes for my daughter).

EX-NDIP said...

You people just leave me in awe . . .
Al Gore, President, HE LOST . . . get over it . . . every recount, every court decision said so!!!
Hilary is a Socialist . . . read her book!!!! She will never get elected.
Al's new movie is as short of facts as his run for the presidency was, that's why he lost. Can you imagine Al Gore's reaction to 9/11, he would have been under his bed with Michael Moore . . .
But Al's environmental record is much like Chretien's . . . talk about it, throw a few billion around and just imagine something is happening.
Facts are, in the US, Bush has done a far better job of CO2 emissions, they are increasing at a much lower rate than as was the case in Chretien's Canada. And of course the US economy is booming in the process, unlike our manufacturing segment that is struggling to survive.

"Does anyone remember all the great things that Jimmy Carter did?"
Jimmy Carter was a total disaster . . . he was in the process of turning America into a WELFARE STATE, he was a 1 term president for a reason.

It seems millions of dollars found their way into the LPC bank account, Martin gave some back . . . makes me fees so confident. Like we let the bank robber off because he saw the error in his ways, returned some of the money to the bank and was somewhat sorry.

Where were all the caring lefties when millions were being massacred in Rawanda, Sumalia, Sudan, Bosnia . . . and also Sadim's Iraq. Where were you when the Kurds were gassed? As we now know, Sadim supported terrorists, financed Bombers families, trained over 9,000 Al Queda fighters, and had WMD's which are believed to have been moved to Seria and Iran.

The only thing the caring-left wants is access to my wallet, because they know better how to spend my money, they want big govt, (everyone can work for the govt. you know, eliminate unemployment). Of course the reality of Liberal Caring can be seen on any Native Reserve!!!

Does anyone remember life before PET? Low taxes, no debt or deficits and one of the freest, safest countrys on the planet with a capable military and envied by all the world, imagine a Canada like that if you like . . . . but thanks to Liberal mis-management those days are long forgotten.

But as we struggle along in the 21st century, it seems some of the Canadian Rip-Van-Winkles are waking up . . . . Harper's pole numbers are increasing . . . Liberal incompetence is being exposed weekly . . . . there is still hope for this country . . . wake up folks!!!