Meanwhile in Canada: The Throne Speech

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Current Events, Election, politics, Statistics and Lies

Neatly overshadowed by the circus of American politics, last Wednesday saw the Throne Speech presented to Canadian Parliament by Seven Harper’s Conservatives.

It was a monument of words, being one of the longest ever and including such phrases as, “We are on the cusp of a moment that is uniquely Canada’s.”  In it’s style and introduction, it clearly plays on Canadian feelings of superiority, trying to make our country and government look good standing beside the travesty that Americans are currently forced to call governance.  …Perhaps rightly so, but it still amounts to lowball manipulation.

The most heavily leaked parts of the Throne Speech also highlight this high regard for ourselves and our government, almost with a liberal flavoured self righteousness.  Consumer rights and citizenship for Malala accompany a crackdown on unscrupulous pay-day lenders.  Wow.  The anticipated speech looked almost NDP in it’s concerns and goals, perhaps aimed squarely at those in the middle of the political spectrum who might be swayed by Justin Trudeau.

And yet, it is easy to see through this Throe Speech sleight of hand.

1.)  The amount of space actually devoted to consumer rights pales compared to passages about continuing the crackdown on crime and the cutting of public sector wages and benefits.  Interestingly, those details of the speech were not leaked prematurely.

2.) As Paul Wells points out in a Maclean’s article several weeks ago, the Harper administration has a long, untarnished history of ignoring promises made in the Throne Speech.  Past Throne Speech references to consumer rights, credit protection, “better oversight of food, drug and consumer products” are all gathering the dust of inaction.  One Throne Speech which highlighted “Parliament should be an expression of our highest ideals,” was followed only months later with the proroguing of government.  Harper has discovered that he can include as many promises as he wishes which may appeal to centrist or liberal voters, and it is of no consequence because he’ll just not bother to follow through.

Like the Toronto Subway Grant, it’s all designed to get re-elected, not to govern responsibly.  That insane motivation behind government action (or inaction) currently enjoys the spotlight in the U.S.   Hopefully our Canadian “smugness” and our clear view of the show down there will help to keep the same thing from happening up here.

 

 

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