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Conservateur : Énoncé économique - Un affront à l’intelligence


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Conservateur : Énoncé économique - Un affront à l’intelligence

 

Jean-Robert Sansfaçon

Éditorial - Le Devoir

vendredi 28 novembre 2008

 

L’énoncé économique et financier présenté par le ministre des Finances, Jim Flaherty, est une insulte aux Canadiens en ces temps qui s’annoncent difficiles. Alors que le monde entier se serre les coudes pour combattre la crise financière et relancer l’économie, le gouvernement Harper profite de la situation pour accélérer l’application de son modèle idéologique libéral à l’appareil d’État fédéral.

 

Il n’aura fallu que quelques semaines au gouvernement Harper pour faire la preuve de son aveuglement idéologique devant la crise mondiale qui menace. À croire que ce gouvernement a embauché les conseillers de George W. Bush qui ont perdu leur job !

 

Malgré les données contenues dans les documents rendus publics hier, qui montrent que le pays est d’ores et déjà entré dans une phase de ralentissement, le ministre Flaherty a plutôt choisi de s’attaquer non pas à la crise, mais aux organismes fédéraux et à tous les syndiqués de la fonction publique. Sans aucune consultation, les conservateurs promettent d’abord de fixer les salaires eux-mêmes et de renvoyer l’application de l’équité salariale à la négociation des conventions collectives de travail, et pour être certains qu’il n’y aura pas de difficultés, ils suspendent le droit de grève de ces mêmes employés jusqu’en 2011 !

 

Du même souffle, ils annoncent qu’ils vont sabrer les programmes, les budgets des institutions fédérales et jusque les paiements de péréquation aux provinces, et comme pour se venger du résultat des dernières élections, ils annulent le financement public des partis politiques fédéraux, une formule qu’ils rendent sans doute responsable de leur échec à devenir un gouvernement majoritaire.

 

La seule préoccupation économique de ce gouvernement Harper nouvelle mouture, ce n’est donc pas de contrer la menace qui plane sur le pays, mais de poursuivre son oeuvre de réduction de l’État en comprimant les dépenses au pire moment possible. N’y a-t-il pas assez du secteur privé pour agir de la sorte ? Pourquoi faut-il que celui dont nous étions en droit de nous attendre à une longue liste de mesures destinées à stimuler l’emploi et la consommation se lance ainsi dans une campagne de compressions budgétaires tous azimuts ?

 

Rien dans la mise à jour économique du ministre des Finances n’encourage la relance de l’économie. Ce n’est pas nécessaire, croit-on, puisqu’il y a ces baisses d’impôt et de TPS qui ont été décrétées par le passé. Or, si ces mesures ont pu stimuler la consommation au cours des dernières années, elles ont évidemment perdu l’effet de nouveauté susceptible d’inciter les ménages à devancer une décision d’achat maintenant que la confiance a fondu.

 

Les seuls points positifs de cette mise à jour sont si minces — on pense notamment à l’aide ponctuelle aux retraités — qu’ils n’auraient même pas mérité d’être relevés si l’exercice d’hier avait eu le moindrement de contenu.

 

Au chapitre des revenus budgétaires, le ministre Flaherty s’attend à une chute de 3,2 milliards pour l’année en cours, en comparaison avec les prévisions faites lors du budget du printemps dernier, puis de 9 milliards l’an prochain et de 8 milliards en 2010 ! Or, au lieu d’annuler les réductions d’impôt sur les profits destinées à faire du Canada le pays où ils seront les plus bas parmi les membres du G7 en 2012, il choisit de réduire ses dépenses. Pourtant, ce n’est pas d’une baisse de l’impôt sur les profits que l’industrie a besoin dans une période comme celle-ci, mais d’une aide à l’investissement stratégique, à la recherche et à la formation !

 

Il y a deux semaines, à Washington, tous les pays du G20, dont le Canada, ont donné leur accord à un plan mondial de stimulation massive de l’économie. Depuis ce temps, l’Europe, les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni, la Chine ont annoncé des plans de relance spectaculaires. Il y a quelques jours, c’était au tour du Fonds monétaire international de demander aux pays industrialisés de consacrer au moins 2 % de leur produit intérieur brut à la relance, à commencer par ceux qui ont le moins de difficultés structurelles, comme le Canada. Aujourd’hui, nous connaissons la réponse du gouvernement Harper : un beau gros rien tout nu, enveloppé dans du papier émeri !

 

Malgré la faillite de l’industrie forestière et l’écrasement de l’industrie de l’auto, malgré la faiblesse de la demande dans le secteur des ressources naturelles et la baisse continue des exportations, l’équipe Harper est en train de faire la preuve que les Canadiens, et les Québécois, avaient entièrement raison de ne pas lui confier un mandat majoritaire.

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Harper et charest bye bye !!

Fat chance.

 

Charest is in majority territory, and Harper will either remain in power, or win another federal election.

 

How undemocratic of the opposition! The Conservatives were elected by the largest portion of Canadians, but the opposition is now trying to usurp their power.

 

These bailout packages appear to have done nothing anyways.

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Fat chance.

 

How undemocratic of the opposition! The Conservatives were elected by the largest portion of Canadians, but the opposition is now trying to usurp their power.

 

 

All together, the opposition parties represent more votes than the Conservatives and what they want to do is legal in our political system. The Conservative tried to use the economic crisis to pass conservatives ideas that they never talked about during the elections. The so-called hidden agenda (and I was one of those who didnt really believe that there was no hidden agenda, apparently I was wrong). Harper try to use the difficulties of the Liberal Party to pass those mesures and now he might pay for his arrogance.

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All together, the opposition parties represent more votes than the Conservatives and what they want to do is legal in our political system. The Conservative tried to use the economic crisis to pass conservatives ideas that they never talked about during the elections. The so-called hidden agenda (and I was one of those who didnt really believe that there was no hidden agenda, apparently I was wrong). Harper try to use the difficulties of the Liberal Party to pass those mesures and now he might pay for his arrogance.

Regardless, someone who voted Liberal did not vote NDP. Someone who voted Bloc did not vote Liberal. Someone who voted NDP did not vote Bloc. Voters did not vote on a coalition.

 

I realize its legal, but it leaves an awfully sour taste in my mouth. I want to know what you believe the Conservatives' so-called "hidden agenda" is? So far I haven't noticed anything they've done to be excessively to the right.

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Regardless, someone who voted Liberal did not vote NDP. Someone who voted Bloc did not vote Liberal. Someone who voted NDP did not vote Bloc. Voters did not vote on a coalition.

 

I realize its legal, but it leaves an awfully sour taste in my mouth. I want to know what you believe the Conservatives' so-called "hidden agenda" is? So far I haven't noticed anything they've done to be excessively to the right.

 

First, people who voted Liberal would probably like better to see the Liberals co-lead the government with the NDP and with, on a lesser part, the Bloc, then to see the Conservatives lead alone.

 

Second, the conservative want to abolish the right for unions to strike until 2010 or so (so about a year and a half, which is the average time a minority government last. This means no strike until the probable next election. That must be a coincidence...). I work for the government and still I don’t believe that a government owned monopoly should have the right to strike. However, I think imposing such a disposition should have been discussed during the election, not impose in a plan to fight a crisis. It wasn’t overt, so it was hidden.

 

And about cutting the subsidies to the political parties for the number of votes they get, well, I think it was a direct frontal attack on democracy. I think that this disposition is a big gain for democracy. Parties would get their financing from the number of people that would get out and vote for the ideas and people representing the parties. People can say "if I vote for that party, it might not get elected, but at least it will get funding for the next few years". That disposition costs less than 30 millions $ of a budget of about 250 billions $. It’s like Charest cutting funds for the Fête Nationale because "we needed the money for hospitals". It was something like 250 000$. Of course that money was going to a holyday that didn’t represent his views, but that was just a coincidence too...

 

You may not like those subsidies to political parties. That’s OK! Honorable men can disagree. However, what is not OK is the way the Conservatives are doing it. They didn’t talked about that during the elections (that too was hidden...) and they know other parties now depend on those subsidies. If they wanted to cut those subsidies to save money (and not as a political ploy), they would have made it public years in advance. Now, the Conservative know that they will cripple the other parties. The Liberals will have lots of difficulties finding money to fight another election (not counting their leadership race). That would greatly help the Conservative to gain a majority. The Conservatives probably hope to kill the Green Party (that party talked to much about the environment for the taste of the Conservatives). The NDP would struggle, but would probably manage to so not too bad; which would be good for Harper because the liberal votes would still be divided. And if the Bloc got bankrupt, it would be a consecration for Harper. Of course, he would credit his policies toward Québec for the death of the Bloc, not the political dirty tactics to strangle antidemocratically his opponents. That would mean for Québécois to accept that when they vote for a federal party, they vote for a foreign party that just need Québec's votes and a few token Québécois to fill the seats and shut up (Josée Verner would be their model).

 

If Harper wants to implement this agenda, then he should have the courage to discuss it during and election campaign, not pretend it is a economical crisis measure. And to pretend that a measure built to strangle other political parties is actually an economic one is an insult to the intelligence of Canadians. And when the conservative say that they will lose the most money, they are right. But they can afford it and they know it. If it was planned long before that they would cut those subsidies, that would mean that they had time to prepare for it, to make some cash reserve and to develop their fundraising network. Their conservative views happen to represent those of most of the richest Canadians, the ones that can afford to give every year. Democracy should not just be the right of the richest to buy elections. More: the conservatives are now in power. It is much easier to raise money when you are in power. How would the Conservative Party feel if they were the 3rd or 4th party in Canada? Not sure that they would still want to cut those subsidies. We could also compare their situation to, let say' Bill Gates. Maybe Gates lost 10 billions in the last few years, but he still has 20 billions left. He lost the most money, but he isn’t homeless yet. It is easier to lose money when you have a lot of it than when you don’t have much.

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First, people who voted Liberal would probably like better to see the Liberals co-lead the government with the NDP and with, on a lesser part, the Bloc, then to see the Conservatives lead alone.

Most people who voted Liberal yes. But many will see the Conservatives as "the lesser evil" as opposed to the Bloc.

 

Second, the conservative want to abolish the right for unions to strike until 2010 or so (so about a year and a half, which is the average time a minority government last. This means no strike until the probable next election. That must be a coincidence...). I work for the government and still I don’t believe that a government owned monopoly should have the right to strike. However, I think imposing such a disposition should have been discussed during the election, not impose in a plan to fight a crisis. It wasn’t overt, so it was hidden.
I'm guessing you don't like this idea because it wasn't discussed beforehand? But you do see the benefits of it right?

 

And about cutting the subsidies to the political parties for the number of votes they get, well, I think it was a direct frontal attack on democracy. I think that this disposition is a big gain for democracy. Parties would get their financing from the number of people that would get out and vote for the ideas and people representing the parties. People can say "if I vote for that party, it might not get elected, but at least it will get funding for the next few years". That disposition costs less than 30 millions $ of a budget of about 250 billions $. It’s like Charest cutting funds for the Fête Nationale because "we needed the money for hospitals". It was something like 250 000$. Of course that money was going to a holyday that didn’t represent his views, but that was just a coincidence too...
I understand what you're saying here. But my belief is if someone is passionate enough about something, they should put their money where their mouth is. I'm not going to defend Charest, because I only agree with him on one thing: federalism. Aside from that, I find he's a two-faced liar, and despite that, I still may be forced to vote for him.

 

You may not like those subsidies to political parties. That’s OK! Honorable men can disagree. However, what is not OK is the way the Conservatives are doing it. They didn’t talked about that during the elections (that too was hidden...) and they know other parties now depend on those subsidies. If they wanted to cut those subsidies to save money (and not as a political ploy), they would have made it public years in advance. Now, the Conservative know that they will cripple the other parties. The Liberals will have lots of difficulties finding money to fight another election (not counting their leadership race). That would greatly help the Conservative to gain a majority. The Conservatives probably hope to kill the Green Party (that party talked to much about the environment for the taste of the Conservatives). The NDP would struggle, but would probably manage to so not too bad; which would be good for Harper because the liberal votes would still be divided. And if the Bloc got bankrupt, it would be a consecration for Harper. Of course, he would credit his policies toward Québec for the death of the Bloc, not the political dirty tactics to strangle antidemocratically his opponents. That would mean for Québécois to accept that when they vote for a federal party, they vote for a foreign party that just need Québec's votes and a few token Québécois to fill the seats and shut up (Josée Verner would be their model).
I agree it was a little opportunistic of Harper to play this card now. In my opinion, he should wait until the recession is over, and he has a majority government. But I also believe that if the other parties' members believe strongly enough in their parties, that they should donate (whatever amount they like) like we, Conservatives do. But I have to admit, I would be mildly amused if the opposition went bankrupt... Michael Fortier was a high-ranking Quebecois Tory who the people of Vaudreuil refused to elect. Because of that, we all, Montrealers, Quebecers, Conservatives and Canadians have missed out on an excellent cabinet minister who did have power. You can't expect Quebec's representation in cabinet to be anything more than "tokens" unless we elect a broader pool of Tories like the other provinces.

 

If Harper wants to implement this agenda, then he should have the courage to discuss it during and election campaign, not pretend it is a economical crisis measure. And to pretend that a measure built to strangle other political parties is actually an economic one is an insult to the intelligence of Canadians. And when the conservative say that they will lose the most money, they are right. But they can afford it and they know it. If it was planned long before that they would cut those subsidies, that would mean that they had time to prepare for it, to make some cash reserve and to develop their fundraising network. Their conservative views happen to represent those of most of the richest Canadians, the ones that can afford to give every year. Democracy should not just be the right of the richest to buy elections. More: the conservatives are now in power. It is much easier to raise money when you are in power. How would the Conservative Party feel if they were the 3rd or 4th party in Canada? Not sure that they would still want to cut those subsidies. We could also compare their situation to, let say' Bill Gates. Maybe Gates lost 10 billions in the last few years, but he still has 20 billions left. He lost the most money, but he isn’t homeless yet. It is easier to lose money when you have a lot of it than when you don’t have much.
Let me bring you back in time to our previous Liberal Government.

Jean Chretien's Liberals enjoyed massive popular support. They were also by far the richest party and remained so until Harper's victory in 2006. Why? They enjoyed massive corporate financial donations and repeated large donations from wealthy people.

 

The right was disjointed, two conservative parties: The Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance. The PCs were in decline, and the Alliance had no hopes of getting power. So the two parties merged. The Alliance had been strong in getting donations from a large number of individuals (a tradition carried over to the new Conservatives), whereas the PCs operated similarily to the Liberals.

 

Upon attaining power, Harper's Conservatives removed the right for corporations to make donations to political parties and for individual donors to have their annual donations capped somewhere between $1000-$2000. (Federal Accountability Act). This greatly hurt the Liberals, who depended on corporate donations and donations from the elite for most of their revenue. Fortunatley for them, they prepared themselves for this fate by putting into place the system where each vote gives money to a particular party.

 

The Conservatives will never be a 3rd or 4th party (like what happened when the party split apart in the 1990s). We've learned that the only hope in having a right-of-center government is through uniting the right. A Liberal government will never have a socialist opposition.

 

The NDP have a fundraising system similar to that of the Conservatives, and I wouldn't classify NDP supporters as stereotypically wealthy. Perhaps the Liberals, Bloc and Greens ought to find out why nobody is willing to give them any money.

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Most people who voted Liberal yes. But many will see the Conservatives as "the lesser evil" as opposed to the Bloc.

 

I'm guessing you don't like this idea because it wasn't discussed beforehand? But you do see the benefits of it right?

 

I understand what you're saying here. But my belief is if someone is passionate enough about something, they should put their money where their mouth is. I'm not going to defend Charest, because I only agree with him on one thing: federalism. Aside from that, I find he's a two-faced liar, and despite that, I still may be forced to vote for him.

 

I agree it was a little opportunistic of Harper to play this card now. In my opinion, he should wait until the recession is over, and he has a majority government. But I also believe that if the other parties' members believe strongly enough in their parties, that they should donate (whatever amount they like) like we, Conservatives do. But I have to admit, I would be mildly amused if the opposition went bankrupt... Michael Fortier was a high-ranking Quebecois Tory who the people of Vaudreuil refused to elect. Because of that, we all, Montrealers, Quebecers, Conservatives and Canadians have missed out on an excellent cabinet minister who did have power. You can't expect Quebec's representation in cabinet to be anything more than "tokens" unless we elect a broader pool of Tories like the other provinces.

 

Let me bring you back in time to our previous Liberal Government.

Jean Chretien's Liberals enjoyed massive popular support. They were also by far the richest party and remained so until Harper's victory in 2006. Why? They enjoyed massive corporate financial donations and repeated large donations from wealthy people.

 

The right was disjointed, two conservative parties: The Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance. The PCs were in decline, and the Alliance had no hopes of getting power. So the two parties merged. The Alliance had been strong in getting donations from a large number of individuals (a tradition carried over to the new Conservatives), whereas the PCs operated similarily to the Liberals.

 

Upon attaining power, Harper's Conservatives removed the right for corporations to make donations to political parties and for individual donors to have their annual donations capped somewhere between $1000-$2000. (Federal Accountability Act). This greatly hurt the Liberals, who depended on corporate donations and donations from the elite for most of their revenue. Fortunatley for them, they prepared themselves for this fate by putting into place the system where each vote gives money to a particular party.

 

The Conservatives will never be a 3rd or 4th party (like what happened when the party split apart in the 1990s). We've learned that the only hope in having a right-of-center government is through uniting the right. A Liberal government will never have a socialist opposition.

 

The NDP have a fundraising system similar to that of the Conservatives, and I wouldn't classify NDP supporters as stereotypically wealthy. Perhaps the Liberals, Bloc and Greens ought to find out why nobody is willing to give them any money.

 

 

For most people who didn’t vote Conservative, the worst evils are (in order):

 

1: George W. Bush

2: Stephen Harper

3: Satan

4: Any and All Separatists

5: The rest

 

For people who voted for Harper (outside Québec at least), the worst evil are the Bloc. So a coalition may not be that bad for people who hate Stephen Harper.

 

Harper uses the crisis as an excuse to pass his conservative (hidden?) agenda. I think it is a very slippery slope. What's next? The Republicans have passed the Patriot Act by using the fear of Americans after 9/11. Palpatine made himself Emperor using as an excuse the war against separatists (separatists are so easily demonized…) and we all know that lead to the destruction of Alderaan (that last example doesn’t really count, but you understand what I mean). If you try to use a crisis to pass your laws, then you know that people won’t want them if you discuss them. This is undemocratic and unacceptable. If the Conservatives wanted to abolish the right of unions to strike, even only temporarily, they should have said it during the elections. Now it is too late. And don’t tell me that they just thought about it now...

 

As for the abolition of the subsidies for the parties, that too if they wanted to change the law, they should have said do during the elections. Now they are in power and they want to use that power to strangle the other parties. That is a direct attack on democracy. It would be like if Québec Solidaire took power and decided that for now on, all elections will be held on the first day of a month and that voting booths have to be put in every welfare offices (again, a little exaggeration, but you see where I am going with that). Changes to the way we vote or the way parties are allowed to work can’t just be decided at the last minute by the ruling party. Any party in power will try to find ways to stay in power, which is a flaw in our democratic system. We can’t permit the Conservatives to exploit that flaw.

 

People should be able to give money to parties, but don’t make it an absolute. I mean the party that represent the richest people should not have an infinite advantage compare to other parties (and don’t tell me I am anti-rich, I made many comments in previous posts than can confirm that I am not anti-rich). Time, on the other hand, you can give as much as you want. Rich people still have an advantage compare to poorer people because they can afford to miss more work. The freedom to express yourself politically isn’t to give as much money as you want without limits, but it is giving as more time as you want.

 

I like the subsidies given to political parties by the number of votes they receive because each vote as the same value. I much rather having politician trying to convince as many people as they can to vote for them than having them promise secretly anything and everything to their contributors. If the people are idiots and elect a stupid leader, then the people will have what they deserve. But if a party is elected because of the funds given by a few donators (sometimes indirectly) and if that party screw up everything (in favor of their contributors), than the population becomes victims not of their lack of judgment, but to the fact that the party they elected needed to sign a pact with the Devil to get elected.

 

If you don’t think any party deserves 2$ a year, then don’t vote!

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L'idée ici, ce n'est pas quelle idée est la meilleure. Chacun a le droit de penser ce qu'il veut. Et qu'on soit d'accord ou pas avec les idées du parti conservateur, on ne peut pas dire qu'une coalition de l'opposition est anti-démocratique.

 

Des gouvernements majoritaires nous ont fait croire avec le temps que c'est le parti au pouvoir qui passe les lois. Or, laissez mois vous rappeler que ce sont les députés qui votent. Un vote par personne. Ces députés représentent chacun 100 000 Canadiens. Sans l'appui de l'opposition, les conservateurs n'auraient pas pu passer de lois.

 

Par ailleurs, n'oublions pas qu'on vote pour un député, pas pour un parti. C'est ça le système canadien. C'est donc normal que plusieurs partis puissent s'unir pour voter ensemble. Ce ne sont que des députés partageant les même opinions, c'est tout. Si vous n'êtes pas content, faites comme les Français en 1789, c'est pas mal la seule solution...

 

Cette coalition n'est que l'officialisation d'une situation qui existait déjà. Dans les fait, en situation minoritaire, les lois passent par négociation et les projets de lois peuvent être présentés par tous. Dans la dernière législature, plus de projets de lois ont été présenté par des membres de l'opposition que par le gouvernement et une majorité des lois adoptées provenaient de l'opposition. Donc, dans les faits, ce n'est que la continuation du présent.

 

On espérait quoi, que l'opposition vote pour l'énoncé budgétaire même si elle n'est pas d'accord? C'est ça la démocratie, chacun son idée et l'idée dominante est adoptée. Dans ce cas présent, l'idée prédominante est que cet énoncé budgétaire est de la merde. Dans ce cas, on doit soit aller en élection ou soit nommer un nouveau gouvernement ; la décision à prendre doit être celle qui favorisera la pérennité du processus parlementaire. Aller en élection ne changerait probablement rien moins d'un mois après des élections. On donne donc la chance au coureur.

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