Harping on Harper

I had a phone call recently from a friend of mine asking if I’d be willing to help out David Tilson, the former Ontario MPP that gave up his seat for Ernie Eves in Ontario. Tilson has won the Conservative party nomination Federally for the riding I reside in.

But I don’t know. I’m not really a Conservative. On the other hand, I’m fairly disgusted with what we’ve got now, in Ottawa. Murray Calder, the present MP for this riding isn’t a bad guy… and he’s one of a few Liberals that had concerns about the Gun Registry. But I guess his party loyalties run deeper than his principles.

It looks like Stephen Harper stands a chance of becoming the next Canadian Prime Minister if he wins the leadership campaign. The more people I talk to, the more I’m hearing that the Liberals are losing lots of votes right now.

I like the fact that Tony Clement says he’d abolish the Gun Registry. But that’s about all I like about him. I know Belinda is right about health care – we DO need to look at alternatives to what we got. What’s up with everyone believing that our present system is some sort of Holy Grail anyhow? It seems that most people are more worried about a few rich old guys jumping some queue (and thereby letting others move up the queue a bit!) than they are interested in good health care (more on this another time).

So, I guess we’re stuck with either Martin Or Harper. I just wish Harper would offer something that’s concrete that I can get a hold of and get excited about.

By way of Jay Jardine, I had a look at Harper’s responses to the Canadian Tax Payer’s Federation.

Instead, we get pretty typical stuff, really. Fluff that includes, “My priority on the tax side is to lower taxes for modest and low income Canadians, with a particular focus on families and children.”

Well, that sounds nice. But what does it mean exactly? And what about single people and divorced dads? It’s all very well and nice to give tax breaks to people with kids – but those are lifestyle choices, and I see no reason why people who have remained single should have to pay for my lifestyle choices.

Harper says he’s committed to tax payer legislation. But it’s the same old same old.. stuff about running no deficits. What would turn my crank if someone promised legislation limiting taxes.

He thinks there are other priorities more important than paying down the debt with 5% of revenues. This is puzzling to me. What priorities?

He’s committed to transferring a few cents of the gas tax to Provinces. Well, why not just eliminate those few cents? It just seems to me that transfer payments are pretty inefficient. And we already know who’s going to get the biggest share of that – the big cities.

I like Harper’s thoughts on ending corporate welfare. But why not end all corporate welfare? I’d really like to see some studies on the effectiveness of Government grants to business over a long time period. Do you know anyone who received a grant or loan from the Government after being turned down by the bank, and ten years later, is still in business, making a profit, and with a net benefit being returned?

On health care, Harper is rather wishy washy. He says he supports the Health Accord signed by the Provinces and Chretien. Face it, our health care sucks. There is no such thing as Universal Access. It’s a myth, and no amount of public money is going to solve this. Universal Health care is based on a false socialist premise that everything can be planned. That the market can be controlled. And a bunch of other myths to boot.

The last two questions from the CTF have very disappointing answers from Harper. He doesn’t commit to phasing out the Indian Act or Department of Indian Affairs but instead says he’s committed to establishing property rights for aboriginals. Well, that’s nice. What about property rights for all?

Then there’s the gun control question. Harper says he’ll repeal the current Gun Control legislation, but replace it with something else. What is that something else? Well, it doesn’t sound much different than what we’ve got – he’s proposing a firearms safety training and a licensing system. Oh yes.. a crackdown on crime including gun smuggling at our borders. How the heck are they going to do that when they couldn’t stop cigarrette smuggling except by lowering taxes? And as someone else put it recently, “they can’t even stop drugs from entering prisons – how are they going to stop guns from crossing the border?”

The premise of gun control is stupid.

I don’t know. I guess he deserves as good a chance as anyone else to play with tax payers’ money, rights and freedoms. Thus far, he’s certainly not offering me anything to get excited about though.

I might have to take a pass on this one, Mr. Tilson.

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