As a True Blue Tory living in Southern Ontario, I am continually frustrated by the fact that I have no actual representation in Ottawa. Not only is my M.P. a Liberal, but she is also the party whip, which gives her abundant excuses to vote according to party-line, rather than anywhere near where my values are.
The adjacent riding has also seen fit to reinstate a "maverick" Liberal, who unlike Garth Turner, manages to voice his opinion without attracting too much attention other than when we all have to listen to him in Parliament.
Our local paper, the Record ran a story on April 5 highlighting the reaction of Ms. Redman and Mr. Telegdi to the throne speech. The headlines read, "Liberals Turn to Watch from Sidelines"; and "Ottawa: Liberals Worry".
Now, first of all I should make it very clear that Karen Redman is a lovely woman, bursting with the virtues of motherhood and apple pie. Somehow she can never quite make that stretch to vote on moral issues accordingly, but that's another story.
Here are a few tidbits from the article:
"Of equal concern for Redman were references to changing the way health care is delivered in Canada. Harper was born in Ontario but raised in Alberta, where he attended the University of Calgary.
Alberta is allowing private clinics to offer medical services to people who can afford to pay, and Redman fears that philosophy may be creeping into the new federal government's agenda.
The throne speech said the government will support and enable innovative approaches to health-care delivery.
'I lament the vision of Canada Mr. Harper has articulated,' Redman said. 'And I find it very worrisome.' "
There is so much wrong with this statement. First of all, it is an illogical argument. If what she says is true, then anyone raised in any province carries the ensuing policy baggage of that province with no regard for the possibility of original thought. Any new ideas seem to be a concern for Ms. Redman anyway.
Also, never mind that the PM mentioned that everything would be done within the Canada Health Act. More fear-mongering. Sigh.
Finally, Stephen Harper has written to Ralph Klein expressing his concerns about the Alberta plan. That doesn't sound like the actions of someone ready to jump on board the bandwagon.
And from Andrew Telegdi, who is the M.P. for the Centre of the Universe:
"It's sad to see that after all those years there is no mention of post-secondary education in this throne speech," he said. "It's a no-brainer, especially when you are coming from a place like Waterloo Region."
I'm not going to touch that 'no-brainer' comment with a ten-foot Speaker's rod!
"As Telegdi listened to the throne speech yesterday, he was reminded of the 1995-era rhetoric coming from Ontario Conservatives under Mike Harris, the premier at the time.
The law-and-order crowd are back in power, he said, but it didn't work then and it won't work now."
Didn't work then? If memory serves me correctly, Mike Harris called for boot camps for young offenders, rather than coddling them and giving them zero consequences for their actions. I sure don't remember that being a failure. Anyway, the old argument of comparing a federal government to a previous provincial one is irrelevant.
The diatribe continues:
Telegdi says the youths terrorizing some poor and predominantly black neighbourhoods in Toronto are Mike Harris' "children." The provincial Tories slashed social spending and crime-prevention budgets and cancelled alternative programs that saw some offenders serve sentences in the community under supervision.
"It just didn't make sense because the alternative, jail, is very expensive," Telegdi said.
Oh, o.k. So we'll just slap their wrists and let them serve a sentence at home with their violent, X-rated computer games - Or we'll make a young thug pick up paper off the street. Give me a break.
"Illegal immigrants should be given work permits, and after a couple of years citizenship, as long as they don't have a criminal record, Telegdi said."
So if you break the law and come here illegally that's fine. There are no consequences... This is the kind of thing I have to put up with!!!
However, Karen Redman is astute enough to see the writing on the wall:
"Canadians don't want another election right now," Redman said. "They sent out a very clear message that they are willing to give the Conservatives' a test drive."
What she and all her cohorts should worry about is that Canadians might like that new car smell so much, they'll take out a full-term majority lease.