Friday, September 29, 2006

Rachel's take on the Federal diet

Rachel Marsden's commentaries are usually a bit too caustic even for me - which is quite remarkable when you think about it! Today however, she nails it.

Waste Not, Want Not (Toronto Sun) is an excellent critique of the latest Conservative belt-tightening measures that have the opposition parties screaming with fury and indignation.

I don't want to spoil it for you, but here are a few of my favs:


Liberal leader Bill Graham said the belt-tightening was vindictive and "mean spirited." Right, about as mean-spirited as telling a kid to take his head out from under the Slurpee tap at the 7-Eleven



* Stephen Harper has saved us $47 million per year simply by shrinking the size of his cabinet compared to Paul Martin's. That was a lot of wasted money just to make Liberal MPs feel important. Then again, when your party's sleaze factor is off the charts, as it was during AdScam, maybe it helps to have the word "Honourable" in front of as many names as possible.

* Harper shaved $5 million from the Status of Women budget. Our military budget already has this covered. Canadian soldiers who are killing the misogynist Taliban in Afghanistan have done more to improve the status of women than any interest group. Too bad the NDP won't support their mission.


* $5.6 million was saved by axing the Court Challenges Program. This funding enabled special interest groups to challenge laws made by parliamentarians democratically elected by the rest of us. There's a name for this: Tyranny.




Well, go read it for yourself.

And Happy Friday! Please remember to wear red.

16 comments:

Riley Hennessey said...

Well let's talk about Martin's idea of belt tightening. Slash social spending by so many billions, that we have stupidly large surpluses every year.

The problem a centrist person like myself had with the Liberals was that they cut spending to nothing, then when we had massive surpluses they didn't reinvest. Then when we hear things like Volpe's going out to supper and spending 700 bucks on pizza for two, we wonder what the HELL they are doing that they can spend all they want on personal items, but not direct money towards actual social budgets.

Then, Stephen Harper comes in and in his first budget, he puts 2 billion into University infrastructure... bam, just like that. What the hell was Paul Martin waiting for?

Harper may be trimming the fat in certain areas, but he's also reinvesting in others. For example, he cut some duplicate programs in March for child credits, but then streamlined the programs so much that now, 313 million MORE dollars went to single parents in actual funding this year. That's a NET gain not a net loss.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

For example, he cut some duplicate programs in March for child credits, but then streamlined the programs so much that now, 313 million MORE dollars went to single parents in actual funding this year. That's a NET gain not a net loss.

Thanks for your input here, Riley. I have heard the issue spun in other directions, so this is appreciated.

jeff davidson said...

conservatives like to claim "common sense" as an exclusive value of the right. they also try and hijack mantras like waste not, want not.

i have no problem with the whole waste not, want not vibe however, some of us call it "conservationism". use less, recycle more, invest in public transit, reduce oil dependancy etc.

there's generally very little support from conservatives when it comes to conserving, whether it's energy, ecosystems...

it appears to me that the whole waste not, want not thing, for conservatives, only applies to things they don't use or care about.

*btw, i'm attending the "red rally" in my capacity as a working photographer today. NON-partisan photos at my blog later today, if you're interested.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

NON-partisan photos at my blog later today, if you're interested.

Hey cool, Jeff. I'll be checking that out. Are you wearing red?

Zac said...

Stephen Harper comes in and in his first budget, he puts 2 billion into University infrastructure... bam, just like that.

While I do believe that the amount was $1 billion, not 2, (although I could be wrong) I do think that its finally time someone addressed that issue.

I'm sure in your undergrad days you got pinned with a $60 student fee for upgrades to facilities or something along those lines Riley. Right now, I pay about $50 a year for a stadium that will be ready well after I graduate. Pretty bullshit if you ask me. Either way, as public insitution's, the government should be responsible for funding infrastructure, plain and simple. Not students.

Some other measures were good. Lifting the scholarship cap is an excellent and overdue step. Over $300 million to assist in the auxillary costs of research was a good measure as well. My issue with the Harper budget for students was the tax breaks on text books. I think that is essentially lame and not well thought out at all, considering that some students do have income at all. I think investing that money into scholarships would have been best.

Also, I think its time that we streamline the student loan process. Remove provinical government loans, such as OSAP which is ineffectual at best and replace it with a national process of interest free student loans.

Plus Harper will have to deal with the problem of the Millenium Scholarship fund with is set to close. He needs to put some money back into that as it helps thousands of students per year.

Gabby in QC said...

Hello, Joanne TB.

This is for Zac:
Paul Wells asked for suggestions re: post-secondary ed. consultation.
For details, go to Wells' blog and scroll down to this entry:
September 21, 2006
"Post-secondary education consultation: Spread the word."

Maybe your suggestions and/or complaints will bear fruit. Good luck.

Red Tory said...

"screaming with fury and indignation"... Seems a bit over the top don't you think? Yeah, the cuts are a bit mean-spirited and ideological in nature, but I don't see too many Liberals all that hopping mad about them.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I don't see too many Liberals all that hopping mad about them.

Well, Belinda definitely had her shorts in a knot, but then again it's been a bad week for her...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Ahh Joanne, talking about Belinda's week and that undertone of sexual misdeeds... you Cons seem obsessed with the subject.. repression is not good...

BTW, wearing red has to be one of the stupidest ways of supporting our soldiers. Another symbolic gesture that does nothing.... If you really want to support our soldiers and military, encourage your sons and daughters to join up and serve. Can't wait to see Harper's kids join...

Kunoichi said...

BTW, wearing red has to be one of the stupidest ways of supporting our soldiers. Another symbolic gesture that does nothing....

As someone who's husband almost went to the first gulf war (they sent HMCS Restigouche, instead of the ship he was posted to, at the last minute), I can tell you unequivocally that you are wrong. It may mean nothing to you, but it means a great deal to the people it's meant for. I would've loved to see this sort of support when my husband was still in the military. It's certianly preferable to getting death threats, theatening phone calls, or finding makeshift body bags on your front step.

If you really want to support our soldiers and military, encourage your sons and daughters to join up and serve. Can't wait to see Harper's kids join...

Well, his kids are just a bit young for it, don't you think?

Personally, if either of my daughters decided to join the military, I would be incredibly proud of them, and they know it. They're only 10 and 13, though, so they've got some time to decide.

Harper has done more to support the military in a few short months than I've seen in decades. They are finally being taken seriously by someone in the PMO, unlike Chretien, who's decisions (or, sometimes, lack of them) has probably killed more military personel than have died in Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

but I don't see too many Liberals all that hopping mad about them.

If you watched the debates in the House of Commons, there are PLENTY of angry Liberals (not to mention Dippers).

Belinda Stronach
Judy Sgro
Maria Minna
Marlene Jennings
Raymonde Folco
John McCallum
Larry Bagnell
Anita Neville
Bill Graham

Lots of unhappy Liberals. Those are the ones whose names I could remember.

Did you not notice the feminist meme going around? A number of the participants are Liberals.

Zac said...

Thanks Gabby, I think I will.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Kunoichi for your input here. It seems that Timmys Employees wanted to join in too.

Kunoichi said...

Thanks for the link, Joanne. That's something I want to talk to my own managers about. Staff are sometimes allowed to wear alternate clothes during charity promo's and when there's a hockey game on (people are hockey nuts out here - they even announce the scores over the PA system, sometimes). I want to ask management if they can allow and encourage staff to wear something red on fridays.

I'd better remember to bring it up tomorrow, 'cause I don't have another shift for several days after that. *L*

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I want to ask management if they can allow and encourage staff to wear something red on fridays.

Yeah, even a small red ribbon would be nice.

Anonymous said...

What can you say about a political party that won't even scrape the Volpe off its shoes?