Stuff You May Have Missed...

web posted April 1997

Ralph Takes Alberta Again!

I suppose this would have been hard to miss, but in case you were hiding in a cave during the month of March you may have not heard that a conservative party that actually acts like a conservative party was re-elected in Alberta.

Ralph Klein's Progressive Conservative's handily beat both the Liberals and New Democrats, winning 63 of the Alberta legislature's 84 seats. Klein's Tories managed to rise from 54 seats while the Liberals fell from 29 to 18. The NDP, after being frozen out in the 1993 election, managed to win two seats.

Why did Klein win?

Ralph won because he did what he said he was going to do. He wiped out the deficit, began paying down the total debt and cut spending by $1.4-billion. Klein also managed to cut welfare rolls in half.

And what was his message? Simply, the truth. We had to slash government spending by 20 per cent, promise never to hike taxes again, balance the budget, start paying down the accumulated debt, and privatize as many government services as possible. The kind of tough action any average family would have to take when it found itself in trouble. Common sense.
- Paul Jackson,
Calgary Sun

Klein did what was not thought possible before. He followed through on his promises. Klein has showed that other conservatives can do what he did and not only survive, but earn the public trust and receive another mandate.

Ontario premier Mike Harris is living up to his word...besides Ontario and Alberta, does anyone else want to take a chance on politicians telling the truth?

Congratulations Ralph!

Martin To Canada, "Your Money Is My Money!"

Federal finance minister Paul Martin recently told a business audience in Regina that they, and all Canadians, should not expect a tax cut until after the year 2000.

Said Martin, "Some say the time to cut taxes is now. We say that would be irresponsible." Martin told the Regina Chamber of Commerce that any tax cuts now would mean more cuts in programs.

To prove that his strategy is working, Martin pointed to 85 000 jobs his government created over the past four months. What Martin apparently forgot to include in his lecture notes was the fact that the unemployment rate has remained at 9.7 per cent...over the past three months. Thanks Paul....no really, thanks.

Private Property? Not If OCAP and Peter Kormos Say So...

Early March 5 Metro Toronto Police moved in to arrest Ontario Coalition Against Poverty members who occupied a downtown vacant building.

"If you don't have housing, then there's a remedy," said John Clarke, spokesman for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. "Break in and move in."

OCAP gathered up twenty homeless and took over a vacant building on Carleton Street. Two hours later police moved in and arrested one man and fined the others.

Never one to avoid a cause, NDP MPP Peter Kormos (and millionaire) supported the protest. "There are times when moral law overrides secular law. The streets are public property and there's far too many people forced to live on them."

If Kormos is so concerned about the homeless, why doesn't he use some of his money to buy abandoned buildings so the homeless can stay in them? After all, don't moral needs sometime outweigh temporal needs?

Own a building not being used? Apparently it no longer legally belongs to you if a band of lawbreakers says so. And the left says it believes in rights? Not yours...

British Columbia's Government Moves To Enforce Election Gag Law

Premier Glen Clark's NDP government (so-called "social democrats" for those of you who don't know) has fined two individuals a total of $233 000 for defying its election gag law.

Phil Eidsvik, who heads the BC Fisheries Survival Coalition, has received written notice of a court-imposed fine of $220 000 and Vancouver accountant Garry B. Nixon today received a similar notice of a $13 000 fine.

The notices were the first indication that either man had that the Clark government had moved against them.

"This is sick. It's an outrage," said National Citizens Coalition President David Somerville. "Clark has no more respect for civil liberties than he has for the truth. First, he deceives BC voters over the state of the province's finances to win an election and then he fines them for daring to independently speak out during the election."

"Clark and his government have sunk to a new low in Canadian politics - and that's quite an achievement."

The NCC ran a guerrilla media campaign against the NDP during the last election, broadcasting ads from the United States into BC. So far, it has not received any notice of a fine or been charged under BC's election gag law.

"If Clark is rash enough to come after the NCC," Somerville concludes, "we will see him - and beat him - in court." The NCC has twice struck down federal election gag laws which were quite similar to the BC election gag law.

We Aren't Liars Say Quebec Politicians

While this tidbit doesn't have much to do with any political ideology, it did catch my eye.

Quebec Liberal party leader Daniel Johnson presented a motion last month which criticized a TV show on Quebec's TVA channel. "Un jour a la fois" ("One Day at a Time"), says Johnson, tried to discredit politicians by treating them as liars. Johnson also stated that the program was an attack on "the whole political class and an attack on the intellectual integrity of candidates and elected officials."

Not finished with television, Johnson also attacked a new book called Le Syndrome de Pinocchio (The Pinocchio Syndrome). Author and journalist Andre Pratt argues that people cannot be elected without becoming liars.

Quebec Finance Minister Bernard Landry backed Johnson's complaint. He said politicians don't deserve to be looked down on. "The danger in the statements that have been circulated is that they attract disdain (against politicians)", he said.

Even Speaker of the legislature, Jean-Pierre Charbonneau, joined the chorus of denunciations. "It's not true that we're all liars and that in politics, lying is institutionalized."

We really need those statements to look with disdain at politicians? I always thought that in the vast majority of cases it was simply justified...

Canadians Actually Choose Choice!

I have discovered two certainties in life. The first is that no matter how much time I have to prepare an issue of Enter Stage Right, I always run down to the wire, and the second is that Canadians will always choose something that limits their freedom.

Well, for once I was wrong.

A survey, Canadians and Unions: A National Survey of Current Attitudes, found that while Canadians thought collective bargaining was something to protect, 90 per cent of them did not like mandatory union membership!

Conducted in association with the Christian Labor Association of Canada, the Angus Reid Group and sociologist Reginald Bibby, the survey also found that 90 per cent of those surveyed disapprove of what they see as a confrontational style undertaken by unions in labor-management relations.

More disconcerting than approval of collective bargaining, the survey found that union approval is somewhat higher among younger adults than older ones.

While we can work on the attitudes of the young, we can at least take heart that, for once, Canadians don't like forced collectivism.

Is that the jackboots of the Reform Party I hear?

Lest people think that ESR only pillories the left, here's one for those who get worried by the Reform Party every now and then.

Several prominent Ontario Progressive Conservatives have reported that the fledgling Ontario wing of the Reform Party has used threats and intimidation against those who are supporting the Progressive Conservatives federally, not the Reform Party.

Reformer Jim Conrad has even gone to the trouble of sending a letter on Reform Party letterhead to all of Premier Mike Harris' cabinet ministers warning that if they aren't neutral in the federal election, that Reform will pledge to defeat them in the next provincial election.

The move seems to have the opposite effect. As of this writing, six Ontario cabinet ministers are supporting Jean Charest's Progressive Conservatives over the Reform Party.

This is the very thing that makes people think twice about voting Reform, and rightfully so. So desperate is the party to make a good showing in Ontario this year that they have resorted to threats. Do yourself a favour and don't vote for Preston Manning's fear squads.

One Priest Who Forgot What Morality Was...

A Church of England priest started quite a row last month when he stated he approved of shoplifting from supermarkets.

Reverend John Papworth told parishioners at a meeting to discuss crime that large supermarkets were destroying community life and it is justified to steal from them.

Says Papworth, "I don't regard it as stealing. I regard it as a badly needed reallocation of economic resources."

I realize that Christianity has been often described as collectivist at heart, but does Papworth really have to help out it's opponents by admitting out loud?

What does $3.2-million buy you?

If you gave it to the Democratic Party, it bought you about $5.5-billion in federal aid.

That according to the Boston Globe at any rate. The Globe reported that those U.S. businesses that gave the Democrats the donations were given seats on U.S. trade missions. All but three of the 27 that got seats on the missions made donations, giving between $50 000 and $358 000.

The $3.2-million got these companies $5.5-billion in federally guaranteed assistance from the Overseas Private Investment Corp, a federal agency that provides insurance and loan guarantees generally not available on the commercial market because of risk.

The average contribution from OPIC recipients was $95 000, and the average support the agency gave each business was $200-million.

At least Americans can say that their politicians aren't cheap.

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