The Labradorian - - EDITORIAL -

It is, at least, fun to lis­ten to, as long as you stop to re­mem­ber that there’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween talk­ing the talk and walk­ing the walk.

Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper was in vir­tual cam­paign mode as he be­gan his reg­u­lar sum­mer trip to Canada’s North ear­lier this week. His tar­gets? Well, ev­ery­one else, of course.

“Their in­stincts are all bad,” he said about the Lib­er­als and New Democrats. “Tax-and-spend pro­pos­als so ex­treme they would make the worst Euro­pean bud­get look solid in com­par­i­son. … Big govern­ment bias that would build bu­reau­cracy at the ex­pense of fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.”

Their plat­forms are, he charges, a col­lec­tion of “danger­ous ideas and vac­u­ous think­ing that would re­verse the progress we have made.”

Ah, yes , a ll that progress — the stripped- down govern­ment that didn’t ever ac­tu­ally ar­rive.

Be­tween 2006 and 2012, the party that isn’t for build­ing the bu­reau­cracy ac­tu­ally built it by 14 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the par­lia­men­tary bud­get of f i c e r — a dding 34,000 pub­lic ser­vants in that time.

Heaven for­bid any­one should “re­verse” that “progress.”

The Harper Tories are our best bet for a s t a b l e e con­omy, be­cause the other par­ties are such spendthrifts?

Sure, if you don’t stop to think that the Tories came along with the big­gest bud­get deficits in Cana­dian his­tory, not to men­tion Se­nate ap­pointees like Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy who have shown in spades that the pol­i­tics of self-en­ti­tle­ment are not re­stricted to the fed­eral Lib­er­als.

Or that, de­spite prom­ises of bud­get sur­pluses some time in the fu­ture, the fact is the cur­rent Tories seem more skilled at bait-and-switch — promis­ing re­straint, de­liv­er­ing deficits — than any­thing else.

Tax breaks for busi­nesses that then banked their prof­its, in­stead of in­vest­ing them in new equip­ment, re­search and their work­forces. A fo­cus on crime that in­cludes in­car­cer­at­ing far more crim­i­nals, while other coun­tries, like the hawk­ish United States, are ac­tu­ally dis­cov­er­ing the ex­pen­sive folly of their ways and are go­ing, quite pub­licly, in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. In­deed, it’s all com­ing up roses.

While in the North, Harper also took time to open fire on “a so-called soft power ap­proach that would again strip down the mil­i­tary and make Canada’s role in the world about noth­ing more than pleas­ing for­eign gov­ern­ments.”

Ah, yes, this from a govern­ment whose in­ter­est isn’t in pleas­ing for­eign gov­ern­ments — not in buy­ing their F-35s, not in jumping up and down to sup­port ev­ery sin­gle mil­i­tary move backed by Wash­ing­ton. No, the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion doesn’t please for­eign gov­ern­ments. It is, in­stead, much more fo­cused than that, show­ing it is in­ter­ested in pleas­ing just one for­eign govern­ment, our neigh­bour to the south.

There are words, and there are deeds. Let’s have fewer of the first, and more of the sec­ond. Right now, Stephen Harper is play­ing the pol­i­tics of fear — with­out seem­ing to re­al­ize, strangely, that he’s also giv­ing cit­i­zens the ex­act rea­sons why they should fear his own party.

~ Reprinted from The Tele­gram

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