The more I read, listen, and see my choices for Canadian leadership, the more despairing I feel.
Paul Martin has been angling to become Canada’s Prime Minister for as long as I can remember. And much like the dog that chases the car; what does it do once it catches it?
I have to ask the same question of Paul Martin.
Martin’s “people” suggested that he would deliver an important message once “crowned” leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. But it never happened. The important message that is.
From Paul Martin, I see more of the same old.
He might move to open up Parliamentary debate and voting somewhat for the back-benchers. But he won’t make significant changes to the Parliamentary system.
What Paul Martin did do, even before becoming Prime Minister, was to tell the provincial Premiers that he was going to be an easy-touch. He has also long intimated that there will be a “special” place in Confederation for Quebec once he becomes PM.
What I want to hear from Paul Martin is as follows:
1) He’ll close down the Senate as it currently is, and then make it an elected office representing one million voters per Senator, with responsibility for vetting ALL senior government appointees – including judges.
2) He’ll end the useless and costly position of Governor General and all the wasteful spending that goes with the position.
3) He’ll never open up the Quebec Constitutional debate. Nor will he declare Quebec to be a Distinct Society or anything like it.
4) He will end the multi-billion dollar (annual) NGO gravy train.
5) He will either sell-off, or close down the billion dollar sink-hole called the CBC. And for good measure, he’ll also fold the National Film Board.
6) He will stop financing private enterprise with tens of billions of tax dollars. Bombardier is just one of the corporate welfare bums which comes to mind.
7) He will invest tens of billions of dollars in an affordable Canada-Wide high speed rail system which will save enormous amounts of energy and pollution.
It would also create tens of thousands of quality permanent jobs.
8) He will announce a real national prescription drug policy that helps everyone, regardless of age and financial means.
No one should ever have to lose sleep at night worrying about how they’re going to pay for prescription medicine.
9) He will allow healthcare user fees (universal healthcare card) to be collected from the better off financially, paid with their year end tax remittance.
Those who don’t earn enough, pay nothing. Those who do, could pay as much as $25 per doctor visit (or more), to a ceiling based upon earnings. This will add needed cash to the system and discourage abusers.
10) He will spend whatever it takes to modernize Canada’s military into a 21st century light armoured fighting machine, with all the latest in high-tech weaponry.
Canada does not need battleship type destroyers. Nor do we need F18 fighter jets we can’t afford to fly and maintain.
But we can certainly use more Canadian built frigates and American fighter helicopters like the Apache, and troop carriers like the Black Hawks. Canada also manufactures an incredible armoured troop carrier called the Coyote. Let’s make more of them.
The preceding is not rocket science. It’s what the country needs and wants. Yet all Martin could do when speaking from his “throne” to the nation, was to offer platitudes.
Then there’s the Canadian Alliance/Conservatives.
From them I have heard virtually nothing in terms of ideas, other than a morality lesson in Gay RIGHTS, or the lack thereof. And a woman’s Right NOT to choose.
More than that, it seems that some amongst the brain-trust want to recruit Quebec’s young Mario Dumont of the Action Democratic, to run for their leadership.
I shouldn’t have to remind these jerks that Dumont worked his ass-off to Separate Quebec from Canada in the 1995 Quebec Referendum. His is one of the signatures to be found on the Referendum ultimatum co-signed by Lucien Bouchard and the racist Jacques Parizeau.
I also shouldn’t have to remind the Canadian Alliance/Conservative that Dumont chose the Quebecois strategy of negotiating with Canada with a knife to Canada’s throat. Now they want to put the knife in his hand.
And in the last Quebec general election, this “golden” boy, with the emphasis on BOY, wouldn’t state one way or the other whether he was a Separatist or a Federalist. Either way, he got his ass kicked.
And by the way: Should it be important to the Canadian Alliance/Conservative brain-trust that Dumont has NEVER held any type of job whatsoever, since coming out of school?
And then there’s Larry Smith; former Montreal Alouette football player, former beer salesman, former commissioner of the CFL, former president of the Montreal Alouettes, and current publisher of the Montreal Gazette newspaper.
I know Larry Smith casually. He gave a clinic to a minor league football team I used to coach, and I met him once or twice otherwise. And every time I came in contact with him; I came away with the impression that he was a nice guy with brains.
Then he became the publisher of the Montreal Gazette.
Instead of doing his utmost to promote Montreal’s ONLY English Language Daily, as the ad slogan used to say, he decided to abandon his core English market, and suck up to the French market by publishing French writers in the French language, in Montreal’s Only English Language Daily.
And instead of going all out to promote the English entertainment market, his Montreal Gazette goes out of its way to promote the French entertainment market, which the English community virtually never participates in.
To go one step further; Larry Smith ended the Montreal Gazette’s slogan as being Montreal’s Only English Language Daily so as not to alienate potential French speaking subscribers.
This policy has achieved the following: No increase in French subscription. And a steady decline in English readership, in spite of the fact that the Montreal Gazette really is the ONLY English Language Daily in town.
Canada needs another Quebec appeaser, like we need another round of Meech Lake. Larry Smith is indeed a nice guy. But being a nice guy is not the only criteria it takes to be a leader.
Maybe it would be better if we had a tough guy, instead of a nice guy at the helm.
I have absolutely no idea who I am going to vote for in the next Federal election, since the choices are between a whole bunch of people I really don’t trust to do the job.
And I will bet that I’m not the only person to feel this way.