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Brian Mulroney

So. My conservative friends…

… ex PC PM Brian Mulroney…

I guess he was a real asshole, eh? A lefty pig?

Never agreed with everything BM the PM said or did, but I do respect the guy… especially in the context of the über partisan Harperites.

So how about it, Cons? Are ya gonna demonise one of Canada’s better PM’s? one of your own?

So hypocritical. So crass. So ugly. So CPC.

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Back when Conservatives could be “progressive” too…

… there was a guy named Brian Mulroney. He was our Prime Minster. A lot of folks didn’t like the man very much. They saw him as arrogant, too pro-American and as the force behind the much-maligned GST (the ill feelings about that tax still linger today… and are completely unwarranted).

But tomorrow is the 21st anniversary of the signing of the US /Canada Air Quality Agreement, and he should be given credit for that and the other environmental initiatives that he spearheaded as PM. This Agreement, along with the Green Plan, set Canada into a position as a leader in environmental initiatives and research. A lot of lakes would have otherwise become acidified and died if it were not for this Agreement.

Of course, that was then and this is now… where Canada is really just a laughingstock on the environmental front.

Sigh. Thanks Mr. Mulroney. I really didn’t like you much for other reasons, but you were at the crest of the wave. You were by far, the greenest of our PMs to date.

And you and your colleagues were indeed progressive.

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Brian and Stevo – not the best of buds?

Truth told, I never really liked Brian Mulroney. I found him kind of arrogant and self-absorbed. He also got WAY too cozy with the Americans – IMHO. I ran in the 1993 election for these reasons, among others.

But I did respect the guy. Although our politics differed somewhat, I found him to be intelligent, articulate and knowledgable (OK, well-briefed). He was also arguably the “greenest” of all our Prime Ministers having established the “Green Plan”. An environmental roadmap that was lauded by the rest of the world.

Ah, those were the days… when Canada actually led the world in something other than spin…

So when I read this piece on the lack of enthusiasm that Mr. Mulroney has for the Harper-led Conservative government, I was not really too surprised. Mulroney was a PM who, love him or hate him, articulated policies, not political opportunism.

It was an illuminating moment in a remarkably candid conversation.

Brian Mulroney, the most successful Conservative prime minister since Sir John A. Macdonald, was sitting down for a rare television interview the other day in Montreal.

TVOntario’s Steve Paikin, always adroit at coaxing politicians to dish, broached the subject of the May 2 election and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

“You’re voting for Mr. Harper, I take it,” said Paikin, coincidentally the moderator of Tuesday’s English-language leaders’ debate.

“At this point,” replied Mulroney with a pause that seemed to hang in the air longer than its mere second, “I’ll vote for the Conservative candidate in my constituency.”

Whoa!

Thanks Mr. Mulroney, for showing that it is not only we progressives who are uncomfortable with Harper’s version of conservative politics.

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Mulroney’s legacy…

…is, well, shot. If he had any chance of regaining some of the respect he once had, its gone now with Oliphant’s findings.

Some bloggers and the MSM are saying “big whoop”. So he has been “inappropriate“. Wow. We tell our kids that when they use a swear word or pull their pants down in public, not when a former PM accepts envelopes stuffed with cash from a shady character who is now doing time.is legacy will be that of a lying and possibly criminal PM – and little else.

Fair ’nuff, but for BM, who put reputation and respect above most other traits, this is damning.

And, while I am NOT coming to his defense, one positive thing that I must point out is that, for all his shortcomings, BM the PM was our “greenest” leader ever. His Green Plan legitimised environmental debate in this country… moving it from the fringes to the corridors of power. And no other government has done a fraction of what those other Progressive Conservatives like BM or Lucien Bouchard did back in the 1980’s.

Thanks for that, Brian!

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Things I’m wondering about…

When is punishment not punishment, but revenge? I was reading a number of the comments on the cbc.ca site that related to the horrendous abduction and murder of that little girl in Woodstock. Not at all surprising was the amount of anger in those comments.  To kill a child is a terrible and evil act and those responsible must be brought to justice.  But many on the site were calling for capital punishment. And again, this isn’t surprising given the nature of this crime.  But is this justice or simple revenge?  As a deterrent, we see by looking to our neighbours to the south that executing criminals doesn’t work.  And are we not letting them off rather easy? Regular readers will know that I’m not a believer in an afterlife per se so I don’t think these animals will be judged at some point after death.

‘Tis better to cage them up for the rest of their lives and effectively rather than literally taking away their right to exist.
I have a button stowed away somewhere that says: Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong.

But if my daughter was the victim, would I hold true to these beliefs?

o    Why do the Harperites insist on continuing these ridiculous attack ads? Do they not realise that the only segment of the voting population is that which would have already voted for them in any case? The only folks who believe the rubbish coming from the PMO are those who are one or all of the following:

o    From Alberta
o    From Saskatchewan
o    From B.C, outside of the urban areas
o    Low level of education
o    Rural residents
o    NASCAR fans
o    Robots

Now, don’t anyone flame me for suggesting that all folks from AB are NASCAR-lovin’ rednecks who have a poster of Stevie on their outhouse wall… I don’t mean that!

Anyhow, most of we Canucks are tired of these attacks. Let’s back away from that for a while and show some civility, shall we?

Hey – Justin Trudeau has a nice perspective on this matter too.

o    The Brian Mulroney Commission: Who cares!!! I personally didn’t much like the guy when he was PM but I’m watching the proceedings while sitting on a bike at GoodLife the other day and I watched a full 30 minutes of the “cross-examination” of ol’ Bri explaining that he DID pay taxes on the full amount just NOT in the taxation year in which he was given the funds! What? Is this the best scandal that we Canadians can dream up?

Drop it. There are more juicy things going on, like…

o    The Larry O’Brien criminal trial…. though from the sounds of things, the defence lawyer is tearing Kilrea a new hole on the stand.

I woulda loved to have been there today when Bulldog Baird took the stand.  I cannot stand that guy and would have liked to have seen him squirm a bit.

Is O’Brien guilty? Probably. Will he be judged so? Probably not. But it makes for good entertainment…

o      Lastly… dump Gary Bettman and bring in someone who has an ego smaller than Baffin Island and a hockey sense that is more developed than a Bedouin farmer.

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Why Steven Harper is breaking his own law

Sigh.

Here we go again. It looks almost certain that Stevie and his neocons are going to break the fixed date legislation that they themselves introduced only a short while ago.

Harper is claiming that Parliament has become dysfunctional and that he needs to be sure that the Government can put their agenda into place before proceeding.

I have 2 issues with this:

  1. Parliament is not dysfunctional. Yes, Committee hearings have become a circus because ReformCons have been ignoring summons to appear and they have been using their handy-dandy PMO (Karl Rove-ish) contrived manual on how to make Committee meetings dysfunctional. But these are the PMO’s antics – not those of the other parties.
  2. Not going to the House to test a claim of confidence but rather using the opposition leaders’ willingness to meet with his holiness is pretty damned cheeky; if not illegal. Unfortunately, the days of GG Byng are long gone and it is doubtful that our current GG will do anything but dissolve Parliament and trigger an election as the Harperites want.

So why is Mr. Harper so desperate for an election now and not willing to wait until his goivernment has been brought down legitimately on a matter of confidence?

The reasons are simple:

  • Liberal candidates are winning in all four of the by-elections currently underway – the Conservatives didn’t anticipate this shift, and they cannot afford the perception that they are losing traction.
  • Harper’s concern is only enhanced by the continuing Elections Canada investigation into the Conservatives alleged “in & out” scheme.
  • the House of Commons continues to investigate Brian Mulroney’s dealings with KarlHeinz Schrieber.
  • A late fall ot early winter election would ride on the coattails of a likely (yes, likely) Obama win to the south and this would benefits the Grits.
  • The economy will continue to feel the effects of the recession in the States.
  • The visions of more poor boys making the trip home from Afghanistan in caskets are not pleasant.
  • The somewhat distant possibility that M. Dion will begin to appeal to Canadians.
  • Conservative polling numbers remain stagnant in Ontario and Québec.

So Stevie is rolling the dice and calling Stèphane names as a prelude to one full-blown hissy fit that he’ll launch as soon as the writ is dropped. Like a bully in the schoolyard, he has beaten up all of the other kids and now is taking his marbles and going home.

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