Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Can Liberals Do Better Than This?

To be fair, BC'r in Toronto did say that his little post would be a joke. That's why he called it a "partisan cheapshot." But I've been meaning to post for a long time about how the hell a "progressive" could vote for the Liberal Party, and BC'r in Toronto's little clowning about how he'd mock the NDP because he supported the Liberals kinda irked me. Because Liberal Party types always irk me. Every time I see them during election time they either annoy me or puzzle me. I'm always thinking "who the fuck do these people think they are?" [like when these McMaster University Liberal Party Club guys showed up outside an NDP function handing out drivel from Ujjal Dosanjh about why he's a sell-out and we should be too] or "how the hell could anyone so seemingly intelligent and concerned about this country give their support to such a retrograde, sleazy piece-of-shit of a party?" And Liberal voters! It's either, "My family's always supported the Liberals" (so you never do anything different from your family? Or is it only for unimportant things like politics and the future of your country that you turn your brain off?) or it's "I like the things they say at election time and when they're in opposition, and I don't pay attention to anything else." With "conservatives" I'm not so bad. They're either selfish ingrates wanting a tax-cut, woefully ignorant about pretty much everything political, or moronic racists, religious nuts, closet-cases and war mongers. Either way, their idiotic political decisions are easily understandable. Once again, for emphasis, I'm often disappointed by the NDP. Sometimes that extends to denying them my vote and my support, even when I know the consequences will be bad. A-la Bob Rae's decision to shit all over the collective bargaining process in order to gratify his own shallow set of values when he was premier of Ontario. And I wouldn't vote for Roy Romanow, even after his Healthcare Commission report which was very good and very important. But they are the party of social democracy, which at least starts from the realization that the capitalist system is flawed. And they have a chance of accomplishing real gains in the real world. I give them my conditional support, but I'm not bound to them. In no way, shape, or form, however, can I see myself loaning my support to the party that (as I put it at BC'r in Toronto's place):
That stupidly got us into Afghanistan? That came up with the indefinite detention based on "security certificates"? The party with most of its front bench that was strongly in support of joining the US in Iraq and on missile defence? That "dropped the ball" on Kyoto, allowing carbon emissions to go up instead of down? To the party that's done so much to weaken national medicare? To the party that eliminated the federal housing department? To the party that said "screw the RedBook" after lying about the GST and NAFTA in order to get elected?
... among other things. The only thing that reversed this whole process of neoliberal austerity was Paul Martin's finding himself in a minority government situation, requiring him to start giving our tax dollars back to us to a limited extent, restoring portions of the public services he savaged for over a decade.
That was when one burlivespipe piped up:
But really folks, if you want to keep the party THAT WOULD have had us in Iraq, canning funding for women's programs and nuzzling cosy with the gun- and taser lobbies in power, just keep up what you're doing. It's working fabulously.
This, of course, is the old "good-cop/bad-cop" routine that the Liberals profit so handsomely from. Or, make that, corporate Canada. Just like in the USA we have a "liberal" neo-liberal party and a "conservative" neo-liberal party, both managing to sell a different brand of the same snake-oil. We can see how well that works out for "progressives" or just plain not-crazy folks down south. We can all have the imperialist wars and the job-destroying trade deals and the destruction of the public sector, and our choice is allow some mewlingly pseudo-progressive technocrats to do it for us, or allow the nutbar-driven fascist moron party do it. Thankfully, in Canada, we also have the social-democratic NDP and the social-democratic Bloc (which is able to wring people-benefitting concessions for the people of Quebec from the system) to push for practical benefits.
Paul Martin's record on women's issues
The idea that the Liberals will save us from the big, bad, Conservatives only goes so far. The Liberals won't necessarily save us, they'll just stupefy us into hopelessness.
And if you hate the Canada that stood up in places like Rwanda, has its fiscal house in order and said NO to Iraq, I'd suggest you keep up with your seething. Is there no statute of limitations on differences of opinions and occasional mistakes? Because I seem to recall the NdP's predecessor supporting imprisonment of Japanese-Canadians at some point...
Now I dealt with the insanity of pointing to alleged [I honestly don't know, and don't have time to look it up, but sure, why not] CCF shameful support for something the Liberals did over sixty years ago, but let's look at these supposed accomplishments and their relevance for us today.
And if you hate the Canada that stood up in places like Rwanda,
has its fiscal house in order and said NO to Iraq,

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