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Harper, the snake-oil salesman

I saw an interesting op-ed by Carol Goar of the Toronto Star this morning, detailing in effect how Harper is trying to project that he’s giving out gifts to the world like Santa, but behind the scenes, acting like he is Scrooge, or the Grinch that stole Christmas.

For example, that so-called big initiative of ‘Saving a Million Lives’ that Harper mentioned last week while in Africa at the Commonwealth Conference isn’t a Canadian initiative at all, but one started by UNICEF. Furthermore, the amount of money Harper pledged is not an increase in funds to UNICEF, or even something new – Ottawa gives this same amount to UNICEF every year. Moreover, Harper had already announced Canada’s participation in this program a year and a half ago. This “announcement” appears to now have been designed as a public relations/propaganda exercise designed to soften the criticism Harper and his Cons knew he was going to get over scuttling real measures to stop climate change at the Commonwealth Summit.

A similar thing happened with AIDS funding. Harper announces to great fanfare and with Bill Gates in attendance a spending initiative to research a vaccine for HIV, yet we find out months later the funding for that has been supplied by cutting funding to local community groups who help local AIDS patients.

Goar points out the pattern this government has engaged in, and why she was right to wait to applaud the PM and the Cons. over this supposed “new initative”:

They portray shifts in spending as bold new ventures. They silence aid agencies that depend on government funds. And they make it next to impossible to follow their paper trail…So what is holding the Prime Minister back? Perhaps it is a surfeit of fiscal prudence. Perhaps it is a desire to keep every spare dollar for tax cuts.Or perhaps it is a hunch that Canadians wouldn’t give him credit for an act of genuine altruism. They’d wonder about his motives, doubt his sincerity, ask where the money was coming from.

As Goar points out, this attitude – call it Scrooge-like, or Grinch-like, both apply – is not necessary. It’s coming from a government with a 10 billion $ surplus. It can easily fund these new initiatives without resorting to trickery or “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, but this government has chosen not to. As far as I’m concerned, it’s another example of Deceivin’ Stephen and the Cons he leads trying to put on a face of generosity to Canadians in an attempt to make them feel more at ease about them and to convince them to give him his Holy Grail – the majority government.

4 comments to Harper, the snake-oil salesman

  • ALW

    Yeah, it’s so compassionate to give away other people’s money…
    I love how progressives speak of surpluses as if its money that fell out of the sky.  It’s not.  It belongs to someone already.
    It’s easy to be generous with other people’s money.  

  • sassy

    Quaeitur – ‘integrity-challenged’  good one!

  • quaeitur

    Aw now, let’s be fair – they just can’t help themselves – they’re ‘integrity-challenged’.

  • Whooee! I think they call it "compassionate conservatism." Morons and their oxymorons!

    Ol’ Schreiber’s gettin’ all the attention these days. The only kinda story that has a hope in hell of takin’ attention away from SchreiberBriber is somethin’ sexy like laptop dancin’ in the House o’ Comments. The Con’s are screwin’ Canajuns in multiple orifices an’ the public only wants to hear about dirty politicians. When nobody was lookin’, the HarpoonTossers signed Canada up to the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). No public consultation. No parliamentary debate. Nobody noticed.

    Mike Duffy’s Schreiber obsessed, too. I can’t figger out why big Mike is allowed to have Con’s on his panels. He always spouts the Con talkin’ points an’ waves the pom-poms fer his favourite party. DuffMeister took a brief break from the SchreiberBriber long enough to pillory the dumbass Dippers an’ their laptop lunacy. If anybody thinks the Con’s ain’t happy about this parliamentary inquiry goin’ on, they ain’t givin’ ’em enough credit. Puttin’ the attention on decades old stuff involvin’ a no longer existent PeeCee party is workin’ fer the ReformAllianceCons. They might even get rid of some insufferable red tories like Petey MacKay.

    JB

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