For a while now a number of progressive bloggers have been fighting a losing war with the media to stop referring to the Harper regime as “Tory,” on the grounds that the “Tories” were the Progressive Conservative Party and the current Conservative Party of Canada is anything but PC. I’ve stayed out of that fight until now, not because I disagree with them but because I always felt that trifling over who was a “true Troy” was less important than analyzing our government for what it is, regardless of label.
That said, this year’s budget should be seen by Canadians as a drastic departure from the vision for Canada held by every previous federal government in history, of every political stripe. This can be seen in the small institutions which have been singled out for elimination. There has been a great deal of talk in the media by tenured academics and other uneducated imbeciles that what we are seeing is a dismantling of the state built by the Liberal Party in its many years of majority after the Second World War.
Well, partially. That state was built by the Liberals because they were responding to popular demand. It is the state built by Canadians, not by Liberals, which is now being dismantled by this government. Interestingly, some of the first programs to fall under the axe are ones established not by the Liberals, but by previous Conservative governments. The National Council of Welfare was established by Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker; and that both the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and Rights & Democracy were established by Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
Oh, and lest we forget: the CBC? That’s a Conservative invention too, of R.B. Bennett. Bennett also created the first Employment Insurance program, although it had to be revived by King after a tussle with the courts. The CBC’s death by a thousand cuts is continuing, and EI is currently being transitioned into a workfare program which, in order to work, will have to be monitored by the most intrusive employment surveillance bureaucracy ever created in this country. Small government!
Saith the current government: we don’t need informed advice, because we can do Internet research now. It’s a sad day when we look to Lyin’ Brian as a model statesman, but there it is: the new Conservative Party is so far right that they actually make Mulroney look like a bona fide progressive.Tweet