Friday, December 21, 2012

What I Really Want For Christmas...

Were I given to the Christmas flights of fancy that prompt people to compile impossible wish lists that usually include a desire for world peace, the end of disease, and the termination of world hunger, I would add one more: politicians who show respect, rather than contempt, for the intelligence of the people they claim to represent.

That, of course, has about as much likelihood of achievement as the other three mentioned above. Too many examples abound of the arrogant assumptions politicians make about people as they abandon the interests of the collective to pursue policies that cater to only a certain segment of society. And what especially rankles me is the fact that they so shamelessly tell the most outrageous lies that betray their contempt for the majority of us.

Take, for example, Pierre Poilievre, that earnest old young man of 33 who is now in his fourth term as an MP and has found much favour with the Harper regime. As reported by the Star's Tim Harper, Poilievre, a staunch believer in the kind of 'right-to-work' legislation recently passed in Michigan, loudly, proudly, hypocritically and disingenuously proclaims it as

...“workers freedom,’’ legislation that would give federal workers the option of paying union dues and joining their colleagues in a work stoppage.

“I am the first federal politician to make a dedicated push toward this goal,’’ he says. “I believe in free choice for workers and I am going to do my part to see that happens at the federal level and I would encourage provincial governments to do likewise.

Ah yes, the famous Harper regime concern for workers' rights.

But perhaps the Christmas season will bring an unexpected gift. Despite the fact that the same prevarications are proclaimed regularly by that Ontario emblem of ineptitude, the Progressive Conservative Party's Tim Hudak, there is some evidence of nascent critical thinking on the part of the electorate. An article in today's Star by Robert Benzie and Richard Brennan suggest that young Tim's embrace of all things right-wing is beginning to hurt him in the polls. Now only two percentage points ahead of the NDP, his party, which seems perilously similar to tea-party ideology, is finding some resistance amongst voters, according to a recent Forum poll:

Forum president Lorne Bozinoff said the most recent survey suggests that some of Hudak’s right-wing proposals are not resonating beyond his diehard supporters.

For example, only about a third — 34 per cent — of respondents believe compulsory union dues should be outlawed while 45 per cent disagreed with that plan and 21 per cent were unsure.

Only 8 per cent of respondents agreed that Community Care Access Centres should be shut down with 61 per cent opposed and 31 per cent uncertain.

Bozinoff said a lot of the Tory planks are “just not authentic enough for people in urban areas,” which is bad news for a party with a caucus made up of mostly rural MPPs.

So, we can only hope that as 2013 arrives, more and more people will don their critical-thinking caps and subject all political rhetoric to the kind of thoughtful analysis that a healthy democracy both demands and deserves.


  1. Poilievre is, to borrow from Pat Martin, a snivelling little lying rat faced whore.

  2. Pat Martin does have a way with words, doesn't he, Anon?