Saturday, July 18, 2015

Our Baby-In Chief Strikes Again

It doesn't take a degree in psychology to know that Stephen Harper has, as they say, issues. His obsessive secrecy, reported emotional volatility, deep vindictiveness and completely ruthless dispatch of those who represent perspectives, policies and values differing from his own are all markers of a deeply disturbed individual. That he is Canada's prime minister is a national tragedy.

The latest instance of his lashing out, his puppet finance minister's public denunciation of Ontario's plan to establish its own Retirement Pension Plan, is yet another prime example of his unfitness to govern. Martin Regg Cohn writes,
People of goodwill can disagree. But why does a prime minister of ill will have to be so willfully disagreeable, so reflexively destructive, when playing electoral politics?

Stephen Harper’s pettiness in trying to sabotage Ontario’s legitimate efforts to create a public pension for middle-income workers sets a new low in gamesmanship. It will only take money out of the pockets of workers, taxpayers and employers who will be forced to pay higher fees because of the federal intransigence.
The establishment of the plan, upon which Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne campaigned, is a response to the refusal of the federal government to expand the Canada Pension Plan, which most provinces desire to see happen.
Harper’s decision this week to stab Ontario in the back — and middle-class Ontarians in the front — may go down as one of the most offensive, retrograde and thoughtless blunders ever committed by a sitting prime minister plotting his re-election on the backs of prospective pensioners.

His Conservative government is toying with the futures of young people who face a lifetime of precarious employment without proper pension coverage. Ontario’s plan is being designed by some of Canada’s foremost pension experts as a cost-effective, low-fee program that parallels the successful Canada Pension Plan.
Here's what minion Joe Oliver leaked to the public before sending to Ontario:
“The Ontario Government’s proposed ORPP would take money from workers and their families, kill jobs, and damage the economy,” Oliver writes with fatuous hyperbole in the undated letter leaked to the media before it was even transmitted to Queen’s Park.
As Regg Cohn tartly observes, this rejection is conspicuously absent of any research or statistics to back up his shrill dismissal. And to compound the insult, the feds are refusing to make any legislative changes to facilitate the Ontario pension:
Astonishingly, the Harper government will refuse to collect pension deductions on Ontario’s behalf or provide any information to assist the plan — services for which it would have been fairly compensated by the province. In short, it’s not merely a hands-off attitude but a hands-to-the throat approach.

The result of the PM’s partisan tantrum? Higher accounting and compliance costs for business, and additional government funding made necessary by the same federal Tories who always claim to be reducing red tape and cutting waste.
There appears to be only one solution for a prime minister who seems to have a temperament that never grew beyond the 'terrible twos' - isolate him from any further contact with the electorate by tossing him and his playmates out of their playpen in October.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, Rumley. A mere typographical error.

  2. Unfortunately, Lorne. Harper never got beyond what our son calls "sandbox etiquette."

    1. Perhaps Harper should also be called to account for defaming by association all of the younger set, Owen.

  3. He is a truly an offensive man and the fact that he is our PM, I still find astonishing. It's like we're watching a really bad circus act.

    1. Unfortunately, Pamela, it is the spectators who are getting trampled by these unpenned animals.

  4. Lorne, it is a shame that this guy is our Prime Minister. You describe him well in your post and then thoughtful comments. I can't think of anything more to add to it.

    1. Let's hope a sufficient number of real adults show up at the polls in October to put Harper in his proper place, LD.