Monday, January 30, 2012
Kelly McParland comments on silly land of the Ottawa press corps and their liberal democrat masters. The unemployed have already been targeted, with lousy service and jammed phone lines. Soon the elderly will find their Old Age Security payments have been pushed back two years. The Prime Minister, the Winnipeg Free Press tells us, will show his “true Conservative stripes.” High in his tower, the evil Dr. Harper cackles maniacally while plotting his next move: jail terms for everyone, guilty or not! Bwa-ha-ha, bwa-ha-ha (cue creepy organ music). No wonder Canadians tune out politics, when it’s presented to them in a cartoon format. According to the fevered view from Ottawa, Stephen Harper, evil genius, has been sitting quietly on his secret agenda for six years, but now, armed with a majority, he is free to impose it on unsuspecting Canadians. A tough budget (no, please!), reformed immigration (help us, someone, help us!), tougher laws on crime (make him stop Lord, please make him stop!), and who knows, maybe even an attempt to undermine Confederation by insisting the provinces deal with health care as they were elected to do. The warped view that this comes as a surprise to Canadians, or may be widely unwelcome, overlooks the fact that six years of Conservative government still sees the Liberals and New Democrats with their backsides planted firmly on the opposition benches, leaderless and with no practical alternative agenda to offer. The Bloc Quebecois has all but disappeared, and may soon be followed into obscurity by the warring factions of the Parti Quebecois. Separatism, under Tory rule, now rivals Social Credit in terms of its health as a political creed. The reality is that a rethinking of Canada’s system of old age benefits is clearly needed before the whole thing goes bankrupt, and the government appears to be contemplating a plan to ease back the age of eligibility, over an extended period that will not punish today’s seniors and will give younger Canadians plenty of time to adapt. Given that the average 20-year-old is likely to live far longer than their grandparents could ever have expected, it doesn’t seem that outrageous for the country’s finances to adapt accordingly.