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View Full Version : Look whose agenda is hidden now



awndray
09-29-2015, 07:48 AM
After eight weeks, the federal election feels like itís been going on longer than the major league season. And yet so far, unlike in the last four elections, we havenít heard much about ďStephen Harperís hidden agenda.Ē

The reason is pretty clear: Heís been prime minister for nine years now, four of them with a majority government. If there really were a hidden agenda, it would have emerged by now. Whatís he waiting for? His third decade in power? Right now, the polls suggest the best he can do is a minority government, hardly the right circumstance for hauling out a hidden agenda. Of course, minority government was where David Cameron was headed until British voters gave him a majority, helped along in their decision-making by that Wizard of Auz adviser now working for the Tories.

This time the long-term agendas that are uncertain are the Liberalsí and NDPís. From the top down, for reasons of political expedience ó both want to win ó the two parties have leapfrogged each other on policy. The Liberals have ditched the hug-the-centre strategy that served them so well for so long and are now the left-most major party. It used to be the NDP were ďLiberals in a hurry.Ē Now itís the Liberals who look like the NDP in a hurry.

For its part, the NDP has got religion on deficits and high marginal income tax rates, which it argues would be both economically damaging and, shocking to hear from social democrats, unfair. It may be true, as Thomas Mulcair keeps reminding us, that NDP provincial governments have often run balanced budgets ó with the important exception of Bob Rae, who though a Liberal now was very much an NDPer when premier of Ontario. But the federal NDP has seldom if ever met a deficit it didnít want bigger or a surplus it wouldnít reduce. Deficit fundamentalism, however welcome, is very new to the federal version of the party.

What ultimately made Bob Rae a Liberal was having to deal with die-hard NDPers who didnít accept that ever-growing debt could kill a provinceís economy. Thatís all ancient history, of course. Raeís government was elected 25 years ago this month, so most of his erstwhile opponents in the party are now either cultivating or pushing up daisies. But the NDP does still contain a left wing. Some Dippers are also Leapers, that is, supporters of the Leap Manifesto, which proposes a radical leftward shift in how Canadian society organizes itself.

The same is true, in mirror image, of the Liberals. There still are righter-wing Liberals in the mould of Mitchell Sharp, Donald Johnston and Paul Martin himself. Mr. Martin, slayer of the 30-year deficit, is on board with the current program but given his own hard-won knowledge of what a struggle it is to get rid of a deficit once itís entrenched, you have to wonder just how enthusiastic he really is about the partyís planned three-year deficit.

If one of these two parties wins, maybe even with a majority, and if it puts through most of its current platform, what comes next? Whatís its agenda after that? Does the Liberal right wing reassert itself? Do the Liberals stop hurrying and revert to the form that kept them in government for most of the 20th century? Does Mr. Trudeau, like most people as they age, move rightward? And once the NDP has enacted its platform does it, spurred on by an irrepressible left wing, revert to its reformist persona and push the country to ever bigger government?

The thrust of new Conservative TV ads featuring Stephen Harper talking to a table-full of Canadians is that with the prime minister you know what you get. Thatís probably true. For the other two parties, however, it depends whether their new incarnations last. Their medium-term agendas may not be hidden. But can anyone say what they are?
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/watson-look-whose-agenda-is-hidden-now

Rory McCanuck
09-29-2015, 10:37 AM
Does Mr. Trudeau, like most people as they age, move rightward? And once the NDP has enacted its platform does it, spurred on by an irrepressible left wing, revert to its reformist persona and push the country to ever bigger government?
Boy Blunder is what, 43 now? This is as grown up as he's going to get, I'd say.
And as for the NDP, there's the Hidden Agenda, and it isn't so well hidden, and it's absolutely frightening.

Waynetheman
09-29-2015, 12:33 PM
Yeah pretty much the entire ndp play book is a badly disguised hidden agenda. And whenever elections come around and I see all the ndp signs on people's lawn it just makes me smh.