Woe Canada. My home, if not native, land.
It seems I'm not alone in my displeasure and discomfort wrought by the shenanigans of Canada's current prime minister. Even a growing number of the approximately two-fifths of voters who selected the Conservatives are suffering post-purchase dissonance.
Die-hard, "small-c" conservatives are pissed off that Little Stevie isn't really a conservative after all. Real conservatives believe in smaller government. Little Stevie, while paying lip service to smaller government, has increased the federal public service — not including uniformed military or police personnel — by somewhere in the neighbourhood of 33,000 employees since taking power in 2006. His recent announcement of cuts, particularly targeting those who challenge or disagree with his points of view on such things as climate change and the desirability of imperiling west coast fisheries with oil tankers in treacherous waters, are a drop in the proverbial bucket.
Real conservatives are fiscally conservative. Little Stevie inherited a budget running surpluses for the first time in collective memory and imprudently cut the GST, despite the singular lack of anyone agitating for him to do so. That move, along with increased spending, a burgeoning civil service and an unfortunate lack of foresight in seeing the coming economic shitstorm, especially for one versed in the arcane discipline of economics, turned surpluses to deficits quicker than you could say "prorogue parliament."
Real conservatives believe in what they believe in and they believe they're right in believing that way. I apologize for that sentence but you know what I mean. Real conservatives will fight openly for what they believe in. Little Stevie is Big Sneaky. If there's something he believes in — or something he wants to do — and pesky things like fact-based science disagrees or gets in his way, he won't ignore it or argue against it in the marketplace of ideas. If those temeritous scientists are employed or funded by the federal government, he'll fire them, silence them or dissolve their funding in a sneaky budgetary maneuver. No one disagrees with Little Stevie and gets away with it. His football, his rules.
Real conservatives have some respect for our form of government, however imperfect it may be. They know, in their stony, cold hearts, it's the last bastion of hope... especially when they're out of power, as they inevitably will be. Little Stevie has nothing but contempt for parliament. So obviously he's been found, well, in contempt of parliament. But parliament's just a nuisance and obstacle to doing what he wants. If it gets in the way, he'll prorogue it. If it wants information the rules say it's entitled to, he'll thumb his nose at it. And that was when he ran a minority government.
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