Oh shucks, I can’t help myself. A little over two weeks ago in The Neglected Elephant I unloaded a portion of my little booklet, The Speech I’ll Never Give or what I would say if I were running for parliament as an NDP candidate – which I’m not. I had no intention of using any more of it but there’s so much b.s being scattered by the Libs and Harperites that, as I say, I can’t help myself.
If you’re one who has read The Speech booklet – okay, go pour yourself a beer. But then check this portion out again. If you agree, send it on. Think of it as a nosegay to counteract the stink of all that – well, you know — stuff.
So here goes part of it, straight off the top:
The Speech Ill Never Give or what I would say if
I were running for Parliament as an NDP candidate –
which I’m not.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for giving me this opportunity to voice my opinion.
Let’s cut to the chase.
There’s a lot of mythological claptrap out there concerning the NDP. I intend to begin by taking a look at some of it. Later on I may get around to the Liberals and Conservatives – but kindly, of course. Due respect for the handicapped.
I say “mythology” about the NDP – a lot of it started as Liberal/Conservative propaganda and then got repeated so often that it became entrenched mythology – a colourful kind of popular ignorance.
Myth No. 1 – The NDP is fiscally irresponsible. We’re Big Spenders, they say. Well, let’s take a look at that.
Back in September of 2005 a federal government report showed that NDP governments had balanced the books twice as often as Liberal governments. In fact, Liberal territorial, provincial, and federal governments reportedly posted year-after-year budget deficits 79 per cent of the time. At the time of that report the Conservatives – in their various incarnations – had done a little better by posting deficits only 65 percent of the time. Now, of course, they’ve made up for lost time by posting the largest deficit in Canadian history.
Deficits, of course, add up to debt. Debt that you will eventually pay. Fifty years ago the Big Corporations’ taxes would have paid at least half – a fair share. Today, after years of Liberals and Conservatives trading places, the Corporate Establishment gets away with paying peanuts. Guess who takes up the slack.
With respect to the current deficit, the Conservatives say they have no choice – there’s a recession underway. They ignore the fact that the recession was created by their masters, Big Corporate Creatures. We’ll get around to them in a moment. [See April 11th, The Neglected Elephant ]
Myth No. 2 – The NDP is inexperienced – ill equipped to govern. In support of this myth
the Liberals and Conservatives hoot with laughter and cite the Ontario NDP government of the early ‘90s as the epitome of NDP failure.
Failure? My foot!
In 1990 a recession was just getting underway, too. But the critics ignore the fact that the forces of those Corporate Creatures arrayed themselves against the NDP government. Even to the point of displaying anti-government billboards.
Let’s take a brief look at the mythology of inexperience.
Well, hey, the NDP has formed governments in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Yukon.
Even as I speak the NDP forms majority governments in Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
Oh, sure, that’s all provincial. Okay. But unlike the Liberals and Conservatives, the provincial and federal New Democratic Parties hew to the same principles – sing from the same songbook. You can actually get a pretty good idea of what they’re about.
From the NDP’s provincial roots in Saskatchewan came our most cherished national institution – universal health care. It became national largely because of NDP pressure applied in Parliament. Most progressive parliamentary legislation seems miraculously to have materialized when the NDP had strength in Ottawa and also seems to be eroded when it doesn’t. Go figure.
We can do with more of the NDP’s so-called inexperience. [….]
It’s traditional in talks like this for candidates to attack each other’s platforms. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to do that.
Later on I’ll get around to ignoring my own Party’s platform.
First, let me explain why I’ll ignore those of the Liberals and Conservatives – whatever new synthetic materials they’ve used to construct their planks.
It’s really quite simple. I know, and you know, and history proves it – their platforms mean nothing.
Historically the Liberals were the party of Free Trade. But in 1988 they opposed Free Trade. Historically the Conservatives were nationalists and, as recently as 1984, opposed Free Trade. But by 1989 they had implemented Free Trade, stuffing the Senate in order to defeat the Liberal’s new found opposition.
Remember the Liberal leader who was opposed to Wage and Price Control and then suddenly introduced it?
Remember the Progressive Conservative who gained the Party leadership promising not to combine his party with the Alliance – and then did just that?
Remember the Liberal Minister of Industry who, while running for re-election, made vitriolic statements against Conservatives and then two weeks after being elected joined the Conservatives in order to become their Minister of International Trade?
The attempt to remember which of the two parties, or their members, have stepped into each other’s shoes over the years is a mind numbing exercise for the average citizen’s brain – certainly for mine.
I ask you. Which Party campaigned for open government and then, in power, began closing the door on access to information? Which Party promised to improve environmental protection and then continued to subsidize one of the dirtiest projects on earth?
You don’t remember?
No wonder. The answer is, both.
And which of those two socially concerned Parties was it that gradually reduced Unemployment Insurance coverage from 80 % of the unemployed to less than 40%?
Well, of course, it took both of them, taking turns, nibbling away for almost 40 years to achieve that little triumph.
All my rather extensive adult life I’ve watched Liberals and Conservatives pass back and forth through each other like great amorphous jelly fish, and they’ve been just as hard to pin down. It’s a fascinating political shell game. And you always lose.
The fact is, my friends, there is virtually no difference between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. They are both after power and, given it, they will wield that power on behalf of the Establishment no matter what their platforms say [….] ♣
So okay, enough. Let’s see what happens on May 2nd.
Enjoy your vote.
♣Extract from The Speech I’ll Never Give…
Copyright © Munroe Scott
Published by Munscott 2010