Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where have these people been? (Part Two) 

Part One is here.
And its about time people started speaking out.
Here's the most recent list of Conservative opponents, from the :Toronto Star:
- The Canadian Climate Coalition complained that the Tories were the only party that refused to respond to a questionnaire on the Kyoto Protocol, and accused Harper of moving Canada 'into the same camp as U.S. President George W. Bush.'
- The Council of Canadians expressed concern about recent comments by Conservative MP James Lunney favouring bulk exports of Canadian water, and called on Harper to clarify his position on the issue.
- Sixty-six economists signed a joint statement warning that the tax breaks being offered by the major parties would leave a huge deficit in social services and hurt the poor. They took special aim at the Conservative proposal to eliminate taxes on reinvested capital gains, saying it would 'deliver very large tax savings to a tiny group of high-income Canadians.'
- Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said he's not satisfied by recent comments by Harper that the party supports the principles of the Kelowna native deal, but not the final agreement and dollar amount. 'Any suggestion that one supports the objectives and the targets but not the approximately $5 billion allocated to these targets is of great concern to us because we won't be able to meet the targets without money,' he said.
- The gay-rights group Egale warned: 'Stephen Harper goes ahead with his plan to reopen the divisive equal marriage debate, it will lead Canada into a legal swamp.' On Monday, 104 law professors wrote an open letter to Harper saying that his plan to reopen the equal marriage debate would lead to "legal confusion, a lack of uniformity, and unnecessary, protracted and costly litigation."
- Harper also faced questions from reporters Tuesday on claims that the Tories harbour a secret agenda to reopen the abortion debate. On Monday, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the father of the pro-choice movement in Canada, had said Conservatives can't be trusted on the abortion issue. But Harper maintained he "won't be initiating or supporting abortion legislation." "I'll use whatever influence I have in Parliament to be sure that such a matter doesn't come to a vote," he added.
Yeah, Stephen, sure. Surprisingly, I'm sure, your influence just may not be quite enough...
And if you need any more talking points, Rabble associate publisher Duncan Cameron provides this concise summary of why the Conservatives would be a bad choice for Canada:
On policy, Conservative leader Stephen Harper is clear. He is not bound by a parliamentary decision to approve same sex marriage. Nor would his government support the international convention on climate change known as the Kyoto Accord, or the federal-provincial agreement on aboriginal issues reached recently at Kelowna.
He is ready to re-start negotiations to make Canada a partner in the American first strike missile system known perversely as missile defence.
The reason Harper favours the so-called traditional definition of marriage is not just to ensure that gay and lesbian Canadians are made to feel insulted and demeaned. He also wants to prove to the courts that the House of Commons is not bound by legal decisions Conservatives do not agree with.
Similarly, with the Kyoto accord, he can demonstrate how a Conservative government can step down, and walk away from an international treaty ratified by Canada, in order to show solidarity with the Bush Republicans, and the U.S. . . . Just in case anybody missed it, under a Harper government, payment of the capital gains tax will be waived if you “re-invest” the gain within six months by buying a summer cottage, a speculative property to rent out, or some more stocks.
This capital gains holiday is super expensive to implement, and worthless to society. It could, however be dangerous, having the power to provoke speculative booms, and accelerate busts. Since it will favour the wealthy greatly, it has not been subject to rigorous examination in the media
Announced for the first time with the rest of the Conservative program last Friday, the capital gains measure far overshadows the attention-getting proposed one per cent reduction in the GST, trumpeted at the outset of the election campaign as a measure of social justice. It turns out the Conservatives do favour the rich even when they pretend to be looking out for working families. Their tax policy proves it.
If the Conservatives win, its time to get into the house flipping business, I guess.

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