Now What?

With four in ten of the less than two-thirds of Canadians that bothered to vote on Monday having decided to give Stephen Harper the reigns of power until at least 2015, what changes can we reasonably expect to see over the next four years?

According to reports today, Harper indicates “he’s taking a no-surprises approach to majority government rather than contemplating any radical shifts in policy now that he has control of the Commons.” Well, of course he would say that… Now.

But how long will it be until the more “radical shifts” start appearing? And I don’t pose the question as idle fear mongering… just more out of a sense of morbid curiosity at what the Conservatives hope to achieve now that they’ve finally attained their long coveted majority. After all, there was a lot of implicit and abiding faith amongst the Conservative base that if ever given the opportunity to do so, they would effect dramatic changes to the very fabric of Canada.

Defunding the CBC and Radio Canada, for starters. Limiting the role of the federal government across the board, slashing taxes on enterprising “job creators” (i.e., the wealthiest 5%), auctioning off public assets, zeroing out corporate taxes and issuing in a sweeping wave of “hands off” deregulation in order to finally unleash the power of the “free market” to work its productive magic on the economy unfettered by meddlesome government bureaucrats. Not to mention other promises that have been implicitly made to the Conservative party base over the years… defunding the arts, criminalizing abortion, cutting or abandoning altogether social justice and welfare programs. You know the drill.

Now that the Conservatives have complete control of the House of Commons in addition to a majority in the “other place” and the ability even to load the bench of the SCOC with their own ideologically sympathetic appointees there should be absolutely nothing stopping them from implementing the full measure of their “agenda”…

Here’s another thing I’m curious about: What the heck are the Bloggin’ Tories going to do for the next four years? Demonizing a powerless opposition, while shaking their rhetorical pom-poms and blindly cheering on the Dear Leader’s every autocratic move seems like a rather dull prospect, doesn’t it?

27 Comments

Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Blogging Tories, Conservative Party of Canada, HARPER Government of Canada

27 responses to “Now What?

  1. Tomm

    RT,

    “…What the heck are the Bloggin’ Tories going to do for the next four years? ”

    I’m more worried about the Libloggers. They seem to have already entered some sort of funk. A few are ranting, a few drooling, some babbling incoherently, and one or two, just sort of checking out. We may need to intervene to ensure we don’t lose some to terminal depression. We may want to double check with the police just to ensure that don’t have registered long guns that they could use to harm themselves with.

  2. Yeah, I noticed that a few had thrown in the towel.

    But Lib bloggers will have another leadership race to amuse ourselves with, plus the fun of attacking the government without having to worry about the trimming justifications and compromises of the past five years of minority governments. And now we get to kick the NDP in the nads too!

  3. Tomm

    Its good to look on the bright side.

    A Liberal leadership convention will certainly be worth the price of admission. The one in Quebec was really one of the best. I wonder if they can top that?

    Ignatieff indicated he would like the next leader to be young and female. I’m not sure what that meant…

    Perhaps Bruce Carson’s ex is available.

  4. I think Iggy may have been onto something there. A young, dynamic, telegenic, charismatic woman… Could be just what the doctor ordered for an ailing party on the ropes.

    Now to find one…

  5. Tomm

    Onto government priorities:

    -re-introduce/pass the budget
    -crime bills
    -get rid of the per vote subsidy
    -Senate reform bill
    -crime bills
    -de-fund some group
    -national securities regulatory policy
    -getting rid of the barley monopoly
    -crime bills
    -add more seats to Ontario and the west
    -hack some spending
    -crime bills
    -de-fund some group
    -getting rid of the wheat monopoly of the CWB

    They will be busy!

  6. Tomm

    This young female leader also has to be from Quebec. So Danielle Smith is out of the running.

    Should this telegenic leader come first, or should they work on a reason to exist first?

  7. What are us BT’s going to do?

    Well, after our legs tire out, we’ll stop our happy dance.

    Then.. Some of us will try to keep our Government honest. Some will just nod their head and smile regardless.

    But I think your fears ultimately will prove unfounded.

    Which will be the BIGGEST nightmare for the LPC. Because if the NDP move slightly to centre (which is typical of an NDP party holding actual responsibility), and the Conservatives don’t move farther right.. It will be almost impossible for the LPC to find a niche with the voting public.

    So, oddly, THIS Conservative is hoping for a slightly right of centre government.. And the hard core Libs will be praying for a Canadian incarnation of the tea party.

  8. Rob: Not being a hardcore Liberal, I’d be quite happy to see a “steady as she goes” moderate governance coming out of Harper and the Conservatives.

    That, however, isn’t what his rabid ideological partisans have been spending their waking hours over the past 10 years praying, working and donating for…

    Are they just going to suck it up when Harper fails them on all of their ideals and beliefs. Or will simply being in power be enough to satisfy them?

  9. Roland

    Don’t forget that now that Harper’s in charge, we’ll get to join in whatever war the Americans decide to start next.

    Cheering the fireworks should provide ample occupation for “conservative” bloggers.

  10. CWTF

    I expect that a “made in America” copyright law will be passed (to stay on your subject) and that Rob H will forever be the hypocrite that he has been.

    I don’t really see the free market happening as much as continued corporatism.

    Criminal laws will be reformed to suit their ideology and ensure a steady flow of new “criminal”. Facts will never get in the way of Harpercon ideology.

  11. CWTF

    I would be remiss that I expect the oil sands to be the engine of the Canadian economy – consequences be dammed.

  12. hitfan

    For the next four years I’m going to play the “Ridiculous thing that a neophyte NDPer from Quebec has today”. There are already instances of a non-existent candidate, one who bought a house outside the riding and one who was vacationing in Vegas. The latter two are minor (the first though, will be interesting if it was true).

    Harper kept autocratic control over his MPs because it was his way of telling them: “Keep your mouth shut about abortion”. Layton will have no other choice to exercise dictatorial control over his soft Quebec nationalist MPs to prevent rifts with traditional Ontario and BC labor MPs.

    I remember when I lived in Ontario in the early 1990s, there were a lot of silly things coming out of the newly-elected NDP government. Wasn’t there a cabinet minister who posed as a “Sunshine Boy” or something to that effect?

    Harper’s red meat to the conservatives will be abolishing the long gun registry (he’s not abolishing the registry outright, it will still apply to other weapons) but he won’t do this right away. He’ll keep his powder dry and save that for the right moment.

  13. Fred from BC

    Rob: Not being a hardcore Liberal, I’d be quite happy to see a “steady as she goes” moderate governance coming out of Harper and the Conservatives.

    That, however, isn’t what his rabid ideological partisans have been spending their waking hours over the past 10 years praying, working and donating for…

    What you don’t (or won’t?) understand is that you are talking about a small percentage of the whole party. Most Conservatives are no more “rabid” than you are . I know it was part of your strategy to label us as such, but that strategy failed and the election is now over. My advice would be to get busy choosing a new leader…

  14. jkg

    For the next four years I’m going to play the “Ridiculous thing that a neophyte NDPer from Quebec has today”.

    I actually think it will won’t be really that terrible; there will be amusing novice mistakes, but I don’t think it will be crazy …. unless they start channeling Deborah Grey.

  15. Pingback: Links: For A Monarchy Country « Euro-Canadian News

  16. …unless they start channeling Deborah Grey.

    Do you mean by performing an assault and battery upon a colleague, or do you mean by calling MPs “pigs” for collecting their Parliamentary pensions and then shamelessly collecting your own fat pension upon retirement, after a negligible career of legislative uselessness, like an ethically vacant, fraudulent hack?

  17. jkg

    And once again, I thank, Sir_Francis, for illustrating my point regarding the fallacy of inflating the liability of inexperienced newcomers. Given the choice, I will take a well-meaning young upstart over a populist, cynical, and truculent backbencher of Grey’s species any day of the week.

  18. tofkw

    hitfan wrote:
    For the next four years I’m going to play the “Ridiculous thing that a neophyte NDPer from Quebec has today”

    Speaking of which:
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/05/04/the-really-new-democrats/
    Looks like this comedy show is destined to be a hit.

  19. jkg

    Before we get too caught up on the hilarity of the Le Petit Jeune Gang de 11, I would like to remind kindly everyone here of a young upstart, who secured a Conservative seat at the tender age of 24, and now, is eligible for a pension when he comes to retirement age. Yes, that’s right, Pierre Poilievre. Our favourite fawning philistine was able to work hard enough to become a mainstay in his riding and in the CPC (John Baird is even liking him!). I bet even within these young newcomers, some are going to be around to stay (there was already Nikki Ashton), so really, we would just be falling for the Natpo ‘insinuation journalism’ and PKP’s media bromides, egged on by those adorable guttersnipes who freep every NDP-themed article. Let’s try to avoid that whilst enjoying the comedy gold.

    Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled program. From tofkw’s article, here is an older yet a newcomer’s bio:

    A karate teacher and executive with the Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild, Mr. Ravignat felled a political giant when he defeated Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon by more than 8,000 votes in Pontiac.

    I wonder if we are going to see LARPing now on the Center Block lawn. The carillon would certainly add some realism to a reenactment of The War of The Roses.

  20. CWTF

    tofkw, that’s almost as funny Stock who thinks that Man walked with Dinosaurs, don’t you think?
    While the NDP young MPs are funny (one of them in an interviews interspaced every second word with “umhhh”), it’s not the same kind of funny that populates the Harpercons…

  21. …it’s not the same kind of funny that populates the Harpercons.

    The NDP freshman caucus is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off funny. Our CPC government is Brazil funny.

  22. jkg

    Gah, my other comment is stuck in moderation land, again. Red, could you fish it out again, please? For some reason, I am a spammer.

  23. Now what? Now I get to watch my worst fears become reality yet again, unable to do anything about it, to mindless rah-rahing by his supporters, belated rhetoric from the party of enablers who are now in Official Opposition suddenly realizing that Yes Virginia Layton there is a demon Harper (in terms of progressive values and policies that the NDP supposedly hold most dear, not literal, for those that need it spelled out) about how bad he and his government is but totally unable to do anything about it other than whine (welcome to the reality of majority government as Official Opposition status, in the last three elections the NDP has gained seats but lost power each time and squandered the power when they had it to boot) and (hopefully) the middle of the road Canadian voters that voted for Harper thinking he was safer than those ideologues in the NDP finally seeing Harper for what he truly is and how far outside the centrist middle of our society he truly is and always has been.

    For me Red this next 4-5 years will be a bitter time of “I told you so”s, in many ways I have the exact same feeling I did when the Iraq war was started and all those cheering for it were sure of how it would be such a positive gamechanger, hoe democracy would be spread throughout the ME lands because of it, how there would be all kinds of evidence of WMDs when I knew it would be the disaster it became and that no such weapons were actually there (since unlike some I actually paid attention after GW1 to Iraq AND bothered to actually source information and evaluate its credibility on more than just taking the words of senior government actors/officials) to be found. You know, I really hope that this time that feeling is wrong, but to date everything I’ve ever had this feeling attach itself to has ended up being accurate to a high degree (+90% high), which does not make me feel good at all.

    I will freely admit that I am feeling very bitter and infuriated by the Layton NDP, both the party leadership and the partisans online, because they seem to think this election was a cause for celebration. Well, the main reason they were able to crush the Libs was because the Harper CPC had done the heavy lifting for them in the ad campaigns used to discredit both leaders since Harper was first raised to the PMO, not because they were somehow more acceptable. Indeed, you take out the Quebec results (where Layton was clearly pandering to the soft nationalist vote I might add, something Mulroney also did which ended up giving us the BQ in the first place and a major mistake for any federalist party in my books) and the NDP just barely equaled their high water mark under Broadbent, hardly the evidence of a gamechanger election, indeed the Libs got caught by the fears of a surging NDP with the split shifting to what to most centrist voters who don’t follow politics outside of election campaigns looked to be the safer bet, Harper’s CPC.

    Indeed, I find some of the talk about how the Libs must merge with the NDP for there to be any hope to be one of the most lunatic readings of this election. Yes, the Libs took a massive drubbing, one of if not the worst in their entire history, but they weren’t reduced to 2 seats or anything, indeed they were reduced to the number range Layton’s NDP had before the election, and unlike Layton’s NDP the Libs still have a history of good governance and non-ideological politics, which while in disrepute at the moment may well seem soothing ofter a majority Harper government has finished a term. The Libs biggest problem was that they never had a chance after they lost under Martin to really take the time to reevaluate who they were and what they were going to stand for in this generation and who would best lead them there, the pressures of a minority situation prevented that. Well now they have the time to do so, and the leader who was branded in the harshest most intense attack ad campaign this nation has ever seen for two years straight is gone, and the next time it will be far harder for Harper to do so since still coming after the Libs while not spending more focus on the NDP given the relative positions of each will almost certainly cause many in the electorate to smell a rat.

    Now what you ask? Now we see what will be one of the most shameful periods in our history, where we elected to majority the only government to ever be found in contempt of Parliament, a government that has shown nothing but naked contempt for any rules or laws that gets in the way of what it wants. We watch a LOO who is so proud of his ability to take his party to Stornaway that he was willing to enable this result while claiming to be a leader of a progressive principles first party trying to straddle that divide without looking foolish, especially now that since Harper got what he needed from Layton he can now use Layton’s own inconsistencies from doing so to utterly destroy his credibility (and if this happens as I suspect it might I will admit I will take a certain amount of bitter satisfaction from it) and his party’s chances for governing. As for the Libs, hard to say for now, but I don’t think in the end they are going to go with the merger idea being floated, in no small part because I think the Lib core that is left is probably one of the few groups of people with even a stronger sense of bitterness and betrayal toward the Layton NDP than I have been feeling, and I just don’t see how such a group could merge, especially when they look at the results and do not see a real fundamental shift towards the NDP in the electorate, just a convergence of negatives against their own party in this particular election, not to mention given the Dippers would insist that in such a merger that the NDP side be given the main weight based on that last result in a merged party. Whatever else though the next few years are not going to be pretty for anyone that values both progressive social values and sound economic judgment, not to mention overall good government. Order we will have probably in excess, and peace, well we shall see…

  24. Fred: What you don’t (or won’t?) understand is that you are talking about a small percentage of the whole party.

    I would imagine that they are actually a small percentage of the total number of people in the whole party. Just so happens they’re the most vocal ones that blog and presume to speak for the majority, I guess.

    I know it was part of your strategy to label us as such, but that strategy failed and the election is now over.

    Um, no. I don’t believe that I really had a “strategy” to demonize Conservative supporters in general. I understand the reasons most people voted for Harper and they have little to do with the far right ideological obsessions, pro-life fetishes, and other buck-nutty crap of the rabid partisans and frothing haters that populate the CPC’s online booster club.

    My advice would be to get busy choosing a new leader…

    My advice would be to ignore your advice. There’s no rush to choose a new leader. Sure, someone needs to be appointed to head the party in parliament, but there are other more important existential considerations that need to be made prior to choosing a leader.

  25. jkg

    There’s no rush to choose a new leader.

    Curiously, when Dion was flushed out of the party, the venerated punditocracy (including those charming neoconservative commentators) all were ‘objectively’ saying that the Liberal party should expedite the process of the choosing a new leader quickly. So, in traditions of the Westminster system, Ignatieff was voted by the caucus. No sooner had that happened that the narrative changed to Ignatieff ‘not being elected’ as if to imply his election as party leader was illegitimate. I don’t suppose those chirpy critics knew that British parties do exactly that. I wonder how much they would accept, by their own premise, that some leaders from Disraeli onward were, in fact, illegitimate.

  26. You may recall that I was one of those who advocated that Dion hang in there as leader. 😉

    But having turfed him, I would have opted for Bob Rae, simply by virtue of the fact that he’s a far more genial and naturally engaging politician than Michael Ignatieff could have ever been.

  27. That’s a smart answer to a diulfcift question.

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