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Myles Anevich

Republican Theatre of The Absurd

Things have become much more exciting for those of us who love the quadrennial presidential primary season. Not only has the Cain train spectacularly derailed, but there is now the threat of third-string candidate – and libertarian messiah – Ron Paul winning the Iowa caucuses. There is also a new front-runner in Newt Gingrich.It was just months ago that it looked like the Republican primaries would be a boring affair. And after everyone’s favourite candidate (the self described “Black Walnut” Herman Cain) became mired in sex scandals and subsequently abandoned his 2012 presidential aspirations, I was worried that 2012 was going to be as mundane as 2004 was for the Democrats. However, thank the ghost of William F. Buckley, the Republican Party seems as divided as ever on who their nominee will be. The next five months promise to be exciting.The best part of this campaign is that Republicans and conservatives can’t seem to agree on their first, second, or even third choice. Mitt, Newt, Perry, and Paul, while all wonderful personalities to watch in the debates, have pretty clear flaws, alienating vast swathes of their party. This, as we all have seen, has made for a wonderful ideological clashes between the right, the left and the flip-floppers of the Republican Party.Fortunately, for those of us who like political infighting, each of the top-four candidates are despised by certain members of the Republican “big-tent”. Many GOP supporters apparently see their least favourite candidates not only as undesirable alternatives but an anathema to their political beliefs.Gingrich and Paul illustrate this problem in slightly different ways. While Newt is the best debater out of the current GOP crop (and it would be wonderful to see him take on President Obama in his proposed Lincoln-Douglas format) he has serious political and personal flaws.… Read More

Stephen Harper’s reckless tax cuts

Since their electoral victory of 2006, Stephen Harper and his Conservative Government have been slowly instituting a pernicious scheme to drastically reduce federal taxes - supposedly to stimulate the Canadian economy. Essentially he and his conservative cabal have proposed to greatly reduce the federal government’s revenue generating capabilities during a time of global economic instability. This is a wager even the most degenerate of gamblers would not dare to make, and yet our Prime Minister is pursing policies that take us as a nation down this dangerous road to ruin.The Prime Minister has promised us financial safety, better, more comfortable lives, and economic freedom, all through lowering the tax burden on Canadians. The Conservative government has assured us that in this land of plenty, the government can accomplish more and more for its citizens with less and less of a burden on the citizens. They would have us believe that the government was so poorly run in the past that a clever finance minister would be able to work miracles. Supposedly they will be able to run a surplus in a few years, without eliminating any major government responsibilities, and miraculously pay off parts of our national debt.The record of tax cuts by Mr Harper has been long and dangerous. First, upon assuming office he fulfilled a 2006 campaign pledge and immediately legislated for the GST to be reduced by 2% over two years - thus robbing the Federal government of roughly $18 Billion in potential revenue. Since then he has slashed the corporate tax rate down to 18% and in the most recent campaign promised a slew of tax breaks that would be instituted at a to be determined future date. Again and again our Federal government has promised to lessen the tax burden on the average Canadian, but… Read More

McGuinty’s choice

With the emotional elation and devastation of the Ontario election over a month behind us, it is time to shift our focus away from who won, or lost, a relatively boring campaign, and onto the single most important issue facing the province – the economy.  While the focus is currently on how the Liberals will govern one seat shy of a majority, and who the next speaker of the house will be, the province is perched on the precipice between prosperity and decline. With the government forecasted to run gargantuan deficits for at least the next four years and the world financial system on the brink of ruin, it is time that the Ontario government made some tough decisions in order to salvage Ontario’s economy.The largest problem that the newly re-elected McGuinty Liberals have to face is unavoidable. Unfortunately for them, the provincial economy since the post-war era has been centred on global markets and free trade with the United States. The recently re-proposed “buy American” provisions of United States President Barack Obama’s “Jobs Plan” seems to leave Ontario in the proverbial lurch. Though David Jacobson – the US Ambassador to Canada – somehow thinks that this protectionism by our largest trading partner will strengthen Canada’s economy (as demonstrated during a recent appearance on the CBC’s Power and Politics), this optimism cannot extend to its largest province.It is a well-known fact that the manufacturing sectors of Ontario’s economy – specifically the auto industry – rely on near open borders with the United States, and a strong American economy. With the double whammy of protectionism and the looming “Obama Recession” on the horizon, it would appear that an economic cataclysm could arise in Ontario’s near future. The good news is that it is not too late, but Ontario needs to act… Read More

Canada’s future: Greatness or decay?

We as Canadians have been blessed by providence to live in this land of plenty, with a strong and just federal government, as well as resource rich hinterlands. However, like the torrents of water from the great lakes, to the St. Lawrence and finally into the Atlantic Ocean, the flow of progress and change cannot be stopped. The world is changing quicker than any of us in the developed world would like to admit, and we have lost the initiative in the world economy. Luckily for us Canadians, this change means opportunity. This is a chance for Canada to reinvent itself, and possibly even fulfil the dreams of Wilfred Laurier and become a great world power.Since the end of the Second World War Canada on a whole has enjoyed immense prosperity and material comfort. We live in a high state of personal security – thanks to a competent and honest police force, acting in accordance with well-defined and entrenched civil rights protections – and as a nation we have one of the highest standards of living in the world. Our citizens enjoy near unparalleled personal freedoms and are at all times supported by an intricate and expansive social safety net. Notwithstanding the occasional crack in the façade of prosperity, up to the present we as Canadians have lived a prosperous and privileged existence.Unfortunately, as the new millennium has progressed, we have become complacent in our material and intellectual comforts, and the world is passing us by. The economies of China and India are rapidly growing, while in the western hemisphere, content in our opulence, we have become stagnant and our economy is decaying. Just like Imperial China in the 19th century, we in the 21st century seem content to allow ourselves to lose our grasp on reality, and allow our… Read More

Goldwater and Rockefeller, Romney and Perry

History appears to repeat itself. Reminiscent of the 1964 American election, the Republican Party is bracing for an ideological clash and an important choice for the future of the party. Although the nomination is far from over, it is safe to say that there are only two candidates with the momentum and the popular support necessary to clinch the Republican nomination and square off against President Obama next fall: Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.Such a battle also occurred in 1964 between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater. Those two rivals who led the pack of Republican candidates represented similar wings of the GOP to those Romney and Perry represent today.  Romney, just like Rockefeller, seemed to have the nomination secured until the ideologically extreme, conservative Perry (Goldwater) threw his former Democrat, now far-right-wing Republican, rival into the ring.  Although there was a lot more to the election of 1964, the lesson for Republicans is their crushing defeat which led the public to dub Johnson “Landslide Lyndon”. While Goldwater was able to captivate and capture the Republican Party and its presidential nomination, the electorate rejected him.This seems to be developing once again, 48 years later. If the Republican Party wants to take the White House, it would be imprudent to select a candidate from the far right of the party. Though Perry might captivate dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, especially the Tea Party, it is unlikely that he will be as well-received as Romney by the average, more moderate American voter. What Republicans have to realize is that, unfortunately for them, the Republican Party is more conservative than the average voter, and selecting a candidate from the extreme right of an already right-of-centre party would be politically reckless.Naysayers point to Perry’s seemingly expert steering of the great state of Texas through the recent recession as… Read More
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