Thursday, June 29, 2006

John Ibbitson is a moron, pt. XXVII

So Ibbitson - fresh from rooting for the Senatorial bid of Mike Harris (AAH!!) - is now trying to scare Canadians with a vision of a rational, sane federal government:
Conservatives now talk about "clarifying" roles and responsibilities, and keeping Ottawa out of provincial jurisdiction except in areas of "defined national interest." (Any premier reading the previous sentence should feel a cold chill.)

Money will be available to provinces to spend on improving education for college and university students, and on roads, sewers, bridges or other (literally) concrete improvements.

But the proposal comes with a hint of blackmail...the Conservatives want the provinces, once and for all, to lower interprovincial barriers to trade and labour mobility. And it wants agreement to a common securities regulator.

If the Conservatives feel entitled to wield the federal spending power club in postsecondary funding and infrastructure, citing the national interest, what's to say they or a future government won't define the national interest as subsidized housing, welfare or the elementary-school curriculum?... Which prompts a final question: Is this for real, or is the Harper government just trying to scare us?
Oh horror! Just imagine if a country's federal government decided to regulate elementary schools, welfare payments, or housing? And God knows that a national securities regulator would be the next best thing to a planned economy! And trying to lower sub-national barriers to trade? What's the federal government thinking?

It's funny how conservatives like Ibbitson keep telling us to be more like the United States, until the reality of American governance actually rears its head. Then, all of the sudden, the GOP looks like Stalinism to them.

What's even funnier is that Ibbitson - who fancies himself quite the historical scholar - seems to be unaware that one of the single biggest motivating factors for Canadian confederation in 1867 was the desire to form a single market with Britains remaining North American colonies. Almost 140 years later, it's still a work in progress. Nevertheless, it remains a fundamental goal for Canada.

(Good catch, Greg.)

1 comment:

annie said...

Horror of all horrors, is Mike Harris..... My god is this Ibbitson whacky or what? ..Mike Harris and his friend whacky Manning are trying, along with Harper, to undo this Country. I was bad enough having Harris as Premier of Ontario..he nearly ruined that!
Where did the Tory scandal disappear to? It was all over the news yesterday, but very silent today !