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A Federal Budget That Makes Fools Of Us All

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
Abraham Lincoln


So which one are you. Are you fooled some of the time? Never? All of the time? I confess that I have been fooled some of the time. Certainly, our political leaders seem to think that most of us are so delusional that we can be fooled pretty much all of the time and, it would seem, there are more than a few of us who can.

It takes two to fool you. The manipulator and yourself. If you don’t allow yourself to be fooled – most of the time you won’t be although a few manipulators are so good at it that even the best of us can be fooled some of the time.

We see it all the time with people getting burned after having invested their money with people like Bernie Madoff. They ‘wanted’ to believe that he could earn them more on their investments than the market was generally delivering and that willingness to be fooled was driven by greed for a few more bucks.

If it’s too good to be true, it usually is but even though we all pretty much know that many of us will ignore that warning to grasp the illusion.

What makes it work for people like Madoff is our willingness to want to believe. It’s how magicians make their living. We know that it’s all illusion but we are willing to suspend belief because we want to be amazed.

If the reward is big enough – the more willing many of us are to be fooled.

It’s also true in politics. In fact, politics today has more sleight of hand than any magic show in Vegas.

Wars are fought in the name of peace. We are spied upon, over-regulated, over-taxed and manipulated while being told we are free and we buy it all because it is what we want to believe.

Like magic, politics is the big lie – the manipulation of the truth to reinforce an illusionary narrative that is designed to fool sufficient people to earn enough support to obtain or maintain political power. It has nothing to do with good governance or sound fiscal management although that is the illusion to which many cling. It isn’t about us or our country at all. It is strictly about politicians and the lust for power and they work overtime to fool as many people as often as they can.

The Harper government unveiled its overdue federal budget yesterday amidst much self-congratulation for having balanced the books. Considering that the same government inherited a budget surplus from the former Liberal government and squandered it resulting in an empty treasury when the 2008 recession hit, self-congratulation might be a touch over-the-top.

The Harper government subsequently ran consecutive budget deficits between 2008 and 2014 racking up an additional $170 billion in new debt along the way.

But now the budget is balanced or at least that’s the illusion they have presented and judging from the media coverage and some of the attached commentary, it is apparent that you really can fool some of the people all of the time.

A budget surplus is when your revenue exceeds your expenses. A deficit is the reverse – your expenses exceed your revenue and a balanced budget is when they are roughly equal.

The federal budget is in deficit. Current expenses exceed current revenue but it has been made to look like it is balanced by some sleight of hand that is not merely cynical but is fairly careless if not dangerous.

The government is selling its shares in General Motors – a one-time sale – at a $2 billion loss in order to put the money into the operating fund for this fiscal year. That does not reduce the expenses to bring them in line for balanced budgets next year; it simply delays the inevitable. Unfortunately, the sale of the GM shares wasn’t enough to cover the deficit, so the government has also raided the contingency fund that is set aside for unforeseen emergencies like another recession or a natural disaster. It is also continuing to collect excessive EI payments that exceed requirement which, by any other name, is a tax increase.

Basically, it was taking money from other sources in order to provide the sitting government with the opportunity to hand out the illusion of tax breaks. They aren’t. What this government has done is no different than if they had simply borrowed the money to finance the handouts.

Supporters of the government dismiss this and hail the delivery of a balanced budget. “A promise made – promise kept” is the cheer. Those are people who tend to be fooled all of the time. They are heavily partisan and are desperate to believe.

The deficit remains, poor fiscal management has simply been obscured by accounting tricks.

This budget is less about good governance than it is about getting re-elected and the Harper government is none too subtle about it. Money was doled out like a doting grandfather to his grandchildren on their birthdays.

There was no mention of the environment, rail safety or food-inspection. Healthcare was ignored and supply-side management (a major issue with the Pacific Rim nations) was left unadressed. Despite the fact that we are a nation at war, increased defense spending has been deferred for two years and I don’t know how one even begins to rationalize that decision.

There are millions of taxpayers’ dollars available for the government to advertise tax breaks that haven’t even been passed by Parliament yet. They even have Canada Revenue Agency sending out information pieces about potential tax credits somewhere down the road. What? When did the Civil Service become part of the Conservative PR department?

Conservative supporters of the Harper government like to ignore little niceties like these as they criticize Liberals for tax and spend policies.

I spent the morning reading comments by Canadians below many news articles about the budget. Some were supportive but I was pleasantly surprised by how many people are not fooled by this desperate attempt to preserve an illusion by a government struggling for re-election.

Honestly, are you fooled by it?

I don’t see any difference between this budget and the absurd machinations of the Liberal government in Ontario. It’s all accounting tricks and promises of future spending. How are those promises part of this year’s budget? The money won’t be spent this year and is not, therefore, part of this budget. Does anyone remember the postponed expenditures made three years ago that never materialized? How often are we willing to be fooled and amazed by the same tired card tricks?

It is manipulation of reality rather than a responsible and planned approach to dealing with real issues and I think an increasing number of us are simply tired of it from all levels of government and all political parties. I think we’re tired of being bribed with our own money and watching whatever is left of it disappear down the black hole of government mismanagement and failed political leadership.

No promise was kept yesterday and there was nothing new. The budget was called the Economic Action Plan 2015 but there was no plan, just a raft of handouts and goodies designed to dazzle and delight. It appears, however, that an increasing number of Canadians are no longer interested in glitz and glitter and reality is setting in.

The latest Forum Research poll revealed that the number one issue for 2/3 of Canadians that will influence how they vote is not the budget or even the state of the economy – it’s ethics and that does not bode well for the Harper government.

Former Liberal Finance Minister, and subsequent Prime Minister, Paul Martin delivered seven balanced budgets in a row but was thrown out of office over the Sponsorship Scandal.

I won’t try to predict the outcome of this fall’s election because I have faith that the opposition parties are more than capable of mishandling their election campaigns. I will, however, predict this. Much like the Speech from the Throne in 2013 just before the Senate Scandal descended into madness, the budget will be old news in short order. The appearance at the Mike Duffy trial of people like Nigel Wright, Senator Marjorie Lebretton and other key players in the Senate mess will divert attention from the budget, as will the start of the trial of Senator Patrick Brazeau and the release of the Auditor General’s Report on Senate expense claims later later this summer.

No matter what issue is raised: the EU Trade Deal, terrorism, expansion of the war or this budget, in the end it all comes back to the same issue. Almost 70% of Canadians do not trust this government or respect its attitude. This budget did nothing to dispel or address any of that.

During the election, the Harper government may be trying to talk balanced budgets but it will be ethics that Canadians will be thinking about. Indeed, the arrogance of trying to pass off the illusion of a balanced budget for truth may just reinforce the concern a majority have about the leadership and the ethics of this government.

I would suggest that isn’t going to be all that helpful heading into an election.


© 2015 Maggie’s Bear

all rights reserved The written content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it might be of interest to others

Twitter: @maggsbear – Facebook: Maggie’s Bear  – ivmaki@sympatico.ca


  • Guffman

    With all respect, I don’t know why you continue to blog as a “Conservative”. Almost every entry I read when I occasionally check in here (which get’s less and less frequent), is a rip on Harper and his Conservative government, and how he’s a thug and how pretty much *everything* he and the government does is wrongheaded. You have your handful of followers who agree with you and that’s great but I believe they hardly represent the vast majority of us who call ourselves Conservatives.
    Harper is certainly not perfect, and you seem to be searching for perfection. Every political decision has trade-offs, and Harper knows that, and so should you. You can be idealistic as much as you like and stick to true Conservative/Libertarian principles, but our PM at least understands that in today’s world he’d be branded an even more extreme right winger and be voted out of office at the first opportunity. Real change takes time and has to be incremental. I’d rather Harper stayed in government and we slowly got our country turned around, than him try to change it all at once, the media and electorate go crazy and revolt, and we end up with Boy Wonder running the government as a result. I think you, Harper, I, and most Conservatives all want the same thing in the end, (minimal government with minimal spending) but some think we can have it by tomorrow if only we had the right leader. That’s not going to happen, and that fantasy leader is nowhere on the horizon.
    I can’t believe that you would seriously rather have a Liberal minority as our next government, or that you’re equating McGuinty/Wynne’s Liberals and their spending to Harper’s – that, I must say, is truly nuts. Ontario has gone from a have to a have-not province, and the financial basket case of all North America since the the present Liberals took over…. but the voters still seem to love them. My case in point about the electorate not wanting cutbacks or any sudden, let alone radical change.
    Given our choices in the last 10 years, and the foreseeable future, I’ll continue to support our Conservative government and back Harper without hesitation. You can go ahead and vote for Junior if you think he’d be a better leader for our country, even for short term. I think you gravely underestimate the damage he could do with a minority government along with NDP support/coercion.

    • MaggiesBear

      It’s a good question and because you asked it with respect, I will answer the same way.

      I voted for Stephen Harper in every election since he came to Ottawa. I defended him when others criticized him http://abearsrant.com/2013/02/hating-stephen-harper.html and I lost more than one friend because of it.

      I am not a Utopian searching for perfection but I do demand integrity, transparency and accountability from my government no matter which party is in office. Stephen Harper promised those things and I believed him. He hasn’t delivered. The best that can be said is that his government is no worse than the former Liberal government and that’s not much of a recommendation. If I had wanted a Liberal government I could have voted for Mr. Dithers in 2006.

      I don’t believe that being a conservative means you have to give blind allegiance to the party. I believe it is up to true conservatives to hold their party accountable to our principles and our values. Certainly compromises have to be made on various issues and I can accept that but I won’t accept compromise on the values we profess to hold.

      Either we believe in our values or we don’t.

      I agree that the leadership field is pretty bleak and I was merely joking about voting for Justin Trudeau. I have written a dozen posts criticizing him and labeled him Peter Pan from the day he was appointed leader.

      What I want is good governance, honest government and a government that unites us as Canadians rather than divides us into highly polarized groups that are constantly at each others throats. I’ve been around more than a few years and have seen more than my share of governments and Prime Ministers but I don’t ever remember a time when this country was so divided politically. We can’t even have a civil discussion about the issues anymore.

      Leadership is more than photo ops and trade deals. It has vision, it unifies and it has long-term priorities that go far beyond the next election. I am conservative but Stephen Harper is not. He is an opportunist who is more concerned with staying in power than he is with your family or mine. He has never once met with the provincial premiers, never once sat down in front of the television cameras to address the nation on any major issue from Lac Megantic, High River, the 2008 recession or the war in Iraq. Even Barack Obama speaks to the American people from time to time and he is the antithesis of good leadership.

      What bothers me about some conservatives today is that there is an unwillingness to accept disagreement within the movement. It’s very much a for us or against us attitude which is more cult-like than democracy in action. I don’t know who convinced some conservatives that the best way to persuade people to our values was to constantly attack them and call them stupid but they’re wrong. It has only added to the polarization.

      I appreciate that Liberals do it too but we’re supposed to be better than them. We’re supposed to be the good guys or was I wrong in believing that?

      As it stands today, I am a non-partisan critic of politics with conservative values. I believe we have allowed politics to become a pigsty of greed, privilege and dishonesty as a result of unrelenting partisanship. Demanding better is not Utopian and is only unrealistic as long as some people are prepared to accept in those they support what they condemn in those they don’t.

      If you don’t agree with what I write you have options. You can either leave a comment which I will try to answer or you can simply stop reading this blog but understand clearly, as a conservative, I refuse to remain silent while politicians from all parties, including the Conservative party, continue to run this country into the ground..

      • Guffman

        Okay, having read your reply, who is this magical leader that you see waiting out there on the sidelines who is going to bring back all these things you’re looking for in a government… I mean we’re all looking for these things that you listed, but as I said, given our choices I’m sticking with Harper. I’m not saying he’s beyond criticism by any means, but you never seem to have a single positive word about him or this conservative government, just constant griping. Things are not always THAT bad, and if they are for you, well… I feel bad that you have to live each day in such discontent.

        You also said that this government divides us into highly polarized groups… like those who hate Harper and those who don’t? Like those who believe in global warming and want carbon taxes and solar projects and wind turbines and want all of us to pay for these silly things and those who don’t? Those who think the government should take care of us cradle to grave, and those of us who want as little government interference in our lives as possible? What polarized groups are you talking about?

        You say that the Conservatives are just like the Liberals. Can you point out any new taxes that Harper has introduced since taking office? He at least tried to reform the senate but the opposition would have none of it basically because it was his idea. He tried not appointing senators and not throwing piles of money at the recession and was nearly overthrown because of this. He had also paid off a good chuck of the debt before the attempted coup as well. He did what he had to do to save his bacon back then and since he got his majority he has paid back that deficit as he promised. Yes, borrowing some money from here and there but also through departmental cutbacks for many years. I work in Ottawa and in my business we deal with many government departments and people are always coming in griping how Harper’s cut back on this and that, and their jobs are no longer as cushy as they used to be. Rules HAVE been tightened and everyone, and everyone’s superior is closely watching how budgets are being spent.

        This is all positive change as far as I’m concerned and is quite different form the days when Chretien and Martin ran the government and taxpayer money was flowing freely everywhere. Remember the little sponsorship scandal with hundreds of millions being funneled to the Liberals pals? The closest this government has come to anything like that is the Senate scandal, with Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau collectively claiming expenses to the tune of a few hundred thousand. AND the senate scandal involves both Liberals and Conservatives, and a big reason this trial has even come to court is because Harper demanded Duffy to pay money back on anything he did not actually incur expenses on (the nerve!). When was the last time any Liberal or Conservative leader ordered one of their members to pay money back to the taxpayers after stealing from us?? And I don’t give a crap if it was Nigel Wright or the Hamburglar who paid it back, as long as it came out of a private bank account and not out the public’s pocket. The Senate scandal money is certainly enough to be concerned about, but it’s a pittance compared to the former corrupt Liberals scam – and how much of the sponsorship money got paid back? Did Chretien or Martin ask anyone to pay anything back?

        Yes, I think there’s a BIG difference between Harper and the Liberals., but others will see what they want as well. I look forward to another Harper majority later this year and after another four years, if that happens, I think you’ll find this country will be in far better shape still than it is today. But as the kids say today, “the (Harper) haters gonna hate”, no matter what he does.

        Sorry for the long entry.

        • MaggiesBear

          Sarcasm is wasted on me. I don’t mind having an adult discussion where we can disagree on something but when it gets silly, I tune out.

          You seem to think that I am sitting on a star wishing for the impossible; a fantasy of some sort. I have enough miles on me to know the difference between fantasy and reality and enough experience to know that if you believe in something, you defend it. You don’t throw up your hands and tell yourself this is the best we can expect.

          I’ll try to deal with your points in the order you raised them.

          When I talk about polarized, I mean that this nation is polarized regionally, culturally, economically and politically. We talk about being Canadian but we’re none too gentle with those Canadians with whom we disagree. There is far too much anger. Every opinion is taken as a person insult by some group or other and the arguing begins. It isn’t the fact that people disagree, it’s the polarized lack of civility. Every day I see commentary and posts from people stating that all progressives are scum or stupid or commie bastards. Every day I see other commentary that Harper is a fascist, the conservatives are fascists or fanatics.

          It’s like the conversation you and I are having. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. You’re free to believe and support whatever you wish. I merely wrote a post that states what I believe and as is usually the case these days, immediately a bunch of people feel the pressing need to argue with your opinion. Read any newspaper article you like. The commentary is one rambling argument. Why? What’s wrong with respecting the fact that we all have opinions and are fortunate enough to live in a country where we are free to voice our opinions?

          Entire groups of people are stereotyped based on the most asinine and often ill-informed prejudices. Whatever happened to tolerance?

          I don’t agree with Harper’s policies. That doesn’t mean I think he is the devil incarnate. I think Justin Trudeau is not ready to be Prime Minister. That doesn’t mean I think he’s the greatest threat to the free world since Ghengis Khan. Nobody is listening to anybody anymore. Instead of asking ‘why’ someone believes what they believe, people jump down their throats to tell them why their wrong and stupid.

          A good leader works to bring people together so that even if they disagree, they can still have some respect for each other. That isn’t happening. Under this government it is all about the attack and while all parties engage in it, I was hoping for a bit more than that from Harper when I voted for him

          I hated the way his government has treated our veterans over the past nine years and detest the attack on charities; many of which have been operating for decades and have done incredibly valuable work around the world.

          I also live in Ottawa and I also have contacts in the government and at very high levels. There aren’t anywhere near as many cushy jobs as the conservative stereotype portrays. There have been cuts to be sure but the truth is that under Stephen Harper the civil service has grown and is now larger than it was just a few years ago. Where he has cut was in places like severance which was a good thing but did little to reduce the size or nature of the civil service. Other cuts were on things like travel which is a bit of challenge considering that the government is spread out across the country. There has been no hiring freeze, no reduction in operating costs and certainly no streamlining.

          You asked me to name one tax increase under the Harper government. I can name a few but will settle for the reversal on Income Trusts which decimated many of the retirement saving programs for many seniors in this country. Another was the change in tarriffs which is a tax by any other name.

          As for scandal, you get no argument from me about AdScam. I watched the Gomery Inquiry and was disgusted both by the extent of the corruption and how cheap and sleazy much of the activity actually was. I think it was more than just appropriate that some people were convicted and sent to prison and even more appropriate that the Liberals were turfed out of office. But how does that justify the corruption by this government>

          Are we supposed to be thankful they were only a little more dishonest than the Liberals? Is that what you voted for – smaller corruption? Two senators have been charged with fraud, the former head of CSIS appointed by the conservatives has been charged and is fighting extradiction to Canada to face those charges. Michael Sona was convicted of election fraud. Dean Del Maestro also convicted. Peter Penashuie, a cabinet minister forced to resign. The list is quite extensive.

          If we held the Liberals accountable for Adscam, how is it we don’t feel the need to hold the Conservatives to the same standard?

          I have no idea who will be elected to form government this fall and right now, I’m not overly optimistic that we will get better government no matter who it is. But I know this much, the government we have is not the government we were promised. You only have to go back and read the campaign platforms from the last three elections and then compare them to today to confirm that.

          • Guffman

            You’re a very ‘glass half full’ kind of guy. I’d say less scandal involving a whole lot LESS money (and this is merely expense claims on BOTH sides of the aisle allowed by decades of loose rules) IS a big improvement over systematic funnelling of hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars to the governments friends.
            And Income Trusts is the best example you can come up with for an example of a tax by Harper? One he was forced to put into place when some of Canada’s biggest companies (RBC, Bell etc) were en masse readying to convert over to these trusts which would allow them to avoid tens or hundreds of millions in corporate taxes every year. And it was never a ‘reversal’ as is so often claimed. Harper was asked during elections if he would change the income trusts tax structure and at the time he said he had ‘no plans’ to change them. Plans changed when the corporations saw a chance to get greedy. Did it hurt some investments, of course, but any investment in companies can be risky and if people put all their eggs in one basket, it’s hard to feel too sorry for such foolishness.
            I won’t go on. As I see it, you can’t seem to see much positive in anything the government does where I, and a majority of the voters in this country do, or at the very least see a lot more positive than we do in any other federal party or leader. You would call that settling, and it is, because that’s what you have to do in this life when what you really want is not out there. There is one other option though… you could always join the Conservatives and run to change the system. You might even get my vote.
            Thanks for the space to let me air my views.

            • MaggiesBear

              You’re always welcome to air your views. I find them interesting even if I don’t agree with them.

          • niccolom777

            Just being a nit-picker but Porter was a member of SIRC, not the head of CSIS.

            • MaggiesBear

              He was Chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee of Canada which provides oversight on the activities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. But you are right, he didn’t run CSIS. It was sloppy wording on my part.

  • MaggiesBear

    I don’t hold either Martin or Chretien in high regard to be honest. I had forgotten about the lawsuit over raiding the EI fund but looked it up after your first comment. It doesn’t change my opinion about what the current government is doing, it simply reinforces my belief that one is as bad as the other. Thanks for posting the link. Hopefully others will use it and be reminded.

  • Pingback: A Federal Budget That Makes Fools Of Us All | Grumpy Opinions()

  • oldwhiteguy

    I was mulling over the current state of politics these days and have decided that I will ask one question in the future. that question is, how will you improve life for the average citizen without further restricting his/her freedom or taking more of his/her money?

    • MaggiesBear

      I would be satisfied if the answer was that they would help the average citizen by leaving us alone and letting us live our lives to the best of our ability. The idea that government can ‘help’ us has led us to the mess we are in now which is an over-dependence on government and less reliance on our own abilities.

  • LoseTheWeirdColours

    How is the government selling it’s GM shares at a loss?
    You lost me after that with all the blah blah blah…..

    • MaggiesBear

      The shares are being sold for less than the government paid for them.

  • bo canut

    You’re comparing McWynnety’s Liberals to Harper’s Conservatives?Maggie’s Jackass is a more appropriate moniker
    Go rant your stupidity over at Rabble or wherever delusionals gather to dream and discuss Utopia.

    • shakylady

      The guy who writes this crap has a whole lot of family members in the public service, so you know where his heart is at! Probably was a trougher himself!

      • MaggiesBear

        As a point of clarification, I have exactly two people in my broader family who work in the public sector. Most of us are private sector executives. I owned my own business for twelve years and was the executive vp of an epayament software company after that. I don’t dine at the trough ,Even in retirement, I probably pay more in income tax than you earn.

        • charlie98

          Well done, your reply to a troll post —that’s my way of being polite— could easily have been more vicious.

          Whether I agree with you or not I find your thought expression to be humorous and informative. If only your detractors could figure out that you’re not the issue, the subject of your discussion is, then a meaningful dialog could occur. Oh well, when you have no point of view to discuss I guess attacking the messenger fulfills a need to be heard, even if that criticism is drivel.

          • MaggiesBear

            I don’t take trolls anywhere near as seriously as they take themselves and they don’t really offend me. I consider them somewhat tragic to be honest. They don’t have much to contribute to the discussion so are forced to resort to personal attacks that have no basis in fact. It’s like the silly taunts we use to toss around at recess when we were kids in school. It’s just adolescent noise.

    • MaggiesBear

      I think you need to read the previous day’s post.

  • JoeFrmEdm

    Sooo MB you are with Zoolander’s Carbon Tax, getting rid of TFSA and taxing the “Rich” I am a senior making $40K a year I intend to put $10K in my TFSA and Martin/Shawanigan Strangler DID raid UI………

    • MaggiesBear

      I think taxing carbon is absurd. I also think that the change to the TFSA is not going to provide the benefit that is being bragged about. I’m tired of select groups getting little breaks which everyone has to pay for. Have on tax cut across the board that benefits everyone. This “I got mine, screw the rest of you attitude” isn’t helping this country. Well, I guess if the Liberals raided EI it’s alright for the conservatives to do it too. Ain’t that grand. We’re not better than the Liberals — we’re the same in power as they were. Now isn’t that something to be proud of!

  • charlie98

    One way Paul Martin managed the surplus was to use EI money — this would be categorized as fool us all —

    “Jean Chretien’s Liberal government diverted $54 billion from unemployment insurance contributions made by employers and their workers.” Not sure if this is the real number

    • MaggiesBear

      I’m not sure where you got the quote from but what the Liberals did and which I opposed,,was take surpluses from the pension fund. As far as I’m concerned, that’s trust money. If a lawyer had done that with the funds he held in trust, he would be disbarred and charged with fraud. But the Liberals did reduce spending which is something the Harper government has failed to do. It has also grown the size of the public service and slashed defense spending and support payments for our vets although now it’s desperately trying to play kissy face and make up.

      The comment below summarizes it quite nicely. It isn’t a partisan issue. It’s political. All parties conduct themselves pretty much the same way once in power. Continuing to pretend that one is better than the other is what is not only dividing us as a people but undermining our prosperity, our security and the future we leave to our children and their children.

      I’m old enough to remember that for all of its flaws, politics used to be better than this.

      • oldwhiteguy

        adding that spending to the provinces did not reduce anything for the average taxpayer.

        • MaggiesBear

          I wasn’t praising the Liberals, I was pointing out that this government is doing the same thing.

          • oldwhiteguy

            they all do the same thing. I have said in the past that most Canadians, 60% easily, are socialists. no one to date has proven me wrong . the current budget increases spending by approximately 8.6 billion dollars. I do not know what the other parties plan to do but none of them will increase our freedom or reduce the cost of the parasitical governments that we have.

            • MaggiesBear

              That is precisely my point. You and I agree. This government is no different than the Liberal government we threw out of office. Spending is increasing, the size of government is increasing and people are too busy choosing sides to notice. One would have thought that if any group would have been acutely aware of this, it would have been conservatives. Apparently, when the trough gets filled, however, more than a few conservatives suddenly become Liberals.

              • oldwhiteguy

                I have at times called myself the only living conservative in the country. it seems we are getting closer to that reality everyday.

                • MaggiesBear

                  You may well be :-)

  • damorris

    I, like every other person in the world who is honest with himself, have been “fooled” at one time or another,not by professional con artists like Madoff or the real estate hustlers who infest my town every year,offering a free chicken dinner in hope of getting me to invest in their schemes, but by politicians who look me right in the eye and claim they are going to ….fill in the blank.

    But,many of them make their promises in all sincerity only to find when they get into Office,they can’t accomplish what they set out to do, because the system doesn’t allow it. Senate reform is a good example of that, as is any attempt to reform the huge government bureaucracy. “Yes,Minister” gave an excellent and comedic look into the machinations of the bureaucrats to sustain “the system” ,and maintain the status quo, with running the government a distant secondary job.

    There is healthy skepticism,and there is paranoia, and one would have to be the latter to not trust some people, especially if they have a track record of honesty.

    As for the recent federal budget, as you say,it is and always has been an illusion,whether done by this or any other government. Martin used sleight of hand, as did Chretien, to pretend to balance the budget while increasing the debt every year since I can remember,and I have along memory, and shortchanging the Provinces. How much did they raid from EI, 40 billion was it?

    It’s unfortunate that the public has to have a “scandal” to get angry enough to turf a decadent bunch. (The Duffy scandal is SO bush league.) The Liberals and NDP/Greens will thrash the budget,the Conservatives will applaud it, neither side is right, and the waste will continue.

    I’ll support the Conservatives because the alternative is worse, vote for the lesser of 2 or 3 evils, as we’ve all done, since I first voted in 1968. Back then, we were mesmerised by the “sexy, exciting, young,now,with it ” Trudeau, who fooled many of us. Funny, talk to SO many people today and they”ll loudly proclaim ,”I wasn’t fooled by that communist SOB for a minute”. No, you weren’t fooled for a minute, just for the few seconds it took to mark your ballot,as he won all across Canada,though nobody voted for him.

    I don’t know what percentage of people are that easily fooled, and believe, quite possibly in error, that most of us simply vote for the gang that will hopefully do the least damage in the next four years. I truly,truly hope that people are NOT stupid enough to believe in a political Messiah,as so many young people do with Justin Trudeau. Those over thirty that vote for him,I hope,are skeptical and only give him their vote because he runs under the Liberal banner,and to so many,it’s more about whose team wins than anything to do with good governance.

    I used to say,”we need a revolution, not an election”, but given that Revolution has given the world Leaders such as Stalin, Chairman Mao, Castro, Chavez and almost every African dictator who ever lived and butchered his people, I’ll settle for the election,thanks.

    • MaggiesBear

      I haven’t decided how I will vote yet. I’m still waiting to see the candidates for my riding but we don’t have much nationally from which to choose. I almost believe the best scenario would be a Liberal minority that would result in the exit of Stephen Harper and a new conservative leader. That election to be followed quickly by the defeat of the Liberal Minority and a new Liberal leader. It probably wouldn’t change much though. I think that these days they are all cut from the same piece of cloth.

      I don’t see much point in voting Conservative if all you get is Liberal policies or voting Liberal if all you get is more of the same. Revolution may well be a viable option and it didn’t just throw up tyrants.

      They United States and the Republic of France were born out of revolution. Maybe we should consider taking up a collection to invest in a couple of guillotines.