Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thank You Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper and I

Stephen Harper has been the best Prime Minister of Canada in my memory.  These have have been the best 10 years of my life.  It wasn't Stephen Harper that made them great but I must acknowledge the man who created the conditions for that to happen.

The GST cuts alone have put thousands of dollars where they belong: in my pocket.  If you bought a house, car or some other big ticket item you can count your savings in the thousands as well.  I'm thankful for the TFSA and the UCCB.  These are things that affect my family directly and I will always respect and appreciate the consideration the Harper Government has shown us.

If Stephen Harper were a monarch I would have called him Harper The Trader.  I'm still amazed at the deals Harper's team was able to reel in.  A trade deal with Europe and another with the nations of the Pacific as well as many others are golden geese that the Harper Conservatives can be most proud of.

Canada's position in a world of turmoil and evil demonstrated courageous morals and emotional discipline.  We can be proud of our clear support for Israel and against Russian aggression.  I'm proud of our humanitarian efforts in the world despite opportunist claims to the contrary.

I used to think of Harper as the accidental Prime Minister.  It seemed so unlikely.  Here we are after almost 10 great years.  How unlikely that he turned out to be the best of them all.  I'm glad he didn't take a walk in the snow.  Stephen Harper ended his tenure as Prime Minister the same way he started it and practiced it; fighting all the way.

 The Economist PM was always a hard sell.  It was never about him honestly.  Conservative voters wanted policies based on values and economics.  Stephen Harper was the delivery man, never the package.  Yet. after all the Minority Years, the Coalition Crisis and even terrorist attacks, I've come to both love and admire this unlikely hero Stephen Harper.

That democratic pendulum has swung ferociously back to the natural governing party now.  There is an eerie symmetry in the accidental Prime Minister being replaced by someone who was born to be one.  These are silver linings of a very dark cloud, but I see hope in Trudeau's easy win.  If Trudeau was aiming at Harper he's managed to hit Mulcair between the eyes.  That's where strategic voting gets you.  Liberals with their shiny pony PM and their majority will have no excuses now.

Conservatives may have lost the mantle of power but Stephen Harper's record is one we can all be proud of.  The Conservative party never had a divine right to govern.  The privilege Canadians have assigned them is of the Loyal Opposition.  It's a job Conservatives, including lowly MP Stephen Harper, are ready and eager to do.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Capital Flight Question Dodged by Mulcair During the Economy Debate

Stephen Harper did just fine in last night's Globe and Mail debate on economics.  The policies speak for themselves.  They are clearly proven to be the best ones.  This government significantly lowered taxes while increasing revenue.  Higher revenues allowed a balanced budget and increased spending.

Only Stephen Harper knows how to do that.  We know because he did it.  He promised us he would have a surplus and increase the UCCB and he did it.  He did it in a sustainable way.  He did it despite volatile markets, sovereign debt instability and blooming global security threats.

Stephen Harper has it covered.  You can put Conservative promises in the bank.

Nobody believes the NDP will have balanced budgets.  They have a raft of spending promises that they pretend will be paid in real time with higher taxes.   Not even the NDP believes it.  It's unsettling that they can so casually look people in the eye or into a camera and make impossible claims.  We are being asked to believe that Thomas J. Mulcair of the NDP is a better economist and conservative that Stephen Harper.  We are being asked to accept that a party that has never been in power and has ruined every province they stumbled into will somehow be better than the decade of sound fiscal judgement that is the hallmark of Stephen Harper's leadership.

There was a moment in the debate last night where Harper could have scored one on Mulcair.   The net was open.  The puck was loose.  Harper didn't take the shot.

Here is the exchange:

David Walmsley:   If corporations move their money elsewhere, you lose both your balanced budget and your revenue.

Hon. Tom Mulcair:  That’s why you’ve also got to work at the same time against tax havens. Mr. Harper has done nothing about that. We’ve had cases where other authorities in other countries have given full lists of Canadians who have been using illegal tax havens, and Mr. Harper has done nothing about that.
The economic phenomenon Walmsley describes is called Capital Flight.   If a government makes business conditions unfavorable by raising taxes or imposing onerous regulations those businesses will eventually leave that jurisdiction.

Mulcair didn't deny that was a possibility, instead he evaded the question by promising to go after a specific form of tax evasion.  That will not attract a dime of foreign investment.  There is no way to punish foreign investors into bringing their money to Canada.

Capital Flight is on my mind.  I lived through capital flight.  I spent months in Saskatchewan and British Columbia two weeks at a time.  The Progressives in Alberta decided to have a royalty review (tax hike on drilling) and so all the majority of smaller Operators fled east and west.  What did they expect?

What does the NDP expect to happen after they hike taxes?  There is oil and gas practically everywhere.  Even Canadian oil companies aren't obligated to invest here.  There is no law saying thou shalt drill.  No one would put their money into a place with such laws.  That is exactly the problem the NDP is creating.

Yes there's a global oil glut.  Good!  OPEC is dead.  Very good!  I've read that unconventional oil can handle some very low prices.  There is money to be made helping Operators cut costs.  That's Capitalism baby and we rock it.

We aren't made of sclerotic union shops like the government itself.  You can keep your tax funded bailouts for the mega zombie corps that are ready to die at the slightest trouble.  But before you do.  Just take a moment to recognize how things are stacked in these left wing parties.

Ontario's auto sector gets bailouts.  The West's economy get's what?  Taxes.  Anti-bailouts.  From our own insane NDP government no less.  Trudeau and Mulcair have a double dose of goodies in store for us should they win this election.  Carbon taxes.  Cap and Trade.  Endless regulations.  Only the rigs aren't going to British Columbia or Saskatchewan.  They are going to North Dakota and further.

Are they crazy though?  Do they not understand they are killing our jobs and industry?  Well ask them?  Every second policy mentions ending fossil fuels.  The left doesn't care about our jobs.  They don't give a damn if the resource industry shuts down like Venezuela's.  That is what they are after.

So these left wing parties are going to cut back on spending because they killed off their biggest source of revenue from resources right?  No they won't they never do.  Its the green shift under another name.  Either the green shift works and there is no Oil and Gas industry.  Taxes then have to come from other industries.  Or nothing shifts and everyone just has to pay ridiculous economy stifling taxes.

Programmers are just as talented in Belarus or India.  What magic will make these "good jobs" come and pay for NDP mistakes in Canada?  Same goes for manufacturing.

The NDP is bad news.

Trust Stephen Harper.  He knows what he's doing.  He's proved it. Surpluses and tax cuts exactly on time.  That is the kind of government we demand.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The GOP Candidates and the CNN Debate from here

From my perch in Cochrane Alberta I've been quietly following the Republican Primaries in the US.  Our southern cousins are fascinating to many Canadians.  It's something of a spectator sport.

Even after tonight's debate I haven't got a favorite.  I was out door-knocking all evening but I caught the repeat airing on CNN.  There are a lot of good candidates and some notorious ones this time.  It's no clever observation to say that there are still far too many candidates.

Let's look at some of them.

Jeb Bush

The Mitt Romney of this round.  He's the progressive establishment candidate who could manage to lose to Clinton.  I hope the primaries don't repeat like last time with Jeb consistently coming in second and each front runner getting knocked out one by one.  I was embarrassed for the Tea Party last time.  It seemed like there was a new anti-establishment hero every week and they ended up with a progressive loser anyway.

Rand Paul

Such a disappointment.   The Libertarian moment seems so far away now.  Ever since Reason magazine attacked him a year or so ago its been all down hill.  His libertarians have decamped for parties who's policies will never be tested in Government and will never need to compromise or adjust their beliefs to fit the experience.  He's stuck with libertarian's who still believe in the Republican Party, which is precious few.

He also retains foreign policy positions from simpler times making him seem kooky to conservatives yet still fascist to libertarians.

Scott Walker

I like Scott Walker.  He's actually made progress against unions and survived.  I've got a lot of respect for him.  I could see him in the next administration but I'm not sure he'll become the nominee this time.  If he was the nominee I think he'd win.  

Marco Rubio

I don't know why he isn't doing better.  He's got a baby face and a powerful speaking style.  Maybe its because he hasn't really said anything interesting.  Who is he again?  What did he do?  Here's another one that might be the nominee in another election down the road after he's done something noteworthy.  

Chris Christie

-Unlikable.  -Handed Obama the election.  -Climate Nazi.  -Has a history of using the government to attack his enemies.  Ok, he stood up to a teachers union.  I'm still not impressed.  

Ben Carson

The neurosurgeon.  I think he'd make a great president.  He'd introduce a flat tax but he's pro gun control.  My impression is that he would think through each issue carefully and use his best judgment of the facts to make decisions.  What more can an electorate ask for?  

He's got a soft spoken bedside manner as well that is very endearing.  He would make a good Surgeon General.  I don't see him becoming the nominee. 

Carly Fiorina 

She could beat Clinton or Bernie.  I like her business credentials and she did very well in the debate.  Trump may have unwittingly helped her.  Good.  I think she could repair the Republican brand and become a great president.  There is still a long way to go before becoming nominee.   

Donald Trump

It's hard not to like The Donald.  He says a lot things that no one else will say.  That turns a lot of people on, myself included.  

What bothers me about Trump is the sense of deja-vu I get from him.  I've seen this before.  I've felt this way about a politician before.  Here's a guy who's successful and smart but obviously unfashionable.  He says a lot of things I want to hear in a way that makes the other guys mad.  He reminds me of Rob Ford.  

Rob Ford is not happening again.  Not to me.  Rob Ford taught me the value of that old saying: if it looks like duck, and talks like a duck, chances are its a duck.  Part of what I liked about Rob Ford was that he was the archetype of everything Liberals hate.  Too much so.  

I think Trump has a lot of the same thing going for him.  Namely: he's a rich a-hole with a big mouth and bad hair and so what if he gets the job done.  Isn't that it?  That's essentially Trump.  Ford has different so-whats and even Stephen Harper has a few so-whats.

People can live with the hair.  What's it got to do with policy?  Nothing.  But it will be globally mocked incessantly and without mercy considering how quick Trump himself turns to insults.  People can forgive the hair now but when mistakes eventually are made and when Trump's other flaws come to light it will become unbearable.

Everyone is stupid or ugly except Donald Trump if they disagree.  So he might not even get to hear about his mistakes or false assumptions until its too late.  Then I assume he'll run around saying "you're fired" a lot.  

I don't think he'll be President.  Mark me down as one of those moronic pundits.  I could see him as Secretary of the Treasury or in someplace that needs a buzz saw of a personality to go in tear bureaucrat egos into shreds.  I think he'd do really well in that type of role.  I wouldn't give him the nuclear missile codes.  I wouldn't let him talk to friends or enemies on behalf of the United States.   

As Mark Steyn put it:
Whether the Chinese Politburo would respond positively to a President Trump whose opening conversational gambit is "Now listen, you muthaf**kers" is doubtful.

Who will actually be the nominee?  My inner cynic keeps saying Jeb.  I won't pick a favorite; and another; and another.  I'll leave it to Republicans.  Maybe Clinton won't be so bad?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rally Ho! Experience a Conservative Rally.

Last night Conservatives rallied in Calgary.  I highly recommend attending one of these rallies when Stephen Harper comes to your town.  It's one thing to watch it on CPAC, another thing entirely to be there.

I've captured the essence of being there in this video.  I didn't cut any of the thunderous cheers and applause.  That would take forever and besides what is the point of an event like this if you aren't going to hear things that make you want to shout and clap.  I even left a lot of Jason Kenny's introduction in as well.  It deserves to be heard.

You'll see the view swap to a wide angle and the sound is lower about halfway through.  I had battery issues and had to switch to my backup device.  It still works though.  Harper is that good.

There are a few things you should know before you go.  Don't expect the Prime Minister to be precisely on time.  He's the Prime Minister.  He runs a country and a party and a campaign.  He arrives just when he means to.  It's ok if you are late.  You might have to stand though.  If you are really late, you might be standing behind a hundred or so other people standing.  It's all good though.  You're in good company.  Strike up a conversation.

You are among friends at a rally.  I'd never met most of those good people but I felt I knew them anyway.  We are patriots and active participants in democracy.  It's not enough for us to observe or click 'like' here and there.  The outcome of this election is our personal responsibility.  It's our job to put a face and a friendly smile to our important message: that Canada is the greatest country in the world on purpose.  That is our purpose:  Keeping Canada great through sound fiscal and foreign policy. 

We've seen some of the greatest global upheavals during Stephen Harper's watch and come out on top.  That's how we know Conservative principles can weather any storm and capitalize on every windfall. 

Harper keeps his promises and reaches his goals.  It's an easy sell.  We just need to get the message to enough people.  For that we kindly need your help.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Justin Trudeau is Afraid of Foreign Policy

Its a glaring example of media bias that last week Trudeau's Liberals started making excuses on skipping the Munk Foreign Policy Debate there was barely a squeak.

Trudeau's cowardly excuses were presented at face value when reported at all.  The Liberal War room's "demands" were repeated verbatim by the media and would have been labeled plagiarism if it occurred outside of an election.

Their excuses were:

  1. The debate was not french enough.
  2. The debate had ticket prices of $90 and are not available to the public.
That's it.  The Liberals will pull out of an important and prescient foreign policy debate just 21 days before a federal election and those are the reasons.

Should have blamed the dog.  I'm serious.  The dog ate my foreign policy debate would only be slightly less credible an excuse.  At least call in sick.  "Sorry Justin has a nasty hair-ache and won't be able to make it tonight."

Let's take a minute to dismantle these flimsiest of evasions before we tackle the real reasons Justin doesn't want to be in this debate.

First, the debate is not french enough.  The original press release mentions "french components" on stage and full french and english live video online and through CPAC nationwide. So this obliterates both objections right off the top.  100% of the debate is available to 100% of Canadians in both languages.  

Of course the former substitute drama teacher Trudeau wants to play his Dartanion role in the "on stage" french components as much as possible.  It's really about Justin.  A french language translator of english Justin just doesn't have the same screen affect as Dartanion.  The Liberals are desperate to take a bite out of the NDP in Quebec or they are hopelessly lost.  Trudeau absolutely needs to be seen in french or he's already lost the debate if not the whole election and the leadership of the party.

Next we have the ticket price.  The same Munk debate press release says the tickets are from $30 - $90, not $90.  The nose bleeds are probably $30 and the front row is $90, similar to any hockey game or concert.  You can also watch for free at home.  Who do the Liberals think they are fooling with this?  Even the biggest Trudeau fan knows that $90 for a front row seat to a potentially historic debate is a steal.  The Munk Debates aren't planning to break even according to their response to the Liberal dodge.  Its a charity funded event.  Nobody is making a profit from this.  Tickets went on sale to the public on Friday.  What is the problem?

The problem again is Justin.  Let's face it, Justin Trudeau is weakest on foreign policy.  From his flippant jokes about the invasion of Ukraine to the juvenile wise cracks about our mission against ISIL Justin consistently underscores his incompetence on this file.

When an ISIS inspired terrorist attacked parliament and killed a soldier, Justin (and I hope he was joking in poor taste here) implied he would run to the terrorist unarmed instead of running away. When terrorists kill children, athletes and spectators and then go on a rampage across Boston Justin's biggest concern is for the poor little terrorist who might have had some sad feelings.  We see this again and again from Trudeau from every angle.

Trudeau is not up to this debate on foreign policy.  He's afraid he's going to look exactly as he is: unready, and unfit to lead a country.

That is the real reason why the Liberals seek to pull out of the Munk Debate on Foreign Policy.  There is more downside for Liberals to showing up than dodging.  There is so much downside that looking like an inept coward is preferable to his marketing team. That's seriously bad.  One way or another, this debate could be what finally breaks the Liberal Party forever.

*h/t to Terry LaPlant for the community sourced photo of SAY NO TO THE LIBERALS AND NDP facebook group.

**UPDATE: With only minutes left before the deadline the Liberals have accepted the Munk Debate.  NDP has also committed.  Harper committed a long time ago.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mulcair doesn't know

On Friday Thomas Mulcair responded to a question about yet another bozo eruption by saying "I don't know." He said his years as a politician have taught him when to say "I don't know."

There is a lot more he doesn't know.  Mulcair's NDP has promised never to run a deficit.  Never ever.  How will he do that?  He doesn't know.  Nobody knows.  

Would he cut services?  He would hike taxes.  That's a fact whatever happens in the global economy.  But that doesn't ensure he'll break even, not while he promises to gut the oil patch in favor of these mythical "good jobs."  

What exactly is a "good job" anyway?  He doesn't know.

How will he create these "good jobs".  He doesn't know.

The NDP is promising $15 per day child care.  How exactly?  He doesn't know.

Mulcair touched on funding his day care plan by abolishing the Senate in the last debate:

"I believe sincerely that the only way to deal with the Senate is to get rid of it. One billion dollars has been spent on the Senate... Can you imagine how many child care spaces we could have created with $1 billion, Mr. Wells?"

How will Mulcair abolish the Senate?  He doesn't know!

Does that sound like someone who knows where they will get the money for his day care plan?

Thomas Mulcair doesn't know any of that.  He does know that what we need is "1 million day care spaces."  Why one million?  Where?  He doesn't know.

These day care spaces will likely only be in big cities.  Rural families will be forced to subsidize urban ones.  Ask your NDP candidate how many of the magical million spaces will be in your riding?  They don't know.

How much will these lebensborn government nannies be paid?  How long before that isn't enough? How will you handle government nanny strikes?  What hours of the day will $15 get me?  Would a Syrian refugee take precedence over my child getting a space?  Will you distribute these spaces based on household income?

They don't know.  They don't know.  They don't know.

The media doesn't want to know.  They don't ask.  They don't want us to know.  They just want to see the back of Prime Minister Harper no matter how good he is.  It doesn't matter how good the economy is or how many refugees we take.  They are in the business of interesting times.  The middle east is very interesting.  It dominates the news every day.  The media wants an idiot in the PMO so they can say "oh how did this happen!"

Well I don't care what the media wants.  I want Stephen Harper and so does Canada.  Thomas Mulcair can say "I don't know" to his media all day.   We deserve to make an informed decision on election day.  We deserve to know Thomas Mulcair and the NDP even if they don't know themselves.  I suspect that the NDP is nothing more than a collection of words some people want to hear.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Thomas J. Mulcair tickles the Ivories

What would the NDP of Thomas J. Mulcair sound like?  Listen.

Rumor has it the election will be called very soon.  If so, this is the last chance to donate to the CPC without the Writ.  Pony up!