You Call Yourself A Conservative, Huh?

January 15, 2014

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you another instalment in our whatareyousayingWhat The Fuck Is Wrong With Conservatives These Days? series.

God almighty.

Listening to Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak on the CBC’s Metro Morning yesterday, touting his Million Jobs Act which he plans on tabling in the provincial legislature next month, it all sounded a little, I don’t know, empty. Look, Matt. I’ve strung together five or six of my slogans, slapped on some improbable but round number, packaged them up with a nice pithy title and, there you have it. Bob’s yer uncle. Thanks for having me on the show. Beats paid advertising.

Not that the show’s host, Matt Galloway, didn’t try and engage with Mr. Hudak seriously but what can you do when somebody insists on tossing out fantasy numbers based on increasingly dubious economic theories? Respond with only the sound of your head banging repeatedly against the desk in front of you? facepalmJust call bullshit on every statement that comes out of your guest’s mouth?

During the course of the conversation the opposition leader assured Mr. Galloway that he’d “…“I’ll argue back and forth with the evidence all day”. Obviously, a slip of the tongue although, when given the opportunity to provide evidence of how further reducing corporate tax cuts would lead to more jobs when it clearly hasn’t happened over the last decade or so, but it pretty much sums up conservative political philosophy over the last 30 years or so. Arguing back and forth with the evidence all day.

Why, over 16 years after the PC government of Mike Harris (which Tim Hudak was a proud member of) forced amalgamation on Toronto and other Ontario municipalities, a report comes out saying that it didn’t save taxpayers the money the Tories told us it would. This is not news to anyone who took notice of the proceedings back in the day. The general consensus from those possessing an expertise in these matters of municipalities was that amalgamation didn’t automatically guarantee cost savings. In fact, in a city like Toronto with much of its big ticket budget items like the police and transportation already amalgamated, thingsthatwontworkthere were no real savings to be had.

Turns out they were right and the common sense Harris government was wrong.

Ooops.

Of course, no one does fact-free, evidence-schmevidence policy decision making better than our current Conservative government in Ottawa. The last truthful thing I can remember it doing is striking the ‘progressive’ from its party title. Books have been written about the Harper government’s attempt to wrestle reality into submission, so I’ll just go with the latest, lightest example of this disinclination to dealz with the for realz.

The federal government blanketed the internet with ads and bought pricey TV spots during playoff hockey as part a $2.5-million publicity blitz to promote a skills training program that doesn’t yet exist…

This from a government that insists governments don’t create jobs, promoting a jobs skills training program that doesn’t yet exist. shellgameIn other words, a government doing a thing it says a government can’t do but not really doing that thing, only pretending to be doing that thing it doesn’t do. On top of which, spending money it says it doesn’t have to push a thing it says it doesn’t do and isn’t doing anyway.

Now I know you can look around and reflexively scream, Well, the other guys do it too! The Lieberals, conservative backers like to say with an ever so smug snicker. Gasplants! Ornge! E-Health!

As if that somehow justifies it all. What’s the first thing about responsibility most of us learn early on in our lives? You get caught doing something wrong, it’s not alright because you claim that other people do it too. If Johnny jumped off a bridge, abracapocuswould you jump off that bridge as well?

And the big difference is, the entire current conservative political philosophy is based on a lie. That somehow, magically, their inherent hatred of the institution of government, their attempts to rollback the function it plays in our lives, will somehow be better for us. Our streets will be safer. Our water cleaner. Our bank accounts fuller. If we just let the private sector and the free market have their way with us, unfettered.

It’s all just wishful thinking by those who see themselves as entirely self-sufficient, independent yeoman who just want to be left to their own devices and ask for nothing in return.

So yeah. Pretty much pure fantasy. As if life is just some video game.

This is not to say I have not met some perfectly reasonable people who are proudly conservative. We can chat amicably. Disagree on more than a few things pleasantly. Politics is not supposed to be a blood sport fought to the death.texaschainsawmassacre

But until reasonable conservatives accept the fact their brand has been infected with a toxic substance, that, in fact, their crazy uncles have taken control of the party and movement that reasonable conservatives still lay claim to, they’re all getting tarred with the same ugly brush. The likes of Rob Ford and Tim Hudak and whatever nutty jack-in-the-box pops up this week at the federal level are now the conservative poster boys. It’s a picture that doesn’t look good on any of you.

mystifiedly submitted by Cityslikr