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An American journalist's view of Harper

In his post on Rabble.ca (http://www.rabble.ca/politics.shtml?sh_itm=96ea8d831f53196ffbf2b536241afe53&rXn=1&)Richard Fricker offers a very stark (bleak?) warning about Stephen Harper and the rest of the GOP-wannabes of the Canadian conservative movement. This is one of the better stated, and more objective, explanations of why Harper seems to be imitating George Bush so often. There isn't anything here regular 'kogger readers haven't read or discussed before, but it is layed out in nice, easy prose. I think it is more poignant in that it is an AMERICAN observer ringing the alarm bell that more Canadians should be reaching for.

A must read for all Liberals.
Bear this in mind when choosing a leader; this is what we are up against...

You know, I guess because I was living in the middle of it, I didn't notice the change in tone so much until this article pointed it out, but it is definitely real.

Good job Blevkog. I will also circulate this one; a very impressive article.
Tip o the hat BK.

A very insightful article. Sometimes outsiders see things with greater clarity than insiders.

Bloody brilliant. I suppose the fact that the Liberals, without a leader, are nearly tied with the Conservatives, particularly in Ontario, should serve as a wake-up call for der Harpenfuehrer.

Billmon, one of my favorite American bloggers, takes up on the point you make, flash, here

Conservative ideas do not belong to Gingrich, Bush or Harper . . . they are universal . . . they are taking hold in countries like Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Australia and have been dominating the US political scene since 1994.
They certainly make much more sense than the Marxist, Socialist looney lefts ideas.
I know most of your young lefties are products of our institutions of "higher" learning, where left-leaning professors, who have long ago lost touch with the real world, fill hour heads with socialist/marxist crap. But here's the real news . . . that shit is as dead as Stalin and Marx.
Its time you all got a backbone, life is about working hard, striving for excellence and personal initiative . . . not wanting some govt organization or another to come and walk you through life!!!
That is why the US is the most democratic country on the planet, has a huge manufacturing base and unemployment in the 4.5% range, and the Dow breaking 12,000.
The only parts of Canada that can compare to that are Alberta and BC . . . also incidentally having Conservative or conservative leaning govts. The rest of Canada is struggling with their mostly leftist/socialist regemes. eg. McSquinty in Ontario.
What would the US look like today if the lying, confused friggin idiot Kerry was president??? I would hate to guess . . . but you dingers would probably be luvin it!!
Your perspective of the world is soooo clueless . . . why not just go back to debating the lib leadership non-event . . . look at the group you have to choose from . . . .lol

Uh, yeah.

I can deduce the following from your hate-filled diatribe:

1. You have not attended an institution of higher education. Fine. Lots of people I know haven't. Many have, and many of them are what I would characterize as conservative. I studied Marx, yes, and I disagree with his every word.

2. You have definitely decided what is right for the rest of us. Thanks for that, I'm not sure how we got along for such a long time without you.

3. You do not know the people who write here, you know nothing of their personal lives and the hardships some of us have had to endure - or just how hard we all work in our chosen professions. Mine IS the government, by the way. I work for the citizens of this province, and fortunately, I don't regard any of these people as 'waiting for the gov't to walk them through life'.

4. Why would you define our 'perspective' as clueless? Do you have evidence to support your dismissal of our opinions as irrelevant? You have obviously been privy to events the rest of us are ignorant of, so please, share. Trying to insult people you don't know based on a set of assumptions has been given a useful label: prejudice. Wear it proudly.

5. You can say a lot without actually saying anything. It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and provide irrefutable confirmation.

6. You are contributing nothing useful to the discussion, and, unless you'd like to demonstrate otherwise, even less to the spirit of openness and democracy we try to emulate here. A rational argument is worth listening to, insults with no substance are not.

Have a nice day. Try not to die horribly in a pool of your own shit.

Ah, Ex-NDIP, I missed you!

Hmmm, conservative ideas are universal, but socialist ideas are dead? And you say that we're living in a dream world! It is indeed true that conservatives have held sway in many countries for some time, but you have made the mistake of assuming that we have evolved politically and economically to some end point. We haven't, and these conservative "ideas" are simply another step along a road to nowhere.

Your confusing rant also makes the common mistake of mixing up political systems (democratic versus totalitarian) with economic ones (socialism versus capitalism) in such a way that I quite think that the differences aren't clear to you. It is possible to have a socialist democracy, as it is possible to have a capitalist one, and it's possible to have a socialist totalitarian state and a capitalist one.

It's interesting that you consider the US the "most democratic country on the planet". It's interesting for a couple of reasons, the first being that by most economic indicators, they are actually one of the least democratic. For instance, they have one of the highest wealth disparities in the world, which indicates that in fact they could be considered one of the least democratic, because as we all know, money talks. And when you look at voter turnout, they are also well down the list. This is a pretty good indicator of how involved people feel with their own government and how good they feel about the options they are given to select from - if they feel their vote means something they will cast it. Give them something to choose from and they will come.

And you tout their manufacturing base? The only thing that is holding that together, and not doing a very good job at that I might add, is that there are laws prohibiting or at least slowing down the outsourcing of jobs in some sectors. I have the idea that you would remove even these meager defences because they are undemocratic. Even still, the drain of jobs overseas is increasing, and just about every economic publication I've picked up in the last few years leads with stories of how the US manufacturing sector is in fact dying. Yes, the unemployment rate is low, but now nearly one percent of the US adult population is right now in jail and a huge portion of them are working for wages that still place them below the poverty line. Good system, that!

My last word will go to your reference to John Kerry. Let's see, John Kerry is the richest man in the US Senate - money that he married into, and you're calling him a lefty? Sounds like capitalist heaven, to me! And since when did the Democratic party represent the socialist left? Not during my lifetime, except maybe in some small way Jimmy Carter.

So what would the US look like if he won in '04? Probably exactly the same - he is too much of a coward to roll back Bush's tax cuts or to pull them out of Iraq, so the US would be in exactly the same economic spin that it is now. The only thing keeping the economy afloat right now is cheap money, and that can't last forever.

Yeah, NDIP, the Liberal leadership race is pretty much a non-event, but that's alright. They are pretty much tied in the polls with the Conservatives right now without a leader. How good does that make you feel?

Ex-ndp, I realize tat this adds nothing to the conversation and will likely and rightly be removed because of it, but in the hopes that you see this before that happens I've just gotta ask. Were you molested by Jack Layton or something? Or did you just hit a tax bracket that made a conservative out of you? Because you seem to be pretty bitter about having been a former supporter of the NDP. Just curious.

I wouldn't assume anything, Doug. He can't even spell the acronym properly. It's three letters, for crying out loud. The word 'poser' probably applies here. As well as a few other choice words.

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