Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More from my friend Richard

Here's another recent article from my boyhood chum, Richard Albert.

The article is about Senate reform in Canada, and I think his take on the specific issue at hand (term limits) is pretty much on target. I am guessing that we agree on an eventual final goal of Senate reform, some type of democratization. I don't know if we agree on the specifics of such a development, but, then again, I'm not totally sure about what exact form I would like to see the Senate take (though I certainly want to see its continued existence).

Richard does make a good point about how Harper's "conservative bona fides have come into doubt in the face of a distinctly, and indistinctively, unconservative record: prolific government spending, careless fiscal projections, skyrocketing deficits, and a ballooning national debt."

Richard also notes Harper's other means of shoring up the conservative bona fides: "to abolish the gun registry, to compel harsher sentences on criminals, and to inflict tougher penalties on young offenders."

Both of these points distill quite effectively my disappointments with the Harper government. I quite liked his selection when he first became Conservative leader. He was wonkish, not overly "political" and not as focused on "traditionalist" or social conservatism as some others might be (I'm looking at you, Stock).

But what on earth has he done? Has he behaved as a principled wonkish conservative (and I'd suggest we judge "principled" on a sliding scale for politicians)? Most definitely, he has not. I'm still glad that neither Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton or Elizabeth May are Prime Minister, and, if I had to wager, I'd say that I'll likely vote Conservative in the next election, but it doesn't mean I'm really happy with him, or the party in general.

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