Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Brief Moment Of Clarity

Finally, a rare look behind the manufactured veneer, one that brings a brief moment of clarity:
Environment Minister Peter Kent elaborated on that in the House of Commons, saying, “the reality is that the round table was created a quarter of a century ago. It was created before the Internet, when there were few such sources of domestic, independent research and analysis on sustainable development. That is simply no longer the case. There are now any number of organizations and university-based services that provide those services...”

But then, on Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggested that there was a different reason for defunding the round table. “They have tabled more than 10 reports encouraging a carbon tax, Mr. Speaker,” he said. “Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than 10 reports promoting a carbon tax, something that the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected? And that’s a message the Liberal party just will not accept. They should agree with Canadians. They should agree with this government. No discussion of a carbon tax that would kill and hurt Canadian families, Mr. Speaker.”
The first quote is standard fare, a rational explanation to explain cutting The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. You hear this sort of line often from the Conservatives, a terrific distraction from the consistent pattern of "search and destroy" with regards to anything environmental. "Efficiencies", "eliminating redundancies", "belt tightening", "STREAMLINING", oh the word masters in the PMO have it covered with their vanilla terminology. Again though, if one steps back and looks at the landscape in totality, any sentient human being with an ounce of objectivity gets the true thrust.

Enter the second quote from John Baird, thank you, thank you sir. A "slip" from the Conservatives perspective, a rare moment of freaking honesty for those of us choking on naked intellectual dishonesty. Baird probably "misspoke", otherwise he clearly intimidated the NRTEE was slashed because their ideas didn't jive with that of the government's. In other words, if you don't agree with the Harper Conservatives, you are of no use to Canada as a whole, ideological purity IS the starting point, austerity a convenient shield. How dangerous is that mentality, and yet how often could your transpose what is happening to the NRTEE to other thrusts on the environment file.

There is a very clear vindictive flavour at play, this budget is a largely a fraud in terms of presentation, it really is mostly an exercise in delivering retribution to perceived opponents. Extrapolate to the CBC for instance, the same logic applies, almost perfect in its simplicity. To suggest otherwise is to be duped, or wilfully ignorant, because there is simply no doubt the NRTEE was slashed because they weren't "Conservative" enough in viewpoint, they dissented, they didn't mirror dear leader's view of the world, they were at ODDS, the horror! Think of the message this sends to other entities, the "chill", the intimidation, the climate now more resembles a "regime" than a "representative" democracy.

And now we return to manufactured talking points to mask true intentions.......


Jerry Prager said...

140 of Canada's top economist signed a letter to the electorate during the 2008 election extolling the virtues of the carbon tax, so who knows better, the PM with the master's degree in economics or people who actually work in economics for a living? Harper, just enough knowledge to be stupid.

Tof KW said...

Jerry, you forgot to mention it took Harper two attempts until he got that lowly masters. Also it was from the UofC, which is more a political hackery degree than one of economics. And yes, Harper never worked a day in his life as an actual economist... which is why he knows better than all those elitist PhD library-lovin' latte-sippin' actual economists.

Steve V said...

"Harper never worked a day in his life as an actual economist"

Luckily the banking system and surplus he inherited were there to mask this reality.

Jerry Prager said...

Well then, if Harper is running riot against democracy can we make a citizens' arrest because of the mask he is wearing?

weeble said...

It's a great trump card. Anytime you don't want to do anything, just claim it would hurt 'Canada's fragile economic recover.'

In BC, we have a carbon tax. Not something anyone wants to pay, but the money has to come from somewhere; might as well be from those who use the services.

Möbius said...

I take it that the Libs will now run on a policy of increased carbon taxes.

The problem is that the most reasonable and logical scheme (remember Dion?) has already been rejected by the populace.

I suspect that no party can win running on such a slate, given the level of denialism and scientific illiteracy. Chretien was not a stupid person, despite his other faults.

sharonapple88 said...

The situation is crap. You'd expect an organization like the NRTEE to give you their honest opinion. The government's not bound to take it, so, why punish the organization for drafting a position by destroying it? I'd rather a government take in as much information as possible -- things they agree and things they disagree with -- than to try and shape a debate in the manner the Conservatives are doing.

I take it that the Libs will now run on a policy of increased carbon taxes.

Sure. Hey, let's double the current federal carbon tax. 0 X 2 is.... ;)

Armchair quarterbacking the 2008 campaign, I thought they emphasis should have been placed on the income tax cut. The income tax cut was absolutely underplayed.

Möbius said...

The income tax cut following the increased carbon tax was not believable to a skeptical public. Dion should have promised that the income tax cut would occur a couple of years before the carbon tax was (slowly) implemented. We've been fucking around for at least 20 years on it, so a few years would make no difference. Instead, you get nothing.

To be honest, I don't think the problem is solvable by any reasonable policy at this point.