Only half of what you read is true

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I can think of no better way to open this week’s article than by a quote from Mark Twain, “The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.” I open with this quote because we are on the brink of yet another federal election. Elections exhibit the style, tempo and mood of the various parties and their candidates and their advertising programs undoubtedly will reveal their authentic principles as well as their individual perception of the voters. The New Democrats just saved not only the country from an early election, for which a majority of Canadians don’t want, but simultaneously got the Conservative government to amend the Employment Insurance system to what can only be described as being a more reasonable solution given our present economic times. With military Generals now calling for a re-Think of our roll in Afghanistan, it has been the NPD, one will recall, who from day one have stood fast with brining our troops home. Finally, a few weeks ago US President Obama cancelled the missile defense for Eastern Europe and here once again, the NDP and Leader Jack Layton have for a long time been the lone wolf critic of the then Bush Administration’s missile system. If you happen to go to the movies and by chance watch Michael Moore’s new movie Capitalism: A Love Story, look no further than Canada’s NDP party for similarities. One may not fully agree with the NDP’s policies, but one must give each card carrying member their due for their ethical stands and ability to stay the course no matter the political cost. The NDP thus far have projected that they are not wanting a person so weak as to suppose that their approbation of warlike measures is a proof of personal gallantry, and that opposition to them indicates a want of that spirit which becomes a friend of his country; as if it required more courage and patriotism to join in the acclamation of the day, than steadily to oppose one’s self to the mad infatuation to which every people and all governments have come to from time to time. Bravo.

Being ahead of the times doesn’t result, at least in politics with much reward. For instance here’s the result of the Angus Reid Poll of a few weeks hence: Conservatives @ 37%, trailing by percentage points are the Liberals @ 29% followed by the NDP @16% and holding up the bottom two places are the BQ @ 9% and the Greens @ 8%. Now this is undoubtedly good news for the Conservatives as they are now within striking distance of a majority. After spending mucho dollars on TV ads (all negative, and all focused on attempting to portray Liberal Michael Ignatieff as an opportunist and not a true Canadian) the Conservative party have opened up a substantial lead but have consecutively propelled Prime Minister Harper’s personal appeal to an all-time high with 27% of Canadians perceiving him as a better prime minister than Mr. Ignatieff who only has a16% backing. What these results clearly illustrate, is that we Canadians are no better than our American neighbors in that negative advertising; you know the type that attacks the individual rather than the ideas-policies & principles, works in obtaining sustenance from the general public. Negative advertisement works, and in so doing no new ideas or ideas at all, along with policies need to be projected to the public, for one surely knows it is easier to knock down a house than to build one. Locally, our MP has throughout his ride in power offered countless surveys mostly on the issue of our War in Afghanistan, but has never revealed the return rate or the results. This has some believing he is involving them in national policy and even is listening to what they have to say so as to respond accordingly to his government. His last survey personally was an insult to all of my military friends. Employing the soldiers and the war to increase his profile and that of his party is without a doubt a wrong that Mark Twain refers to in the opening of this article. Woodrow Wilson said “If a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking”, lets hear the facts from our MP if indeed they exist. Where’s the beef, Guy?

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff in responding to these rather negative assaults by saying “I’m very clear, that we have to raise the bar, even when it relates to so-called negative advertising – that it has to be focused on the issues, that it has to actually be respectful of the intelligence of Canadians.” True to Ignatieff’s philosophy that in his ads and speeches, he has begun to spell out his party’s ideas and policies on major issues facing all Canadians, now and in the future. I need not remind the reader that in the previous election the Conservatives wouldn’t even admit to the forthcoming economic downturn-recession least of all debate it publically. Looks like we got fooled then and the same game plan seem to be in place once again. The question becomes are we prepared to be fooled twice. As most reasonable individual know too much government is like too many hands in making soup, it just doesn’t come off. However, there are situations when we need a little help from big brother. Nortel a Canadian icon could have used a little big brother help rather than a conservative policy of hands off, and just possibly Nortel could have remained under Canadian ownership had there been tougher takeover policies, rather than now belonging to a foreign company. As I opened with a Mark Twain quote permit me to close with yet another Mark Twain –Pudd’nhead quote “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry”.

Organizations: NDP, Employment Insurance, Conservatives Bush Administration BQ Nortel

Geographic location: Afghanistan, US, Eastern Europe Canada

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