Glenn Greenwald, "establishment pundits", and the joys of sweeping generalizations

Glenn Greenwald is commenting on Jeffrey Rosen's decision to swear off blogging and begins his commentary thusly:

The one trait that defines establishment pundits more than any other is a pathological inability ever to accept blame or admit error. That's because they work in the most accountability-free profession in America, where people … get promoted despite no retractions or remorse, and establishment media stars in general can pretend that they bear no responsibility for enabling the abuses and crimes of the [country's political leaders].

[Tip of the toque to Jay Rosen (no connection to Jeffrey)]

Well now, that sounds very good, doesn't it? And who knows? Such a sweeping generalization about all “establishment pundits”, like all sweeping generalizations, is probably right. Isn't it? That's likely because Greenwald and Salon — like all of those who make Sweeping Generalizations — are probably backed up by crack research staffs so they can back up those statements? Aren't they?

Now I don't have such a crack research staff but let me make a Sweeping Generalization or two of my own, if only because it seems like so much fun:

  • Bloggers, be they smarty pants like Greenwald or just your regular anonymous online one-trick ideological ponies, often apologize for coming to the wrong conclusions all the time. At least that's the experience I've had in my six or seven years as a blogger. One of the hallmarks of the blogosphere is that biases and conflicts-of-interest are stated upfront. Isn't it? Unlike “establishment pundits”, bloggers are never wrong and frequently see good points in the arguments of their ideological or political opponents and often call their readers attention to those good points which don't reflect their world view. Don't they?
  • It is “Establishment Pundits” and not voters who failed to vote who are, of course, responsible for the world's ills. Right? And, in any event, political leaders bear no responsibility for their actions or behaviour. One should never blame politicians for the world's ill because, after all, whatever went wrong was the fault of “Establishment Pundits”. After all, as we all know, when “Establishment Pundits” say jump, most of us, being the sheeple we are, yell “How high?”!
  • Even though Greenwald writes frequently and often for one of the most widely read Web sites on the planet, runs (as he himself says) “one of the most popular and highest-trafficked in the blogosphere”, comes from a top law firm in New York City, went to top American universities, wrote some bestselling books and is white, male and lives in the United States, don't even be thinking he's part of the “establishment”. Why that very resumé would automatically disqualify you from being part of any establishment. Wouldn't it?

The First "Foodies": Michelle and Barack love to eat out

Very entertaining (and mouthwatering) piece from Sandra McElwaine at The Daily Beast on the Michelle and Barack Obama's penchant for eating out:

Since moving into the White House four months ago Michelle and Barack Obama have made one thing crystal clear: they have no intention of staying home. Not even in those luxurious digs. As devotees of good food and fine wine they have decided to shake up the conventional Washington scene by stepping out, having fun—going out on the town. And not to traditional boring embassy functions or the well-appointed homes of desperate hostesses either. The Obamas are genuinely enjoying city life, corralling friends for impromptu forays at an eclectic mix of DC restaurants—cutting a wide swath from downtown to the Capitol and DuPont Circle, to Georgetown and even Arlington, Virginia—leaving a gaggle of star struck proprietors and fellow diners in their glossy wake. (Quite unlike the Bushes, who preferred to hunker down with Tex-Mex inside the confines of 1600 Pa. Ave.) …

[At pricey high-end restaurant Citronelle] Michelle and the President indulged in straight-up martinis garnished with olives and soft-shell crab tempura. When Michelle requested a lobster burger not on the menu, chef Richard quickly obliged: “It was impossible to refuse the queen of this country,” he explained. The Commander in Chief opted for 72-hour-aged beef and a single fry. Both ended their meal with crème brûlée left a 20 percent tip, then headed home for that romantic hand-in-hand stroll around the White House grounds. . . .

Michelle is also a spur of the moment fast-foodie. She says she likes to sneak out of the White House with the girls and swing over to DuPont Circle, causing temporary gridlock, for a Five Guys burger. Another quick Michelle-stop: Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill, where she recently sat upstairs in front a large TV screen and chowed down on an assortment of gourmet burgers with a dozen members of her staff. “It was her idea,” said her press secretary Katie McCormick Lelyveld. ”Sometimes you just need a burger.”

Consumers shrug off recession, say economy will improve

Canadians have rarely been so optimistic about their economic future, according to a new poll done exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National.

Pollster Ipsos Reid said 52 per cent of Canadians believe the economy will improve in the next year, a level of confidence the firm has not seen in 18 years of tracking consumer confidence. In November, just 20 per cent of those surveyed by Ipsos Reid believed the economy was improving.

…Asked if they would spend more or less on big-ticket items such as cars, appliances or vacations, just one in five said they would pick up spending on those items. While 42 per cent said their spending patterns will remain unchanged, 36 per cent said they'll spend less.

Because consumer spending accounts for more than half of all economic activity, that data suggests a full-fledged recovery may be months away.

When asked if they think their own personal financial situation will improve, one in three said they think it will improve over the next 12 months, while one in 10 believes their own situation will worsen. Ipsos Reid said that, on balance, that's an improvement from early March when Canadians were more nervous about their own financial situation.

Still, many Canadians — about one in four — remain anxious about their employment situation, although that anxiety has eased since peaking in November.

[Read the rest of the story ]

Mr. Layton goes to Washington — to support Obama on health care

Here's an interesting item from The Washington Times, notable not only because we have a Canadian politician trying to lend a hand to the world's most popular politician but also, I think, because the Times' correspondent here seems to be working under the impression that the U.S. Democrats are close cousins of Canada's “New Democrats.” Canadian readers, of course, will know that the U.S. Democratic Party is probably somewhere between the Canadian Conservative and Liberal parties if you looked at a policy-by-policy basis and may, in fact, be to the right of the Canadian Conservative Party. (On health care, alone, Canadian Conservatives, because they support the Canadian system of universal single-payer health care would put them to the left of the Democrats).

For non-Canadian readers of this blog, Canada's New Democrats have a history of arriving at policy positions from the left side of the political spectrum and are traditional more left than the federal Liberals.

I'm not sure where Canadian New Democrats would fit in the U.S. political spectrum but something tells me they've probably not got anything like Jack Layton and Olivia Chow!

Canadian Democrats supportive of their country’s universal health care program are soliciting donations to send their leader to Washington to meet with “Obama Democrats” to strategize about implementing a similar system.

A fundraising appeal mailed to supporters from Anne McGrath, president of Canada’s New Democrats, says: “There’s a battle over universal health care happening in the United States — and your New Democrats are a part of it. I hope you will lend your support.”

An image of an economy-class plane ticket from Ottawa to Washington for New Democrat Leader Jack Layton, who is running to become Prime Minister, accompanies the mailer. In the bottom left corner it says: “SUPPORT OBAMA’S FIGHT FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. PROTECT MEDICARE BACK IN CANADA.”

Liberals roll out new fundraising, membership drives, aim for $25 million a year

At the risk of offending more readers like this one, I call your attention to the following press release this afternoon from the Liberal Party of Canada. That party — once known as the Big Red Machine — has been barely pale pink when it comes to finding new members or raising money in the last two or three years. Meanwhile, the Big Blue Machine has steamrolled all comers, consistently raising twice as much than all other federal parties combined from twice as many donors as all other parties combined. Liberals know that their political survival, let alone success, depends on them being able to at least do as well as the New Democrats when it comes to filling a war chest.

That is precisely why Rocco Rossi was named the party's exec director and why Bay Street lawyer Alfred Apps easily won the party's presidency. Both men have a long history of finding money for this cause or that one.

Mr. Apps explained that there are two main aspects to the fundraising plan, which was approved by the National Board of Directors, in consultation with the Council of Presidents. The first, to be called “The Leader’s Circle”, will create a group of existing donors responsible for encouraging the recruitment of new Laurier Club members. The second, designed to mark the first anniversary of the Victory Fund, will kick-start a two-year drive for growth in grassroots fundraising.

In addition to these fundraising initiatives, the plan also includes efforts to double the Party’s membership by Labour Day. This program, dubbed “The Power of One”, calls on every current member to recruit just one new member – a tradition the Party hopes will continue for generations of Liberals to come.

“What sets this membership and fundraising drive apart from others is the ambition, leadership and organizational strength of our Board of Directors,” said Rocco Rossi, National Director of the Liberal Party. “The energy and enthusiasm of our team will secure the long-term stable funding our Party needs to hold the Conservative to account, and to form the next government of Canada.”

These programs include a grassroots campaign which will capitalize on web-based social media to reach out to potential members and donors. In addition to more than doubling the membership, the Party hopes these initiatives increase fundraising levels to over $25 million on an annualized basis by 2011.

And the final word on "Tar Baby" from Poilievre himself

In a second, the exchange in the House of Commons today between Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre and his LIberal and NDP detractors over the Poilievre's use of the term 'tar baby” but first, links elsewhere to this issue:

And finally, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale and NDP MP Paul Dewar rise on a point of order to convince a defiant Poilievre to retract his words:

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising from question period.

On at least two occasions in question period, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister used the expression “tar baby”. In addition to being a pejorative term, which might well prove to be unparliamentary, the parliamentary secretary might consider that there are many authorities both in this country and many others that consider the term racist.

While he may want to make his views known in strong and extreme terms, he also might want to take this occasion to withdraw that expression to make it absolutely clear that he was not implying any racist connections.

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC) Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, that hon. colleague is a man with whom I have had disagreements but for whom I have respect. On this occasion though, I cannot believe that he would attempt to inject that meaning into that expression. He clearly understands that my reference had absolutely nothing to do with the one that he implied. I have worked hard to represent people of all backgrounds and I have always done so in a spirit of tolerance.

My reference to the term “tar baby” was a common reference that refers to issues that stick to one. The leader of the Liberal Party has taken this position. It has stuck to him, and now he is having difficulty explaining himself on that issue.

For him or for his House leader to inject racial politics in order to distract from that is the worst kind of base politics. I would encourage them to apologize for it.

The Speaker: I am going to proceed with the hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I too want to rise on the same point of order coming out of question period.

I just want to tell the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister to at least understand how this term can be interpreted and why it should not be used. As recently as this past week, Mitt Romney, a governor in the United States, used the term. He was admonished and apologized.

This is an example of perhaps the use of a term that the parliamentary secretary might not have intended to be used in a certain way. However, that can be interpreted, and has been interpreted, by many African Americans. It is a term that should not be used.

To benefit us all, I ask the parliamentary secretary to apologize and not use the term in the future.

Mr. Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's point. I am perfectly prepared to assure him that is absolutely not what I was referring. In fact, I have never even heard that term used in the context that he is suggesting.

If anybody is offended because of the way that someone else might have used the term, I can assure the member that was not my intention and never would be.

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in the interest of laying this issue to rest, I wonder if the parliamentary secretary would not more unequivocally follow the example set not only by former governor Mitt Romney in the United States, but also by Senator John McCain, both of whom on various occasions used those expressions. When it came to their attention that they were inappropriate, they withdrew and they apologized.

Will the parliamentary secretary do the same?

The Speaker: The matter has been dealt with and I do not believe it is necessary at this point for further interventions from the chair.

More tar babies: PMO points at The Star and Lloyd Axworthy

PMO staff have their “Tar Baby” file open and, in defence of Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, have pointed me at the following uses of the phrase “Tar Baby” by, as they say, “a national newspaper, one from a national reporter, and one from a former Liberal Cabinet Minister.”

The “national” newspaper is, ahem, actually a very good metropolitan newspaper that happens to be available in many other cities in Canada. That would be the Toronto Star which, on Friday, March 7, 2008, ran an editorial entitled “Cynical PQ bid to rebrand party” containing this phrase:

The PQ intends to campaign on its latest plan to get Quebecers behaving as if they already are independent. The party promises a “sovereignty manifesto,” a provisional Quebec constitution, and a “Quebec citizenship,” whatever that might be. It will demand more powers from Ottawa and seek more clout in international organizations. In federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's eyes, Marois's effort to shake off the referendum tar baby is good news, even if Dian was clumsy in spelling out why.

[The entire editorial can be found here[PDF]]

The “national reporter” would be my friend Susan Delacourt, a senior writer for the Star, who, the PMO notes, wrote a story in 2004 about how then prime minister Paul Martin might exploit the issue of gay marriage for political gain and included this line:

Same-sex marriage has generally been treated like a political tar baby over the past few years, with most parties reluctant to whip up highly sensitive arguments touching on religion and deeply rooted social values. The Liberal caucus contains a significant number of MPs from rural and traditional small- town Canada, who have long argued that they could lose their seats if their government leans too far to the left on any social issue. [The PMO provided this citation. The Star owns the Hamilton Spectator: Susan Delacourt, “Martin could exploit gay-marriage gift,” The Hamilton Spectator, Friday, December 10, 2004]

And the PMO even goes all the way back to 2003 to find Liberal cabinet minister Lloyd Axworthy using the phrase in an interview with the Detroit Free Press.

“Nobody is saying you toss over your U.S. relations. Of course you don't. But it doesn't mean to say you have to become slavishly connected like some kind of tar baby with them.” [PMO Citation: Lloyd Axworthy, “Canada's new leader to improve U.S. ties,” Detroit Free Press, Thursday, December 11, 2003

The PMO “Tar Baby” researchers have also identified a “Tar Baby” sighting in one of Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hebert's pieces from last spring, in which Hebert wrote:

If the Liberals had been serious about triggering an election on the issue, they could have brought it in through the front door of a budget amendment and made it a condition for not defeating the government last week.

Tellingly, there was not a trace of the RESP initiative and the trickle of positive coverage it attracted to be found on the official website of the Liberal party yesterday. At this stage, the McTeague bill looks more like a Liberal tar baby than a party brainchild.

It will be interesting to see whether the Liberals do resuscitate this measure in their election platform and what, beyond partisan calculations, the arithmetic behind it will be. [Read the whole column]

And for extra reading, here's a piece, passed along to me by a friend who once was a Liberal staffer, from which looks at the issue after Mitt Romney, then Massachusetts governor used the phrase:

…the next print version of the Oxford American Dictionary will note that tar baby can have derogatory connotations. Which may help public figures avoid becoming ensnared by Br'er Fox more than a century after he set his little trap.

UPDATE: Final word to Poilievre himself.

Was white MP Pierre Poilievre wrong to use the phrase 'tar baby'?

Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative MP from Nepean, Ont. is facing questions this afternoon from opposition politicians who are curious about his use of the term “tar baby” twice in Question Period, this afternoon. Liberal Ralph Goodale and NDP MP Paul Dewar both objected to this racially-charged term with points of order in the House after QP. Wikipedia tells us that, at the very least, one ought to be a little careful using this phrase. During the last provincial election in Ontario, a Hamilton-area Liberal candidate who was a black woman was called a “a tar baby” by a columnist in a local paper. Columnist Kevin Verner ended up apologizing to candidate Nerene Virgin.

“The use of this term is unacceptable,” Virgin said at a press conference at the time. “It's like a linguistic shackle and it just anchors us in the past.”

For the record, here's what Poilievre said in the House:

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in the first year the government sole-sourced 40% of its $17 billion in military procurements. It is estimated that sole-sourcing increasing costs by 30%.

However that is just the tip of the iceberg. We have a finance minister who has a talent for pricing illegal contracts to his friends but shows no aptitude for estimating deficits. We have a Prime Minister who craves appearances on U.S. television while driving Canada's fiscal house into the ditch.


Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we have a leader, a real Canadian leader.

On that side of the House, they have the man who fathered the carbon tax, put it up for adoption to his predecessor and now wants a paternity test to prove the tar baby was never his in the first place. He attacks the deficit that he voted for but wants billions more for a 45-day work year.

On this side of the House, we stand for lower taxes, strong economic action plan, getting the job done for Canadians. That is where we stand. That is our leader.

Then later …

Mr. LaVar Payne (Medicine Hat, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last May, CTV's Craig Oliver asked the Liberal leader:

Now that you're the first leader as a candidate for leader to talk about a carbon tax and you took a little bit of heat for that, do you still believe in a carbon tax? Of course you do.

The Liberal leader replied:

I do, Craig. I learned there's no punishment more severe in politics than being the first guy with a good idea.

Is that what the Liberal leader meant when he asked, last month, “Will we have to raise taxes?”?

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister please inform the House?

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader should give himself more credit. He fathered the carbon tax idea. Then he generously put it up for adoption to his predecessor. And now, of course, he wants a paternity test to prove that this tar baby is not his.

He says the coalition on which he signed in support of would break up the country. He attacks the deficit that he voted for and wants billions more of spending, even on a 45-day EI work year. When he is in Britain, he is British. When he is in America, he is American. When he is in B.C., he is against the auto bailout. When he is in Ontario, he wants it to be bigger. The Liberal leader does not seem to know who he is.

UPDATE: PMO answer to this blog post: Nope.

AECL to be divided, Candu division for sale

The federal government took the first steps Thursday to getting out of the nuclear power business while, at the same time, committing itself to holding onto its nuclear research facility at Chalk River, Ont., the home of the rusting reactor — now in shutdown mode — that is the source of nearly half of the world's medical isotopes.

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., a Crown corporation that had its origins in the Cold War 60 years ago, will be split into two business units.

The research unit, which includes the Chalk River Laboratory, will remain under the control of the government, albeit with new management that will come from the private sector.

But AECL's commercial business, which designs and sells the powerful Candu nuclear reactors that are used to generate electricity, is up for grabs to the highest bidder and the government has placed no restrictions on the kinds of proposals it will entertain.

That means there are no guarantees that Canadian jobs or technology would be protected if, as the government hopes, a new foreign partner steps up to buy a chunk of AECL. The government believes that the only hope for the survival of the Candu business is to find a major foreign partner with some hefty financial muscle and promising sales prospects in global markets.

[Read the rest of the story]

The daily snowball fight between Liberals and Conservatives

The 15 minutes directly before Question Period every day in the House of Commons is reserved for what are called Members Statements. MPs get 1 minute to say just about anything they want. Most of the time, MPs get up to acknowledge somebody or something special back in their riding, as Hamilton NDP MP Chris Charlton did today, when she saluted a slo-pitch league in her riding or when Liberal Michell Simson congratulated William McDonald for his work in helping veterans in her Toronto riding.

But recently, Members Statements has become a partisan battleground as Conservatives and Liberals throw verbal snowballs back and forth at each other across the aisle. (If you're counting, I'd say the Conservatives started this little fight last year, when they'd use Members Statements to pick on former Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and try to unnerve just before QP got started.)

Here's today's snowball fight, with Liberal Anthony Rota leading off:

M. Anthony Rota (Nipissing—Timiskaming, Lib.)Rota.jpg : Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have become a single issue party. The issue is taxes. They want them higher and they will have more of them to pay for their staggering deficit. Their leader told the House two days ago he will not bring in another budget, and I quote, “until we need to raise taxes”. It is now clear: taxes will rise under the Conservatives.

In these tough economic times, that is not what Canadians need. We need a stable and focused leadership that only the Liberals can provide.

Ce gouvernement conservateur attaque les familles canadiennes qui travaillent fort, et ils veulent faire en sorte qu'il soit encore plus difficile pour les Canadiens de subvenir aux besoins de leur famille.

Tout court, les conservateurs causeront des impôts plus élevés.

Raising taxes to cover their incompetence is just plain wrong. I know it is wrong. The people of my riding know it is wrong, and all Canadians know it is wrong. It is only the Conservatives who have not figured it out yet.

The always excitable Jacques Gourde then threw one right back at the red team:

EyeTVSnapshot.jpgM. Jacques Gourde (Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, PCC): Monsieur le Président, je veux rappeler au chef de l'opposition que l'enjeu aujourd'hui, ce n'est pas le déficit, c'est l'économie. Nous sommes en pleine récession mondiale et nous ferons tout ce qui est nécessaire pour protéger les Canadiens et les aider à surmonter la tempête économique.

Les mesures que nous prenons sont nécessaires, abordables et à court terme.

Nous ne présenterons pas d'excuses pour avoir fait des dépenses afin de stimuler l'économie, de protéger les emplois et d'appuyer les chômeurs. En fait, s'il devient nécessaire d'en faire encore plus, nous le ferons.

Les libéraux font preuve d'hypocrisie. D'un côté, ils critiquent la taille du déficit, et de l'autre, ils exigent que nous dépensions des milliards de dollars supplémentaires. Le chef libéral tourne au gré du vent et change de direction, comme un coq sur une grange. Par chez nous, on appelle cela une girouette.

There was a short break in the action while the aforementioned Ms. Charlton said something nice about people who slowly throw softballs at batters. And then Conservative Rodney Weston got back to throwing more mud at the Liberals:

EyeTVSnapshot[2].jpgMr. Rodney Weston (Saint John, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is leading the Liberal Party down the path of hypocrisy and they are losing credibility with Canadians. On one hand the Liberal leader is in Toronto saying that he stands up for seal hunters, meanwhile, the Liberal Party's campaign boss is calling the hunt “appalling and more trouble than it's worth”.

Our Conservative government believes that seal hunters and their families are worth it. They are worth defending and our conservative government will continue to stand up for them.

The Liberal leader's biggest hypocrisy of all is on Canada's economy. On one hand they are attacking the size of the deficit and then on the other they are demanding billions and billions more in spending. They cannot have it both ways.

While the Liberal leader and his party continue on this path of hypocrisy, our Conservative government will continue to support and help Canadians during these tough economic times.

The BQ's Christiane Gagnon then jumped in with some criticism of Conservative Quebec MPs who, she felt, weren't standing up strong enough for the principal of appointing bilingual judges to the Supreme Court.

And then it was Liberal Scott Andrews' turn to get into it:

EyeTVSnapshot[3].jpgMr. Scott Andrews (Avalon, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister admitted to the House that he is spending hours holed up in his basement, going through old tapes that he has collected on the Leader of the Opposition.

We knew the government was a bit shaky when it came to scientific novelties like the greenhouse effect and the theory of evolution, but who knew they missed the digital revolution as well.

The Prime Minister seems to be stuck in another political era. Who does the Prime Minister think he is, Richard Nixon?

What are these tapes the Prime Minister is talking about? Is he bugging the phone lines again, just like when they eavesdropped on the NDP? Are there microphones in our offices and cameras in the potted plants?

It is time for the Prime Minister to wake up, throw away his little spy cameras and start focusing on the mess that he and his government have made to this economy or else he may be remembered in political history as fondly as Richard Nixon.

Andrews finished that one with a nice flourish, raising his arms up over his head and doing Nixon's V-for-Victory gesture.

But then, batting cleanup for the Conservatives as he often does, rose the hulking form of Daryl Kramp, Kramp was once an OPP officer in rural eastern Ontario and, though he's a pretty gentle guy when you're chatting with him, I can't say as I would ever want to get him angry at me. Perhaps because of his intimidating physical and vocal presence, he often gets the last spot before QP starts, perhaps in the belief that he'll throw off the Leader of the Opposition who he knows will speak next, asking the first question of Question Period. Here's Kramp's effort today:

Mr. Daryl Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are off in dreamland again. The issue is not the deficit, it is the economy. We are in a global recession, and the Conservatives will do whatever it takes to protect Canadians, to help them weather this economic storm.

The measures we are taking, they are necessary, they are affordable and they are short term, unlike the Liberal hypocrisy. On the one hand, they simply attack the size of the deficit and also demand billions more in spending.

As the Liberal leader revealed, their plan is to raise taxes on Canadian families and businesses. On April 14 he said “We will have to raise taxes”. He declared that a GST hike is on the table.

They support billions more on an east-west power grid, another $1 billion-plus on EI, $5 billion to bring back the Kelowna Accord that was written on the back of a napkin. The world economy is in a difficult position. Canada is a leader in this G8, but the Liberals are trying to spend us into oblivion. Canadians do not need taxes from the Liberals with their hands in the cookie jar.

In these times, only the Conservative government's steady leadership can keep us on the right track.