Why the Liberals are worried and how Layton became the man to watch
Why the Liberals are worried and how Layton became the man to watch
Federal budget analysis from inside the press lock-up in Ottawa
On their new film, Stephen Harper, and life as hoser icons
A couple of greasy-haired headbangers weaved their way into the hearts of Canadians one crushed beer can at a time in 2002 with the hilarious, unconventional and massively under-financed mockumentary FUBAR. The film, from director Michael Dowse, tells the simple story of Terry (David Lawrence) and Dean (Paul Spence) as they drink, listen to their beloved hair metal, and go camping in a bid to give’r one last time before Dean undergoes surgery for testicular cancer.
FUBAR II, premiering Friday, catches up with the boys a few years down the road as they get kicked out of their house and head for Fort McMurray to strike it rich. It’s rare for a sequel to best its original, but FUBAR II manages to cram in even more hilarious lunacy—and does so with a tighter story that also features some intelligent, but not overbearing, social commentary about drugs, friendship, and the problems inherent in fast money. Terry, Dean and Dowse sat down with Maclean’s before their gala opening—which started when they drove up to the red carpet on a flatbed truck pulling headbangers, a band, and strippers—at the Toronto International Film Festival to discuss the film, their message to Stephen Harper, and life since becoming hoser icons.
John Geddes dissects the budget from inside the lock-up
Our columnists talk between stops on the campaign trail
Plus: how he would like to see things change
It’s true, he never had a legitimate right to rule.
A majority of Canadians did not elect a minority Conservative government, despite what the party line has been saying. It’s a bald faced lie. Why? Because an overwhelming minority of Canadians (36.7%) voted for them, and a huge majority voted for leftist parties (62.4%). Know what that means? It means Canadians don’t want a far right party in charge for Christ’s sake.
And Harper is far right. In the past the difference between the Liberal and Conservative parties have been fairly negligible, generally they’re both centrist. But Harper is taking it to a new level. As far as I can tell he’s an Adam Smith loving Neo-liberal, he wants a small government.
But I’ll dig into the conservatives later. First I need to say this; A coalition government has a much more legitimate mandate to rule than the Cons. In a Canadian system it doesn’t matter which party gets the most seat, the person who gets to be Prime Minister is the one who has the most support in the house. Canadians elected a majority of left-leaning MP’s, and (say what you want about this being a power grab) its time that they stick up for what we want. Stephan Dione might not be the best leader, but the fact is that as parliament stands right now, he has the most support. As such, under our electoral conventions, he has the right to rule.
So, on to our current PM. The biggest problem I have with Harper? Business regulations. Notice what a de-centralized, de-regulated market has got us recently? Yeah, exactly. I just hope a coalition government is smart enough to ensure markets can’t get so ridiculously out of hand. Not to mention the other bullshit Harper’s come up with, cutting massive amounts of funding from woman’s and homeless shelters, (the homeless shelter in Fredericton is in serious trouble thanks to that, which could see people thrown to the streets just as winter starts), his insanely strict laws that will try 14 year-olds as adults, and cutting a bunch of money from arts programs (which was just a dick move to make him look like a man’s man who hates those artsy fags; too bad it backfired and cost him Quebec in the last election). But I could go on for hours about how much of a jackass Harper is.
Now, I’ll admit, this idea of forming a coalition government is coming at a bad time. Frankly, I think they should have thrown out Harper at his throne speech and be done with it, but I don’t know what people would have thought about that. But you know what, this might not be such a bad time. Yeah, there’s the economic crisis, but a new government can probably implement a budget almost as quickly as the one in power now. The thing is, the leftist parties had to stop legislation Harper wanted to introduce. Removing the right to strike from public-sector unions? That is fucking terrible. But you know what is much, much worse? Killing public subsidies for political parties.
As far as I’m concerned, that would have crippled the legitimacy of our political system. Why? Because it would destroy the Green and NDP parties, essentially making Canada a two party system. The polls show Canadians want those extra parties, and our democracy would not look the same without them. We sure as hell wouldn’t have universal healthcare without the NDP. You’re living in a dream world if you think parties don’t need money to get votes, and without public subsidies, those two parties would be totally broke.
And another thing, this subsidies cut would have given the Conservatives a huge advantage over the Liberals(The Conservatives are way, way better at fund raising, so they don’t really need the public subsidies). This was an extremely thinly veiled move by Harper to secure his power for a very long time, by using very sneaky and underhanded methods. He did it at the start of his second term in office, because he figured by the next election people would have forgotten about it. Well guess what you asshole, the plan backfired.
When Harper heard the coalition was coming he couldn’t back peddle fast enough. Now I think taking shots at a politician for flip-flopping is a ridiculous thing to do. I believe, that like all reasonable people, politicians have to re-think their positions as situations change and new facts come to light. But this is different. Harper’s a fucking crook who got caught with his dick in a warm apple pie. So, as far as I’m concerned, this threat of a coalition is perfect. Say what you want, it saved Canadian multi-party democracy. Even if it doesn’t wind up happening, I’ll be happy simply because they stopped Harper from getting his nuttiest legislation through the house.
Oh, and by the way, if the fucking Canadian Labour Congress, our countries biggest union, is coming out against the Conservatives, then they’re probably doing something pretty fucking wrong. Wrong, like cutting back to keep a surplus. That’s fucking retarded, that is literally doing nothing to help the crisis, which means it’ll only make it worse in the long run. It’s just trying to keep up appearances for the public so they think nothings wrong. Jesus Christ that pisses me off.
One last thing. There is nothing wrong with this coalition government forming, it’s totally legit in the political system we have and follows all our conventions. But if Harper tries any shit like suspending Parliament to avoid the no confidence votes (which that demagogue asshole is planning on doing), that is fucked and goes way over the line. Sure this coalition talk is coming at a bad time, but suspending Parliament would make it take waaaaaaay longer to address the financial crisis. It’s even worse if he asks the Queen to sack the Governor General so she can’t appoint a new PM. Harper, you cuntwad, That goes against the wishes of your people and against all the checks and balances of our political systems. Oh, and shut the hell up about the separatists. Yeah, separatism is bullshit but they’re not going to have any real power in this government, so quit being a dick.