The Prime Minister's Socialist Sellout
By: Rachel Marsden
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has gone from being longtime rival Jean
Chretien's right-leaning counterpart to indulging in political cross-dressing
with his new socialist comrades in the Bloc Quebecois and NDP. There is only one
explanation for this slide to socialism: a desperate power grab.
In the run-up to the last federal election, there was concern within the Conservative party that Martin would shift the Liberals further to the right than they were under Chretien, eliminating any perceived need for a Conservative opposition.
But if you need proof of who's really running things now, just check out the latest NDP press release entitled, "Commons passes historic NDP budget," which quotes New Democrat leader Jack Layton as saying "when you elect New Democrats, you get better government," and "we were able to do with 19 MPs what the Official Opposition wouldn't do with 98."
This may come as a bit of a shock to you, Mr. Layton, but we didn't actually elect you to govern. Hand these socialists 16% of the popular vote, and they'll take the crushing defeat as a mandate to run the place.
But Martin hasn't discouraged them any. Having to rely on a coalition to stay in power, he has adopted a radical leftist agenda that bears little resemblance to what Canadians really want. And the numbers prove it.
As Ipsos-Reid president Darrell Bricker pointed out to me this week, "only about a quarter of Canadians think that same-sex marriage is a great idea." But the Martin Liberals took the extraordinary measure of extending Parliament in order to ram through this legislation.
In the absence of a Supreme Court ruling declaring the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional, or any strong public opinion on the issue, the Martin Liberals pressed ahead with their activist agenda -- effectively turning our country into a social science Petri dish.
Martin has declared that we won't have two-tier health care in this country, even in light of an Ipsos-Reid poll from earlier this month indicating that 70% of Canadians feel they should be able to buy private health care services if they want to.
The Prime Minister wants to proceed with the decriminalization of marijuana, despite having once referred -- in front of a group of kids -- to the "tremendous harm marijuana causes." Clearly, Martin is a man of principles -- with a more varied selection to choose from than the linen department at Wal-Mart.
According to an Ipsos-Reid poll from last November, 51% of Canadians agreed with the statement that decriminalization of pot is "a sound idea as many people will no longer have to suffer a criminal record for a relatively minor offence."
Notice the torque? If they're going to load a poll question like that, they may as well just say that if pot isn't decriminalized, Baby Jesus will bawl his eyes out.
In a conversation with me earlier this year, Mark Souder, a Republican member of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, pointed out the less hyped flipside -- the part that Canadians were never asked to consider in the Ipsos survey: "Canada has a right to pass whatever they do. But if you don't have harmonization of drug laws, and there is a disconnect, then we will have a right in the United States to re-evaluate our border strategy."
Try working that into the poll question and see what happens to that 1% pro-pot majority.
On ballistic missile defence (BMD), Martin might have been in sync with majority opinion -- but a real leader would have recognized the amount of misinformation the public was relying upon, and sought to change Canadians' minds. While a COMPAS poll reported earlier this year in the National Post found that 54% of Canadians were against participating in America's BMD program, "results suggest Canadians could easily be persuaded to back the missile shield."
As liberal as some Canadians may appear to be, they didn't vote for an NDP-Bloc far-left agenda. As Bricker says, "Most Canadians tend to be pretty squishy in the middle." Translation: Canadians are an apathetic bunch -- unless they catch Paul Martin lying to rock stars like Bob Geldof or Bono.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan won a landslide re-election in 1984 due, in large part, to the "mushy middle" working-class Democrats waking up and realizing that their party no longer represented their views -- only those of a very narrow segment of society.
It's no coincidence that Reagan was also known as "The Great Communicator." Hey, Stephen Harper, communicate this: Canadians are getting the exact government they never wanted. And if they don't wisen up soon, they'll wake up one day and wonder what the heck happened to their country.
PUBLISHED: NATIONAL POST (June 29/05)
COPYRIGHT 2005 RACHEL MARSDEN