The Bulletin endorses the NDP to defeat Harper

Harper’s G20 curse upon our city highlights his misbehaviour as an enemy of justice and democracy while Bostonian Ignatieff’s confession that he’s a ‘continentalist’ puts him in bed with the American police state and dysfunctional Mexico

By Frank Touby –


Jack Layton

The Harper regime has been anathema to Toronto and most cities in Canada, as it has been to both the poor and the ever-diminishing middle class. His federal Tories deserve defeat and an opportunity to refresh and redeem themselves in honourable pursuits away from the levers of power they have abused. They also must replace Harper.

As for helping the cities, the Tories are even less attentive than the Jean Chretien Liberals before them. There’s every reason to believe the New Democrats will be more responsive to the nation’s urban populations. By imposing his $1 billion G20 photo-op on Toronto’s citizens, knowing there would be disruptions, injuries, police abuses and financial damage to business and individuals, Harper deserves scorn.

He further merits disdain for lying about his intention to reimburse businesses that suffered financial damages, many of them devastating, as a result of that ego display by Harper. He is a man of many lies. He made numerous appointments to the senate after promising to make it elected. He promised to be the most open government ever, yet he keeps a clenched fist over the mouths of politicians and civil servants.

The Tory prime minister before Harper, the Rightly Despised Brian Mulroney, slapped our country with a corrupt value-added tax such as the one that enslaves Europeans in that un-elected tyranny known as the European Union. Like all consumption taxes, Mulroney’s Goods-and-Services Tax (GST) harms the poor because they use all their incomes to make purchases whereas the wealthy pay an insignificant proportion of their incomes on GST-eligible purchases.

The Liberals also have yet to fully recover from the abuses they committed during the Chretien years when corruption reigned and drew voter attention to the Sponsorship Scandal. Ongoing disgust with that eroded the succeeding Paul Martin government and led to the Tory minority government of Stephen Harper. While promising to get rid of the GST, Chretien’s Liberals wallowed in the gelt from it.

Meanwhile the progressive brand now belongs to the New Democratic Party which has devised a sensible economic policy in nearly all aspects but the unworkable speculator-friendly cap-and-trade gimmick it half-heartedly offers.

NDP Leader Jack Layton has even hedged on whether his government would proceed with cap-and-trade if its benefits don’t add up. That’s a rational position and shows he’s not subordinating his economic policy to appease knee-jerk environmentalists.

Further, Layton proposes capping credit card interest rates at 5 points above prime rate. Whether that’s the best percentage is subject to further research but the principle is excellent. It serves to limit the amount of indebtedness consumers receive, and thus limits the amount of indebtedness trouble they can get into.

He needs to go further in restricting credit card companies by prohibiting the use of loyalty awards and premium cards. They are inflationary because they cost merchants more and force prices higher.

An NDP government would be more likely to insist that regulatory agencies operate in the interests of Canadians instead of the businesses they regulate.

Expect cheaper cellphone and wireless bills under an NDP regime.

Layton also would improve so-called “entitlement” payments such as pensions. This is vital because the other parties would promise something like that without actually improving a thing.

The Tories—who rule on behalf of oligopoly corporations and financial-industry gamblers—are trying to get rid of capital-gains taxes which are of no significance to ordinary people but let the rich get richer and pay less in the form of taxes to the society that enables and protects their wealth.

An ongoing slur against the NDP is that they’ll tax and spend. That’s in contrast to both the Liberals’ and Tories’ mantras that taxing the rich and corporations in any way commensurate with their benefits from being in Canada will force them to withdraw from here or cease to invest here.

An NDP government would be more likely to impose needed tariffs against companies abandoning our shores or exporting our jobs to cheaper jurisdictions.

We elect governments to do exactly what opponents say is the NDP’s liability. We elect them to tax and to spend those taxes on the commons.

That’s why taxes are spent by government to support building and maintenance of roads, bridges, hospitals, ambulances, fire departments, water treatment, sewage and the various benefits of living in a land rich in assets of many kinds.

Our natural resources are also part of the commons, yet our governments deny Canadians the benefits of being in a land where, for example, natural gas and oil are abundant. Though we should pay much less for the resources of our nation, governments permit multinational corporations to own them and to charge us “world” prices that they control and to take the profits off-shore while paying Canadians practically nothing.

The best government to address these unfair imbalances in the next election cycle would be the New Democrats. Additionally, they’re best situated to defend us against the Wall Street criminals who, with their British, Dutch and German cohorts, brought the world economy to its knees.

The Wall Street villains extorted a bailout from the American people with a threat of wrecking the economy, spent the money bailing out many of those foreign banks, gave themselves billions of dollars in bonuses and have caused the collapse of the U.S. dollar which is only now being felt in terms of inflation.

There are those who would make Bay Street a branch of this evil scam. The Tories would relax our law which saved us from banker-led collapse by prohibiting commercial lending banks from being gambler-banks, also known as “investment” banks.

Their connection to investment is fiction. They are pure gambling operations with the insiders always winning and taking their tax-free winnings off-shore.

The NDP would be most likely to impose a low-rate Tobin tax on financial transactions in Canada. That welcome tax would raise billions of dollars and would affect those high-volume computer-generated trades that distort markets.

The NDP would also be more likely to outlaw the gambling schemes known as derivatives. Those are the sort of paper that bundles worthless mortgages with a few good ones. That bundle of crap is sold as an investment. It isn’t one. That’s what toppled the U.S. economy.

For the health of our economy, for the sustenance of the poor, elderly and powerless, for the retention of and growth of our middle class, for preservation of the environment and remediation of pollution, for the support and further development of our commons, The Bulletin supports the election of the New Democratic Party on Monday May 2.