Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Retire Stephen Harper Now!

In recent weeks, I have watched the value of my retirement savings plan decline by 22% and I know that many of you find yourselves in a similar position. In a society where the self-indulgent have been driven by conspicuous consumption, many of us have saved for our future well-being while investing with confidence in the health of the Canadian economy. We are the real "conservatives," in a sense, irrespective of the different political parties we may support. I'm not complaining, nor do I despair, since I know I'm in good company -- we are all in this together.

But I was incensed to read about a flip comment that was recently uttered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is asking us to let him keep the job at which he has been failing for nearly three years. According to a Bloomberg news report by Greg Quinn, "Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a recent decline in stock prices may present good buying opportunities. "I expect some good buying opportunities may be opening up," Harper said today in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., prompting interviewer Peter Mansbridge to ask if he really meant to have made such a comment. Harper also said he hasn't looked closely at his retirement savings account since he was elected."

Of course the prime minister hasn't looked closely at his retirement account since he'll be the beneficiary of a generous parliamentary pension -- a benefit I don't begrudge to those MPs who work diligently for the greater good of the country, something that cannot be said about the current prime minister and his cavalier colleagues. Unlike most of the rest of us, Harper doesn't need to worry too much about his retirement, between this undeserved pension and the corporate directorships he'll likely receive from his big business friends! The rest of us can work an extra decade, take a second job, or perhaps beg from our children in retirement, but Prime Minister Harper seems to think he'll do fine when the time comes. So I say let's retire him and his self-serving partisans now!

I've had it with this prime minister's smug indifference to the needs of everyday people, his patronizing and condescending attitude towards those with whom he differs, and his evident fetish for controlling his cabinet and caucus. The Conservatives failed to release their platform until the last week of the campaign, so there would be little time for public scrutiny or critique. With the Canadian economy teetering on the brink, Harper and his colleagues ask us to trust their ideologically-driven economic policy while making light of the losses that Canadian investors have suffered. They just don't care! If Canadians have any collective self-respect, they will vote to retire Stephen Harper from office along with the gaggle of right-wing extremists he leads in parliament.

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