Here's a video by my friend Pale Cold. (I'd link to her but she uses naughty words. Angry feminists do that, and I completely get it.) She calls it ''Harper's Canada in 60 Seconds.''
Which leads to today's treeware column. Not much to add, except maybe some links.
"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." -- John Stuart Mill, British philosopher, political economist, MP (1806-1873)
Seriously, just how dumb does Prime Minister Stephen Harper think we broads are?
Monday morning, he made an obvious pitch to women, promising a $500 arts tax break for kids, so they can take dance and drama classes. It's not unlike his 2006 children's fitness credit, the one I call "can't even begin to cover the cost of hockey equipment" break.
Still, it's better than nothing, assuming you have the $500 in the first place, of course.
According to Liberal critics, that credit will be worth only about $75 per year – less than $7 a month – and who is to say what lessons will be eligible anyway? Will photography class count? Web design?
It's all pretty funny, since it came the week after the Conservatives were clobbered over Harper's sneering claim that "ordinary people" don't care about his government's full frontal attack on the arts.
Oh really? Then perhaps he might explain all those people I saw at Sunday's Word on the Street festival. Or the CBC Radio Two listeners up in arms over the loss of classical music. Or all those people clogging Toronto sidewalks in front of the theatres for concerts, opera and plays.
The irony is, as he announced his arts credit, Harper actually had the temerity to say: "It could be the beginning of a lifelong interest or career.''
Sure, if you want to starve in the Conservatives' Canada.
Harper sucks and blows at the same time.
Let me tell you: If you can barely afford to keep your kid in boots and sneakers, pointe shoes are not going to be high on your shopping list.
Having a little more help in the regulated daycare department, so Canada's working parents know their kids are safe and healthy, would aid parents a lot more.
This country's record on child care is an international disgrace.
According to a 2003 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), we rank 25th in public investment – either through tax breaks, cash and/or services – in our children, our future. That means we're behind virtually every country in Europe, and even the United States.
Of course, if women had more reliable child care, they could take the time to vote and let Harper know how they feel.
Meanwhile, we're oh-so-relieved to hear that Conservative concern for our children's welfare extends as far as the cotton candy flavours that tobacco makers could add to their products.
And, what with all the jails the party is promising, and its talk of sentencing 14-year-olds as adults, I suppose that might end up as being day – and night – care for teenagers. Wouldn't it make more sense to look after them when they're younger, and give them a better start in life?
But then, Harper's Conservative party only talks the family talk. It doesn't walk the walk.
Oh, and speaking of women, on Monday, Harper also claimed that his "government will not be reopening the (abortion) debate." This after massive demonstrations in Montreal last weekend, where the Conservatives hope to capture seats.
There were "certain articles that were of concern to us" Harper explained, referring to Bill C-484, the " Unborn Victims Act."
So, if it was "of concern," why did it make it past second reading, only to be cynically aborted in its third trimester, on the eve of the election? How did it get so far?
So yeah, Mr. Harper. You must think us lady voters are really stupid.
But here's a clue: It's no accident that your party has the fewest female MPs and candidates.
Says it all, no?