In today's Globe, an entirely too kind Lawrence Martin enumerates the indecisiveness, policy vacuity and political cowardice of the current supposed Official Opposition with the kind of graceful subtley that eludes me on this topic.
Um, how do you plug this thing in?
It's not just Iggy, who has actually shown spasms of interest in improving his re-adopted homeland before thinking better of it. It's the entire party, the win-by-not-standing-for-anything-on-which-we-might-be-attacked Grits of Christina McCall notoriety that haunts us still.
If you want a stronger dose of the policy void the Grits happily operate in, make yourself endure this Globe essay on the Tories' failings by longtime Grit insider Robert Silver, who has a running non-debate with Tory counterpart Tim Powers in one of Canada's national newspapers.
With an eye to the fascinating contest of fears and ideas to the south on health-care reform, Silver wonders why there isn't a similar debate out here, reminding us that Roy Romanow warned us years ago that our soaring healthcare costs make our own health system unsustainable.
Which, thank you, we know. We're waiting for Iggy or his surrogate Silver to advance a semblance of the bold initiatives from Obama himself and those he has forced Congress to conjure. What we get instead is this policy free, on-the-one-hand-on-the-other assertion that the status quo must change. (Ya think?)
"There are lots of ways to tackle this issue; some of them are more radical than others. And no, not all of them - or even many of them - lead us to an "American-style health-care system," which for my entire life has been the slur to shut down any and all debate on health-care reform. And to be fair, almost every jurisdiction in the world is struggling with mounting health-care costs so we are far from unique in this challenge, though our rather unique system does provide some unique challenges as part of the larger issue."
Thus spake Silver in today's Globe. It was said of Paul Martin Sr., I believe, that he had few rivals in speaking at such length without saying anything.
Before "shovelware" became a term for purloined New York Times copy that appears on Huffington Post and other web "aggregators," the term was used to describe high-school papers thrown together at the last minute. Two-thirds down the first page of your directionless essay stuffed with non-relevant flotsam, your teacher would write in the margin, "Get a bigger shovel next time."
Get a bigger shovel, Bob.
Canadians hoping for an osmosis effect from Obama's election have only Layton as hope of that, and even the Dippers' agenda has become somewhat Pablumized to please the masses. A mistake. Might as well be radical. The NDP will always be regarded as unrepentent socialist disturbers of the natural order of things.
Yes, Mike Pearson was influenced by the promise of JFK and the reality of LBJ's substantive poverty and civil-rights reforms. That's how Canada got its social safety net, sewn by a PM who never commanded a Parliamentary majority.
But Iggy, even with a majority, is so politically maladroit and deeply into himself that the best hope from him for a 21st century government would be a free rein to the Grits' able front-benchers. And to be optimistic, I concede there are quite a few of those - in downright abundance, compared with the other side of the aisle.
For the purposes of this blog, the inception of the Great Recession in the U.S., the epicentre of the crisis, is taken as the start date for the global slump. The U.S. has been in recession since December 2007.