Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

TorStar's KW Record endorses HARPER

Yes, you read that correctly... The KW Record, which has admittedly endorsed the Liberals on the federal level almost exclusively for the last 40 years, has officially endorsed Stephen Harper's Conservatives as the steady hand Canada needs in this current global uncertainty.

"Each voter will have to respond to this question as he or she sees fit. The way The Record's editorial board views the situation, there are only two viable options, one coming from Harper's Conservatives, the other from St├ęphane Dion's Liberals.

And when we weigh things as fairly and carefully as we can, we conclude that Harper and his party deserve another term in government."

And just so you know... this paper operates in Karen Redman's neck of the woods.

h/t to Joanne
Harper's plan offers us hope
October 09, 2008

So much has changed in the world, so much has become frightening and dangerous since Prime Minister Stephen Harper called a federal election one brief month ago.

What were, on that fine summer day, mere rumblings in American financial institutions have since erupted into a series of earthquakes that have devastated the world's largest economy and sent rolling around the planet shockwaves that could culminate in global recession, even worse. We are aptly in the season of fall.

Whatever agenda that Canada's political parties and their leaders hoped to impose upon the voting public, this historic crisis has swept those priorities aside and left a single daunting question confronting us all: Who should be entrusted with the fate of the nation as it is battered by the turbulence from abroad?

Each voter will have to respond to this question as he or she sees fit. The way The Record's editorial board views the situation, there are only two viable options, one coming from Harper's Conservatives, the other from St├ęphane Dion's Liberals.

And when we weigh things as fairly and carefully as we can, we conclude that Harper and his party deserve another term in government.

Let's be clear what's at stake. It is an understatement to call the situation grave. The International Monetary Fund warned yesterday that the world economy "is entering a major downturn in the face of the most dangerous financial shock . . . since the 1930s."

So far, and Harper is correct to point this out, Canada has escaped the worst of it. We are not in recession. There have been no collapses in our banks or lending institutions. There have been no bailouts. Instead, the Bank of Canada has already intervened to secure the liquidity of our banks and facilitate the flow of money. But we are not an island that can escape the storm. We are a trading nation peering out at thunderclouds and surging seas.

As the U.S. and other countries descend into recession, the demand for what we make and grow and take out of the ground will inevitably fall. Then we face losing jobs, businesses and factories. And then we will need not only tax dollars to help those in trouble but a leader with a workable plan of action for spending that money.

Unfortunately, it is at this precise moment that Dion and his Liberals are asking Canadians to take a leap of faith that could land them on their backsides in the dust. It is at this precise moment that Dion wants voters to endorse his Green Shift and the major change in Canada's system of taxation and redistributing wealth it would bring. Throughout most of its history, The Record has endorsed Liberals in federal elections. In fact in the past 40 years, there have been only two other occasions on which we did not. However, the Green Shift is a stumbling block we cannot clear.

An intelligent and honourable leader, Dion has assured us his carbon tax would be revenue neutral. Well, perhaps it would not provide Ottawa with more money. But that doesn't mean it is revenue neutral to all taxpayers. An explicit part of the plan is to redistribute taxes in a new way to give more to low income Canadians. Yet for one part of the population to get more, one has to give up more, a reality Dion avoids mentioning. It may be that taking more money from higher income earners and giving it to others is justifiable. But many working Canadians fear they will be left poorer by Dion's carbon tax. And his incessant tinkering with the cornerstone of his campaign, by promising special help to certain groups such as truckers, fishers and farmers, shows Dion is trying to allay those fears. For us, he has not succeeded.

Another Liberal, Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan voiced similar worries last week when he observed: "One of the things that I think would be a mistake right now is massive shifts in tax burden at a time when there's uncertainty." No wonder, then, that one of Dion's most celebrated teammates, Bob Rae, said two days ago that, if elected, a Liberal government just might delay that carbon tax. What a vote of nonconfidence Rae gave.

Yes, the environment is important. Yes, we need a plan to cut carbon emissions drastically. But it will be understandable if Canadians are even more concerned about their jobs, businesses and homes today than they are about carbon levels a quarter of a century or more from now, even if they know that problem, too, must be tackled.

In contrast to the Liberals, the Conservatives, for all their failings, offer a safer, more credible approach to the economy. Months ago, aware of the looming crisis in the American economy, the Conservatives took action. They cut taxes across the board, to corporations, yes, but to ordinary Canadians too. We believe those cuts have helped buoy the Canadian economy. And while Harper was late in releasing his platform, it appears to be a prudent plan, offering targeted support for specific sectors of the economy.

There is reassurance, too, in Harper's record over 2 1/2 years in power. He reached a welcome compromise with the Liberals so that Canadian troops can help bring aid and security to Afghanistan until 2011. Separatist sentiment in Quebec slumbers, thanks partly to Harper's efforts to reach out to that province.

Nor have we seen the so-called "hidden agenda'' of socially conservative initiatives. We see no indication Harper intends to resurrect national debates on abortion, the death penalty or same-sex marriage. And this only makes sense. Whatever Harper's personal views are on these subjects, he knows that pushing them onto the House of Commons agenda would be political suicide.

On balance, Harper has put Canada in a good, even enviable position to weather the coming economic storm. Proof of this came this week when the International Monetary Fund predicted that Canada will lead the Group of 7 industrial nations in growth next year, with our gross domestic product estimated to rise by 1.2 per cent.

And what of the other choices? Well, neither the New Democratic Party nor the Greens appears to us as a viable option for government in this election. NDP Leader Jack Layton has fought an energetic, passionate campaign for which he will likely be rewarded with more seats. However, his plan to pound corporations with higher taxes and interfere with our free trade agreements would be economically disastrous. As for Elizabeth May's Greens, as much as they belong in the political landscape, their call for new corporate taxes and distrust of free trade are not what Canada needs. The Greens deserve a seat or seats, not a government.

This, at least, is how this newspaper's editorial board sees things. We offer our views respectfully, in good faith and as Canadians who want the best for their country. We are aware that many readers equally patriotic and acting in as good faith will see things differently. We welcome such differences as an essential part of our democracy. In truth, our most fervent wish is that our readers will become politically engaged and that those who are eligible will vote.

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