Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The lesser of three evils.

The differences between the three parties are clear, but too often ignored by the media. How we vote is going to affect us for a long time. No matter how one views the Harper government, there is a very easy decision to make on October 19th.

On the economy, Harper has been able to keep Canada in good shape, despite the small hiccup caused by the fall in oil prices. The short-lived recession is already in recovery; Canada has a surplus. The Liberals want to create budget deficits and tax small businesses under the guise of investments thus increasing spending by $15B and taxes by $5B. The NDP plans to increase spending by $10B and taxes by$10 annually. Both parties will also revise the tax credits implemented by the Conservatives, including reduction of the TFSA annual contribution by the NDP and revision of all Child Care benefits by the Liberals. Not much difference, but same agenda – tax and spend.

While the refugee crisis is impacting Europe, the NDP and Liberals are planning to increase the number of refugees that Canada may accept in the future. They ignore the fact that we are in a state of war with terrorists. Trudeau believes that terrorists should be treated the same way as ordinary criminals and that they should keep their Canadian citizenship: so does Mulcair. Both of them do not understand the problems that Obama has created and would rather pass the responsibility of foreign policy to the United Nations rather than the duly elected government of Canada. The former ‘honest broker’ Canadian position is no longer viable since there is nobody to broker with in a war conducted by terrorists rather than an identifiable nation.

While these two issues are at the top of the electorate’s mind, in a strategy to divert the attention from their failed proposed policies the Liberals and NDP have tried to make wedge issues as part of the debates. The debate about the Niqab is a red-herring; I would listen to Malala, the Nobel Prize winner who rejects its use, rather than listen to Trudeau.
As for the climate change debate, The Government of Canada has proposed a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The NDP’s  proposal to impose a cap-and-trade policy will do nothing to cut emissions; China will continue to spew CO2 in the atmosphere, and it will only be a tax by another name, as all related costs will go up.

Whether you like or dislike Harper because he seems to be too ‘wooden’ in appearance or as the media would have you believe too controlling; the alternative is less appealing. Do you want a leader with ‘nice hair’ and a vacuous approach to foreign policy? Or a closet communist who wants to take us back to the days of Bob Rea’s economic management?
A minority government is not the answer either. Our economy, security and values are at stake. Forget strategic voting, just look at Alberta.
 Take a deep breath, pinch your nose and vote for the status quo. The alternative is too scary.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The New Crisis: Refugees, Migrants or Invasion?

Similar to the picture of the Vietnamese girl burned by napalm, the picture of the drowned three year old Syrian has brought to light the plight of thousands of refugees. However there stops the similarity. Compassion is a great human trait, but before we jump to conclusions many future consequences should not be ignored.

Amidst the call for accepting refugees from all quarters, there seems to be a complete ignorance or refusal to look at the root of the current problem. The United Nations and other organizations usually sit in their ivory towers and proclaim new solutions to problems very often created by their philosophies and policies. In the current situation they ignore the difference between refugees and migrants.

Where are the refugees from? Mainly from war torn Syria and other Middle East countries ravaged by internal conflict and terrorists run amok. Syrians have been displaced by their own leader and now are also under attack from ISIL. Afghans pushed from their country join Syrian refugees in Turkey and then move to Greece and other European countries in search of refuge.

Further west we have two waves of migrants. The first are from Africa, displaced by famine and continuous economic and war torn strife they make their way to Spain via Morocco. The second wave is from war torn Libya who battle dangerous waters to go to Italy. Most of these migrants pay enormous sums to callous operatives who on many occasions dump them in the Mediterranean without any water or food to be rescued by European authorities, who take responsibility for their rescue.

While much of this crisis is due to economic strife, the major problem rest with Western countries that have been unable to stop the rise of despots and terrorism. In my view the greatest culprit is Obama who in Syria set a ‘red line’ which turned pink and subsequently disappeared. His foreign policies around the world have been an abject failure His latest deal with Iran is going to make Iran a nuclear power that supports the dictator Assad in Syria. His refusal to recognize the true ideology of terrorists is putting many non-Muslims in danger all over the world.
European countries have fared no better. In their search for economic growth they have refused to face the terrorism threat both internally and externally. Their continued policies based on political correctness are causing many problems that will haunt them in the near future.
Germany, Austria and Italy bound by a guilt complex stemming from their behaviour in the Second World War are accepting this crisis without long term thinking. It is very noble and compassionate to accept and help refugees. However in a weak economy when there are very few jobs created, the citizens of these countries cannot find jobs and yet these countries will accept hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees, not over a number of years but immediately.

The European Union’s migration policies which allows for freedom of movement will further acerbate the crisis. Smaller nations and economically stable England will be put under pressure to accept refugees who have been allowed on European soil. I hope I am wrong, because I can foresee a backlash of enormous proportion fuelled by nationalism and perhaps the rise of another form of Nazism.

As for Canada, polls show that a majority want the Harper government to take more refugees. Those who support the policy cite the compassionate response of the European countries. Too often in a political charged environment, the media ignores to explain the facts. Canada has already promised to take refugees, but the government wants to ensure that they are legitimate. While the Western countries are doing their utmost to help, rich Middle East countries have done very little to help their own.
As for trying to compare this crisis with the migration of Vietnamese to Canada we should recognize the different circumstances. The South Vietnamese were our allies and fought on our side. Agree or disagree with the purposes of the war, those who fought on our side could not be left behind. In the long run many of these refugees have made enormous contributions to the country.
 On the other hand many of the current refugees and migrants in the current crisis come from countries that culturally have supported the extinction of Israel and the collapse of Western culture. Caution is warranted as we may be accepting potential terrorists in our midst. If they are not, they may well become home grown terrorists when the economy cannot support them and they cannot find the riches that they thought would be available to them in the West.
Compassion is great and noble. We should help those in need. However we need others to help and cannot take the burden upon ourselves for political reasons and ignore the consequences that may arise in the future. This new crisis demands well thought out solutions because migrants are not the same as refugees. Or could we be flirting with an invasion?