Canadian Beacon Blog: Political Double Speak and the Throne Speech (Part 1)
By Konstantine Roccas, Staff Writer
This past week, the second session of theforty-first parliament was opened by the Throne Speech, which traditionally outlined the government’s objectives going forward. Having prorogued parliament in the midst of a senate scandal, Prime Minister Harper used the opportunity to focus his message on the ‘middle class’ (a fading notion in this day and age but that is for another piece,) where his government has been traditionally weak, while also paying lip service to the economy which has been a relative strong suit of his government.
It all sounded well and good on paper with media outlets covering some of his promises such as, ‘cheaper cell-phone and TV services, balanced budgets’ and what have you. Unfortunately for the Conservative government, I am always interested in the meaning behind grandiose proclamations so I read all 7500 words and did a translation of the political double-speak for the masses. This blog and the next will be dedicated to covering some of these proclamations and calling out the government on double standards and/or translating the fluff into actual English. So without further ado:
Original: “Today, as we contemplate our 150th anniversary, the eyes and ears and expectations of
Canadians turn toward this Parliament, in trust that those who stand here in their place will
Relentlessly advance and uphold ideas that are inclusive, honourable, selfless, smart and caring
at every turn without fail.”
Translation: We know trust in our government and Harper’s approval ratings have taken a dip and we also acknowledge that we got our hand caught in the cookie jar with the senate scandal, regardless since we were elected, not chosen as the senate was, we represent you and you should trust us unwaveringly.
Original: Our Government will enshrine in law its successful and prudent approach. Our Government will introduce balanced-budget legislation. It will require balanced budgets during normal economic times, and concrete timelines for returning to balance in the event of an economic crisis.
Fact Check: This would hold a lot more weight if the Harper Government hadn’t turned a 13 billion dollar surplus into a deficit before the recession even started in 2008. Currently we are sitting at an 18.7 billion dollar deficit. Also this one paragraph pretty much invalidates many of the promises that follow. Traditionally, when the budget needed to be trimmed social safety nets were the first to go. Do you honestly believe Harper would cut something like say the costly F-35 project?
Original: Our Government will review federal assets; when it is in the best interest of Canadians,
they will be sold.
Translation: If China offers us a decent price and we get some kickbacks, we will sell pretty much anything. This includes our jobs to temporary foreign workers.
Original: It will reform disability and sick-day entitlements and work with employees to get them back to work as soon as possible.
Translation: The key word here is entitlements; that term is generally used to imply that what you get isn’t deserved nor a right but rather something that you are lucky to have. While the above sounds caring and generous, what it really means is that they will probably look to limit sickness and disability benefits to force people to go back to work well before they are physically and mentally able to. Just like in good old America.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of this speech. In the next installment of Canadian Beacon, I will cover other excerpts from the throne speech. To be fair, I could go on for a good five instalments but two should suffice.