Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dangerous?

I think it is time we all recognized how dangerous it would be for Stephane Dion to become Prime Minister. I have my disagreements with liberal philosophy, and I would say some aspects of their belief system are dangerous, but all this is eclipsed by potential danger to our country should Stephane Dion ever become PM. To put it simply, Dion has one focus and that is global warming.

His monomania has serious implications for other aspects of sound environmental policy. Instead of a balanced approach that includes clean air (as the Conservatives has proposed) Dion is only concerned about global warming. Indeed it seems that in some circles, if you favour a balanced approach to environmental issues it is evidence that you don't care about the One Issues Above All Issues; global warming!

But the danger goes further. To make good on his singular focus, Dion seems all too willing to ignore the potential economic cost. The fact is that a strong economy gives us the tools we need to address environmental issues including global warming. Take away the strength of the economy and we take away the best tool we have for fixing the environment! After all, starving people don't have the luxury of worrying about the environment.

May I also point out the social implications of "Kyoto at any cost" economic disruption. A strong economy allows us to fund a wide variety of social programs. These programs are not only a sacred trust, but also make for social stability. Take away the strong economy and we will need to slash social programs, which will lead to social chaos.

Finally I must point out the danger of having a potential Prime Minister who is willing to ignore and reject any scientific studies he doesn't like. A number of real scientists have questioned whether global warming is a man-made phenomenon, but for their heresy they have been suppressed by the true believers in global warming. Can we afford to have a Prime Minister who will ignore scientific evidence because it disagrees with his main mission?

I tend to think Stephane Dion is a nice man. I'm sure he would make a nice neighbour. I'd say his heart is in the right place. But his naive approach and singular focus makes him a dangerous choice for Prime Minister. At this critical time we need a clear thinker. We need a Prime Minister with a balanced and well thought out approach. Stephen Harper has quickly proven himself to be one of the smartest men to occupy 24 Sussex Drive. While the left may mindlessly label Harper as being dangerous (to their narrow agenda), Canada cannot afford to have a man as dangerous as Stephane Dion leading us.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shaun,
Might I start off by saying how refreshing it is to read your blog. Many righties tend to put forward asinine arguments attacking lefties. Yours was not of that nature. I appreciate your arguments and want to comment on two things: (i) Stephane Dion as a leader, and (ii) Stephen Harper as a leader.

Stephane Dion, as you mentioned, is a bit myopic in viewing climate change as his goal should he be elected to office. But, what other environmental issue matches climate change in terms of scale and size? You can view climate change as one of the baseline issues threatening the future of our civilization. The fact that Stephane Dion has chosen this issue as his quest should at best be the sign of a strong leader. How many PM's actually address one large issue in its entirety. You also know the Liberal party will not allow Stephane Dion to let their other social issues fall by the way-side. Education, health care, transportation and economy growth will all be part of a Liberal platform that has served us well throughout much of the 90's. This brings me to Harper.
Stephen Harper has not only shown himself to be a flip-flopper but he has also shown himself to be prone to cheap political tactics as well as lack of long-term vision. There are fiscal tools that will enable us to shift our economy to one that is green without risking huge disruptions in economic growth. Stephen Harper, being an economist, should know this. But, Stephen Harper hails from the oil-capital of North America where oil money can buy votes and buy power. Dealing with environmental issues he has by and large let the single biggest culprit off the hook. The oil developments in Alberta account for nearly 35% of Canada's carbon emissions and his new Clean Air plan and his Climate Change plan have all but exempt these firms. This will hurt out country in the long-run but buy Harper more time in office in the short-term.

Which of these two are leaders? The one who goes with the tide or the one who is standing up for what he beleives in?

Look forward to your comments.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

First of all, thanks for your comment. It is appreciated.

I agree that "many righties tend to put forward asinine arguments attacking lefties". But I also believe many lefties are living in a fantasy world completely detached from the realities of economics, business or human nature. This is because there are individuals in every part of the political spectrum who are mindless partisans. For my part, I am someone who honestly tries to think through the issues, and I trust you are as well.

As for Stephane Dion, I don't think we can confuse his monomania with real leadership. Real leadership sets a vision, inspires hope, develops a workable plan, builds consensus, overcomes obstacles, and executes on that plan. Yes, Dion has presented a vision. But it is a singular vision focused solely on global warming, and he is failing to deliver on any of the other aspects of leadership. As such I stand by the assertion that Dion is not a leader.

But again I must return to my original statement; to have Stephane Dion as Prime Minister would be dangerous for the country. To make yourself a single issue candidate when it is not at all certain that global warming is a man-made phenomenon, is foolish. But to ignore everything else a PM must concern himself with in order to devote the resources of the nation to that single issue is dangerous. I personally believe that even if we don't know at this point whether global warming is a man-made phenomenon, we should still begin to address the issue. But again, I also want clean air, and clean water, and strong social programs and a dozen other imperatives. If elected PM, I have no doubt Dion will try to avoid economic collapse, but his drive to deliver on this one issue of global warming will take precedence. And that's dangerous.

My point that Dion is naive is certainly backed up by Eddie Goldenberg's recent book, "The Way it Works." While Goldenberg has many complementary things to say about Dion (and about George Bush for that matter), it is clear that Dion is naive.

Now contrast Dion with Harper. We all thought Harper would be a wooden conservative ideolog. But he has turned out to be a good leader. He presented a 5 point vision and executed on it in the context of a Minority government.

So is Harper perfect? Far from it. After delivering on his initial 5 point vision, he's allowed his message to be dictated by the Opposition on global warming and Afghanistan. And I felt his budget was spread far too thin rather than delivering a really Conservative budget. But even there it can be argued that he was building consensus within the context of a Minority government.

I don't agree with the assessment that Harper really is a flip-flopper, but even if he was it would not mean that he is dangerous in the sense that Stephane Dion is dangerous. The left has portrayed Harper as scary right from day one. but the reality is that Harper is providing strong and balanced leadership, while a government led by Stephane Dion would be dangerous.

9:00 PM  

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