Stephen Harper and the real world

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What is with the man?? So, if your children are in organised sports then he is offering a tax break. But not if they are in any OTHER extra curricular program, whatever it may be. How about the arts? Music lessons aren’t cheap. And what if my children want to be in yoga classes? I guess those don’t count!

I have nothing at all against organised sports for children (or adults). I think it’s a great idea. However, it isn’t the only area that parents have their children involved in. And it also discriminates against other active programs. Organised sport activities are NOT the only valid, or expensive programs out there.

And don’t even get me started on his childcare money incentive. I don’t know who he is trying to fool, but it certainly is not me. I hope it isn’t many others either. I am very afraid if this man becomes Prime Minister. Very afraid. He seems to live in a dream world and certainly not in Canada.

22 thoughts on “Stephen Harper and the real world

  1. I’d just prefer it if I could keep my money, rather than be disappointed when it doesn’t come back to me through the government.

    As far as being afraid of him becoming PM, I can’t say I’m really happy about any of the big three getting into office.

    I guess it’s the Rhino party for me…again.

  2. well that tax break will do wonders for Curt and Lareta for Britnee who LOVED to play sports but they can’t sfford to put her in it.. on the other hand they have 1 in band which is costly for equipment, and another one that loves art and is always on one project or another and another one who doesn’t like anything like that. He just likes to be with mom. So what do they do? Allow one child freedom to be in organized sports but not the others? Oh yeah.. they will be running to the polls to vote him for sure :)

  3. Mary, your point about a life other than sports is correct.
    Remember, though, that it is offered as a tax credit, not a deduction, and therefore really has limited benefit. It does, however, put the differences between the Liberals and Conservatives in perspective.
    I’m not sure why you are so violently opposed to Harper. What is wrong with giving money back to the parents of all children, as opposed to giving it to bureaucrats to dole out to day care centres that would benefit only working mothers, as the Liberal policy would have it.
    I’m confused why you are so scared of a man who really understands economics and government, and is forced to come out with policies that even he doesn’t like, because we live in a country that is so socialistic that common sense ideas won’t fly.

    As for Rick’s idea that it would be better not to be taxed to death and allowed to keep our money . . . bang on.
    But that is against Liberal party philosophy. Stephen Harper would be right on side with Rick and me on that one. . . but then that would make him dangerous – right.

  4. This type of biased policy-making is not new, though.

    Shall we look at the discrimination in regard to work-at-home vs. two career families?

    I like the idea of voting Green, if for no other reason than when I tell people at work they assume I’m some sort of hippy love-child pot smoking Suzuki worshipper.

    I’ve been called worse.

  5. Mary,

    Don’t worry — Ontario will never go Conservative with Harper at the helm. Like it or not, right now the results kind of hinge on its vote. And for the record … I’m voting Green :)

  6. Larry

    I am not only against Harper. I think that the government as a whole has difficulty understanding the needs of Canadians. I do know how the deduction works, but it is the inequality of it that bothers me. I agree with one point that Harper makes, and that is that parents know what is best for their children. I don’t agree with the Liberal stance on these issues either. There needs to be a proper middle ground. The Liberals ignore the two-parent, stay at home parent families, and the conservatives ignore the working families. I come from the SAHM perspective on a personal level, however, I have friends and acquaintances who come from the working perspective, out of necessity, and not because they want it to be this way. For example, this new childcare money payout doesn’t address the very real need for proper daycare. I personally don’t use it, don’t want it, don’t need it (daycare). However, I am not the majority, and I see people, for example, in my sister’s position, who, once her maternity leave is up, needs to work. But 1200$ a year per child (they have two) will barely address daycare costs and Stephen Harper wants to cut daycare subsidies and spaces. His 1200$ a year will most definately not make up for that. For me, the 1200$ is fine. The only childcare I need is a babysitter periodically. So maybe Kim and I could go on more dates. But the money doesn’t address the real needs. All these tax incentives are smoke screens. I am against Stephen Harper, but he isn’t the only one I have serious issues with. However, he is the one who is being so vocal about “helping parents out”. Even his 500$ tax exemption does little good, since the people who would actually pay out, initially, for these sports programs, can already afford it. Sure the 500$ will help out, most definitely. But it won’t help the lower income who can’t afford it in the first place. And that includes the so called middle class (as was addressed in a previous post). He seems out of touch…I consider us on the verge of becoming middle class and would be ecstatic to make as much money as he seems to think most Canadians make (70-90 thou a year). This 500$ deduction won’t amount for much, but those who see any tidbit of money as a benefit…well, they might be fooled. I hope most aren’t though.

    Mum, I know, I see this as the inequality. The jocks get all the “benefit”, such as it is, and everyone else gets nothing.

    Rick, yes I know, this biased based policy making is definitely old hat. I just wish the powers that be would get a clue and stop being such idiots. Every single one of them.

  7. Mary,

    You must be aware that the subsidy to working parents is $175/week for children under school age and $100/week for those of school age. Please note – stay at home mothers do not get this subsidy, yet their husbands must pay for it. Is that your idea of fairness.
    What Harper is doing is adding $100/mo. to all families, not just those where both parents work. What is so terrible about that. The Liberals would rather take $100 from you.

    What I don’t understand is the vitriol you use in attacking Harper, yet I don’t recall peep one out of anyone re: the billions of dollars the Liberals have wasted, or given to their cronies.
    You have never attacked Martin or Chretien, yet you do not hesitate to attack Harper, and call him out of touch, when he really makes a common sense suggestion that would never cross Liberal lips. You know the Liberal response to his suggestion. That should tell you buckets about them.
    I believe emotional response, without understanding the issues, are what drives too many Canadians to vote in an illogical manner.
    Canadians get what they deserve because they allow the press to drive the issues.
    I have 6 children, 3 of whom are married with children. I far prefer what Harper offers to the money grabbing corruption that the Liberals offer. As for any other party, they are simply off the chart.
    If you prefer what the Liberals offer to be sound economics then be prepared for the consequences. Middle class will be out of reach.

  8. Larry,

    Where is the common sense in giving what amounts to four dollars per day to families to spend on child care? Where is the common sense in subsiding the costs of sports programmes, but not the cost of any of the arts programmes? Where is the common sense he suggesting that 90,000$ is middle income?

    I see nothing unique coming out of Stephen Harper’s mouth recently as common sense.

  9. Well, actually I HAVE attacked Martin and Chretien, though not here.

    I don’t prefer what the Liberals offer, I said that already. I have to vote according to my conscience and my conscience tells me that neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals will benefit my family. What Stephen Harper is offering is nothing compared to what is needed. What Paul Martin is offering is nothing compared to what is needed. I am aware that one or the other of them will become Prime Minister. But I cannot support either of them. If I could be assured the NDP would be financially stable, I would vote for them, but being a British Columbian, I am well aware that is unlikely to happen. So I am left with other parties that I know will have little chance of getting in, but if they get ONE seat, it might be beneficial. My response may seem emotional, but in reality it is not. It is from experience. Mulroney promised us the Free Trade would benefit Canada. I lost my faith in the conservatives then, and have yet to regain it. I don’t have faith in the liberals either. Who do I need to have faith in? In the meantime I have to go for the lesser evil, and right now CAP or Green Party seem to be the lesser evils.

  10. Kim,

    The problem is that we put the Conservatives in a box. If they announced that taxes would immediately be reduced to zero, and a value added tax on purchases would be immediately implemented, say at 18%, what do you think tyhe reaction be. They have to play to the Eastern press, never mind the West.
    The current announcements are policy statements to appease socialists in Canada who have come to rely on the government for their sustenance.
    We would do better to read all their policy statements, how family oriented they are; understand the realities of the time we live in, and not condemn them for what they say in an election.
    I’m disappointed when I hear people condemn Harper without understanding who, and what, he is about.
    There is nothing that you or I treasure that is not part and parcel of what Stephen Harper is about. He just can’t elucidate the policies while in opposition, because he would be ridiculed in the press.
    I just can’t believe that one would consider it fashionable to rail against someone like Stephen Harper, when everything he stands for is in stark contrast to what the Liberals do.
    If you want to be real about it, consider that all the Prime Ministers from Quebec, Liberal or Conservative, have worked for, and/or are related to Paul Desmarais, who is a political force in Canada and internationally. He is an avid supporter of Maurice Strong, who literally believes he is god.
    I resigned from the Conservatives in 1984 when Mulroney became leader. I mocked Joe Clark, whom I considered to be a wimp, and was very unpopular for doing so.
    At the same time I worked hard to assist a group I was vice president of, to develop a model constitution, with principles for a free society at the time that Trudeau was patriating the BNA Act and calling it a constitution.
    The Reform party liked it and adopted a number of our suggestions. I could not support Preston Manning though, and did not join the party.
    I helped run a national petition to get the Governor General to dissolve Parliament after the 1981 budget, and we would have succeeded had it not been for Colin Brown and his National Citizens Coalition.
    I won’t go into details, but my point is this: we in Canada get our politics all screwed up by not understanding the principles of good government, and ridiculing those that do.
    Stephen Harper became the head of the National Citizens Coalition after Colin Brown. I never talked to Colin Brown again after what he did, but Stephen Harper I trust.
    He is sound economically and politically. I understand where he wants to go, and if we allow him to, where we want to go as well.
    We don’t disagree on direction, just how to get there.

  11. But Larry, what is family oriented? The two parent home? Yes, for many of us, that is ideal. But not everyone has this. I am a stay at home mother. I have a husband, I have three children. I am family oriented. But what about those who are NOT in that particular situation? Those who are forced, for whatever reason to have a two income home. Or those single parents who need to work 2-3 jobs in order to provide the base necessities for their children.

    I am sorry you don’t like the fact I take issue with Stephen Harper. But I have a right to not trust him, just as you have a right TO trust him. I already said I am not voting Liberal. I don’t trust them either. I don’t think we have many valid choices. I believe strongly in being Canadian. What I want is that ALL Canadians get heard. But unfortunately there are many who suffer because they are being ignored. I am sorry you see me as being “vitriolic”. What I am is frustrated. I don’t think only one sector has the right to be heard. Everyone needs to be heard. I know I get ignored by the government for being a sahm. That has always bothered me. But at the same time, I don’t want those who don’t have this luxury to be shuffled off into the corner. Why can’t there be a happy medium?

    Besides that, I posted about Stephen Harper because his tax incentives were beginning to get to me. When I saw the article about his 500$ tax exemption, it just seemed to push me over the edge. My daughter is in ballet, but I won’t get any benefit for her. However, if she were to be in soccer I would. Where’s the equality? My children are in violin lessons. Thank goodness we are able to have a trade worked out or we could not afford lessons at 160$ a month for the both of them. That works out to nearly 2000$ a year. And that’s not counting the 50$ a month for the violin rental which works out to another 600$ a year. Then we have books and CDs, etc. Not cheap. But they both wanted to play the violin and are having lots of fun learning it. But because this isn’t organised sports it doesn’t get a nod from the government.

    Anyway, if I had my druthers, I wouldn’t take a penny from the government. It goes against the grain.

  12. Larry

    I also want to point out that I find it a bit disturbing that, because I am disagreeing with your hero, you have decided I am uniformed and emotional. This isn’t the case. I don’t know every nitpicking little issue, but I have seen enough, and experienced enough that I believe I can voice an opinion without being labeled as such. One thing I do not do is vote based on what other people say is best. I research the best I can and follow what my conscience tells me I must. Stephen Harper is a politician. His backpedaling on issues such as the Iraq war send alarm bells ringing in my mind. He is just like the rest of them. His promises, well, we’ll see. I’ll believe it when I see it. They all speak well while campaigning. Reality comes after the elections are over and we see what the promises consist of. Harper hasn’t had a chance to make his promises sure. If he gets the chance this time around, we will see what comes out in the wash.

  13. Mary,

    You sound very Canadian, which may not be all bad.

    There is, however, something to consider. I grew up in a single parent family at a time when it was very unfashionable to do so. I was the oldest of 5 children. I know what it’s like to want to take piano lessons and not be able to. I know what it’s like to want to play hockey with your buddies, but you can’t afford the skates or the stick.
    Life is cruel at times, but that doesn’t mean its bad. What is wrong with growing up in a family where hardships exist? What’s wrong with knowing your kids can’t do some things that other kids do?
    Why does everything have to be near perfect for everyone?

    There is a cost to everything. Feeling bad because others can’t do what they (or we) think they have a right to do may cause us to support issues that may not be in their, or our, best interests.
    What is wrong with struggle? What is wrong with not having enough?

    To satisfy everyone equally could very well destroy creativity. I know from my experience and the experiences of my brothers and sisters.

    We knew poverty. We also knew how to become creative in other areas that allowed us to develop in ways that we never could have if everyone had been looking out for our welfare. In fact, no one cared, and as I look back I see areas where we have developed that would not have been possible under any other circumstances.

    I tremble to think of the development that won’t take place in peoples lives because the government is always coming to the rescue.
    There is a cost to rescue. One is that people don’t have to worry about the consequences of their choices. Another is that innocent people have to pay for their mistakes. Think about all the people in your situation who can’t afford to send their kids to ballet or violin lessons because the amount of after tax income they have is insufficient because they have to help pay for programs that don’t work, for people who don’t care, and gov’t. bureaucracies that fight to stay in power even though their services are no longer required.
    The fact that you are attacking Harper is a clear indication that you are paying attention to the information the press is handing out and not to the Conservative agenda.

    At the same time did you feel disgusted with Martin when he condemned the U.S. for not signing on to Kyoto, in spite of the fact that the U.S. has dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while Canada has had a substantial increase in emissions in spite of signing on to Kyoto. The mere fact that the Liberals signed on to Kyoto means that your taxes are going to go up because it will cost us billions of dollars
    in penalties, or alternatively credits we will have to purchase.
    You criticized Harper for his meagre offering, but you allowed Martin to get away with spending billions of our hard earned money.
    That is why I complained about your complaint. It is misplaced, and until we Canadians come to grips with reality things will never change.
    The Liberals announced $22 billion dollars in new spending the week before they were defeated in the House. Do I hear any complaints about that? No!

    But d… Harper for his supercilious programs.

    The Liberals are corrupt. You can’t taint the Conservatives with the same brush because you don’t like what you hear on the news. Read their policy manual.
    Their definition of family is the same as yours. They recognize tha value of every form of family. The Liberals don’t.
    They have actively worked to destroy the concept of family that we cherish.

    I apologize for being so direct, but I guess I’m hoping that this message gets out to all Canadians. We do not understand the issues. We pretend to but we never get down into the mud and mire to find out what is really going on. The evening news is usually our best source of information and that is a real shame.
    Please don’t tell me I’m wrong because your statement about being fed up hearing about his petty programs proved the point.

    Thanks for giving me a chance to vent.

  14. Larry

    I am not saying you are wrong, I am just pointing out my different view.

    Also, I agree with you that the governemnet shouldn’t be handing out money and taking care of everything. It’s just how they are going about it irritates me.

    Oh I agree the Liberals are corrupt. But history has shown they all are. Every single one of them.

    Your experiences aren’t bad, of course not. I grew up in on the other side of the coin, or rather, maybe not entirely. My parents remained married, we had some money for things for a period of time and then lost it all, so yep no money (7 kids) and so I know, to a degree where you are coming from. I would rather the government didn’t give any money for anything, but the fact they are singling out sports programs just adds to my discontent is all.

  15. Mary, Larry I think this debate would take on a weightier stature if it really mattered.

    I mean we live in southern Alberta.
    If I, my family and all my friends decided to vote for any other party than the Conservatives, it still wouldn’t begin to make a dent in the Conservatives getting in.

    As it stands now, this is all just an academic debate.

    What is not academic is using my vote to get a few more bucks for a party which shares some of my values (not all) but who I believe should be heard from. That’s why I’ll be voting Green.

  16. i know rick. well let me tell you i am probably voting green too. i would be happy if they got one seat. well a few more. we just need more options in government.

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