The similarities between the American Tea Party movement and the Conservative Canadian Government are frightening
I realize there is no official Canadian Tea Party, nor will there ever be. Canada was not born from throwing tea over the side of a ship in protest of being taxed by the British Parliament. However, no one can deny the similarities between the Tea Party of the United States and the Conservative Government of Canada.
Obviously certain comparisons can be made between two conservative groups, but I think most people would be surprised at how much common ground our Conservative Government shares with the right-wing extremist group down south.
Canada’s Tea Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently took a trip to the Middle East where he was given the opportunity to address the Israeli Knesset (parliament). Naturally he didn’t mention Israel’s stance on settlement expansion or criticize the Jewish State in anyway, instead he effectively called anyone who criticizes Israel an anti-Semite.
His speech fell in line with the extreme pro-Israel philosophy that we’ve come to expect from him. When it was over, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t the only one smiling. Sarah Palin took to her Facebook page and praised the Prime Minister’s unrelenting support of Israel. Not surprising as they are both Evangelical Christians.
Now, I haven’t cared about the opinions of the half-term governor in years, but what she said got me thinking about the other policies that Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party share with Palin and her Tea Baggers.
Things like oil. If I asked you which one of them once said “drill baby, drill,” you might have a hard time guessing. Under Harper’s Conservatives, Canada’s trade balance with oil and energy is near an all-time high, while the trade balance with all other goods has completely tanked.
You would also have a hard time finding a Tea Party member in the US that believes in climate change; most of them outright deny its existence. Stephen Harper and his members of parliament have never really denied climate change, but their policies indicate they do.
After pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol and obtaining a governing majority in 2011, Harper has done everything in his power to reverse environmental protections and hide climate science. Needless to say, our tea party darling is expanding fossil fuel development across the country.
Speaking of science, many Tea Party members refuse to believe in scientific facts such as evolution or the benefits of vaccinations. Well, the Tea Party Tories are trying to make science disappear altogether. Harper has cut science and research funds across the board. The cuts don’t just affect environmental research, but public health as well.
In the past five years the Harper government has dismissed more than 2,000 scientists, and hundreds of programs. World-renowned research facilities have also lost their funding. A couple weeks ago, scientists went public with concerns that irreplaceable science could be lost when Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries are closed. They plan to shut down seven of its 11 libraries by 2015.
Of course, you can’t really have a Tea Party conversation without mentioning taxes. I know low tax rates are part of a conservative’s ideology in general, not exclusive to Tea Party extremists. That being said, let’s compare them anyway.
Most Tea Partiers look at Ronald Reagan’s tax policies as the standard to which all conservatives must follow. He gave a 23% across-the-board cut of individual income tax rates. He then slashed the top income tax rate from 70% to 28%. As a result, he tripled the national debt.
Over the past eight years, most major categories of federal taxes have been severely cut by Stephen Harper. Including cutting corporate taxes in half, from 30% to 15% and lowering the government sales tax from 7% to 5%. As a result, the balanced budget the Liberals handed to him is nowhere to be seen.
By now you might be wondering why Tea Party spokesman and soon to be ex-Canadian Ted Cruz bothered to pursue his political career in the United States. You would think he’d fit in quite nicely with the “Tea Part of the North”
The truth is, Cruz would not be welcomed in Harper’s Conservative Party because he likes to speak, not necessarily with his brain, but he likes to speak. Harper doesn’t like people who speak.
Believe it or not, there are more extreme elements in the Conservative Party of Canada. Elements that would rival any Tea Party politician. You’ll just never hear them. If Harper let his MP’s speak freely about abortion, same sex marriage, Medicare or legalizing marijuana, it would be political suicide in this country. One of his greatest achievements as Prime Minister is keeping his people quiet.
There is one big difference between the “Canadian Tea Party” and the real thing down in the United States. The American Tea Party controls part of the American House of Representatives, but the Canadian Tea Party is running my country.