Monday, September 24, 2007

SPP : Naomi Klein vs Tom Flanagan

Tom Flanagan, US poli-sci prof at the University of Calgary; Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute; and all-round 'eminence grease' to Stephen Harper, this Tom Flanagan, writes in Saturday's G&M : "In times of perceived crisis, a conservative party can win by positioning itself further to the right, as shown by the victories of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Ralph Klein, Mike Harris, and Goerdon Campbell."

G&M, Saturday Sept 8 :
 "In Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine : The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, she argues that an idea that began with Chicago School economist Milton Friedman has determined much of the course of recent history – that a time of crisis, whether a war or a hurricane, offers a strategic opportunity to overwrite the resulting “blank slate” with market privatization and corporatism."
She also argues that such a crisis can be a man-made destabilization of public infrastructure.

Flanagan also has a book out : Harper's Team : Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power.
I'm guessing it isn't going to be "behind the scenes" enough for us though, so I thought we'd have a look at a 2003 policy paper from the Fraser Institute, the think tank where Flanagan is a Senior Fellow.

Mandate for Leadership for the New Prime Minister
  • Bank of Canada : Create a new currency—the amero—and a North American Central Bank for Canada,Mexico and the United States.
  • Convert existing dollars into ameros. 
  • Retain Canadian national symbols on notes and coins.
  • Exchange Rates : Remove the Bank of Canada’s power to set interest rates and leave as its main responsibility the convertibility of Canadian into US dollars at par.
  • Environment : Withdraw from Kyoto protocol
  • Allow export of water for use in non-irrigation projects.
  • Labour : Increase flexibility in labour market by, for example, introducing worker choice legislation for those covered by federal labour laws.
  • Int Trade & Foreign Aid : Remove Canadian regulations that restrict free trade (unilaterally if necessary), such as the Wheat Board.
  • Remove Canadian restrictions on foreign ownership of banks and other financial institutions; airlines and railroads; newspapers and electronic media.
  • Allow individuals and firms to sue provinces for damages if trade barriers remain in place.
  • Health : Repeal or change the Canada Health Act to remove limits on provincial autonomy over health care, as recognized by the constitution.
  • Allow competition in health-care delivery, including, private insurance, for-profit and non-profit hospitals, and private surgery and other treatment facilities.
  • Defence : Work for inter-operability with NATO and US for air, naval and ground forces.
  • Introduce biometric screening of travelers.  Share air passenger information with the United States.
  • Judiciary : Abolish the Court Challenges Program to discourage special interest groups from bypassing the political process to obtain special privileges.
  • Aboriginal Policies : Restructure aboriginal policy to empower the individual, not band elites.
  • Create a new overseas intelligence service to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts.
  • Abolish all policies related to “industrial strategy,” particularly regional economic development agencies.  In Atlantic Canada, the money saved could be used to virtually eliminate corporate taxes.
And skipping down a bit :
"When Canada did not agree to take part in the US ballistic missile defence (BMD) program, the US worked around it, locating the necessary radars in Alaska and Greenland. Space-based assets have made Canada’s geographic position less important than that of Poland or Rumania. 
All of these issues (and there are many others) must be addressed in the very near future. They all point in the same direction: Canada can preserve its sovereignty and its prosperity only by a closer relationship, particularly in military and security policy, with the United States."
Gosh, those all seem so familiar to us now, don't they?
From Flanagan and the Fraser Institute' lips to Harper's ear.
And he who has the ear of the king is more important than the king, yadda, yadda.

Actually the above disaster capitalism wish list is so complete a description of Harper's SPP policies, I'm somewhat disappointed to find no mention in it anywhere of his infamous jelly beans.

Link fixed : Mandate for Leadership for the New Prime Minister


West End Bob said...

I'm somewhat disappointed to find no mention in it anywhere of his infamous jelly beans.

Surely he will include it in the next installment tentatively based on the disparity between candy bars with nuts vs. those without . . . .

chris said...

"eminence grease"
You win, Alison! There's tea all over the place here. Outstanding!

thwap said...

Excellent work! Yours is one of the Canadian blogs that rivals the penetrating analysis of the best US political blogs.

Our elites are just as scuzzy, but there aren't enough of us keeping tabs on 'em and analyzingthem.

Anonymous said...

way to go, alison. i mean, was harper trying to sound like margaret trudeau 'whaddya mean, jelly bean'? he's gotten far too close to bush....oh wait, that's how sovereignty is maintained, right?

well, i just can't wait to get to hawaii and see what it means for me this year. should i arrive and waive a yankee/canuk/mexican flag? the amount of guys named jaun is already getting overwhelming there....they cut costs in the labour market over half. but then, we have 'refugees' trying to come here now and a country who's promoting unskilled, non english speaking grunts. the safety issues are high, i'm told by people who work construction.

flanagan, don't bother with any more books!!! naomi, sock it to 'em.

Red Tory said...

Alison -- Completely off topic, but there was a rude remark made about you at my place the other day and I allowed it to stand (first, because I hadn’t read it, then ignored it, then decided to allow it to remain even though it was completely vile). If you want me to remove it I will certainly do that most happily (it was suggested that I do so as a courtesy), but actually it served as a promotion for your site, so not such a bad thing in a perverse kind of way. Case in point... ME! I hadn’t read your blog before, but will be adding you to my blogroll when my infernal computer is fixed. Anyway, I just wanted to touch base, say “Hi” and let you know that you’ve got some nasty right-wingnut out there trash talking about you.

Cheers, best regards and keep up the great work.

Alison said...

WEB : Warning : This product may contain some of the following - peanuts, wingnuts, conspiracy nuts...

Chris : ;-) I'm kinda surprised no one else has already said it.

Thwap : Well. I'm going to treasure that compliment for a good long time I can tell you. Very kind of you.
I know you know what it's like - you spend all night researching something, you can't write the friggin post, and then someone says something really nice.

Goodlord, Scout, is it that time of year again already? And yes, Mags, would say that.
Re: immigrant influx - remember it's more people for your side, honey ;-)

Thanks for the heads-up and the link, RT, great to see you here. But you needn't go deleting any comments over there on my behalf - really I couldn't give a toss.

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