Monday, September 24, 2007

SPP : Tom Flanagan vs Naomi Klein

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 Gordon 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 too 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.
All the following are direct quotes from the first five pages :

Mandate for Leadership for the New Prime Minister
Bank of Canada : Create a currency union modeled after the European Monetary Union through agreement with the United States and Mexico.
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
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.
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.
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.

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's 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 the infamous jelly beans.
Cross-posted at Creekside

No comments: