Since last June, the Liberals have been lamenting about the penal pork barrelling of the minority Conservative Government of Canada (read 22 June 2010 press release). By the time the summer and Ignatieff's bus tour-de-force across the country was coming to a close, the Liberal leader proclaimed that his party was opposed to Harper's plans for "prisons and planes", favouring instead government support for "child care, retirement security, post-secondary education..., economic security and defence of our public health care system" (read 1 September 2010 article by CBC News).
While some Canadians may have been encouraged by the Liberal rhetoric against a prison plan that will likely prove itself to be costly to taxpayers, not lead to the prevention of the complex harms and conflicts in our communities that we call 'crime' in the long-term, or meet the complex needs of the victimized and criminalized, they will likely not be happy to hear that under a Liberal government their hard earned tax dollars will fund "public space that can serve the cultural and economic interests of a whole region" such as a new sports arena in Québec City (read CTV News article).
With this pronouncement, it appears as though the two main competitors in the looming federal election have both decided to pay lip service to the need to trim the deficit and debt, while also peddling their own brands of pork they've stuffed up their noses and infused with a gravy so thick that they cannot smell their own warped priorities.
In the context of a fiscal crisis where Canadians are looking for leadership and for the priorities traditionally met by governments to be addressed, Harper and Ignatieff may portray themselves as having competing visions for the future of Canada, but all I see is an empty cupboard that I'll still be paying for because these two financial wizards are more interested in convincing voters that they can have it all instead of making the choices needed to ensure younger generations will receive value, or anything at all, for what they've paid for.
Time will only tell if the NDP offers their competing brand of electoral pork. Should this happen, future generations of Canadians can look forward to their own version of the Three Little Pigs to call their own. Unfortunately for them, in this tale they will have nothing more than a house made of borrowed money to protect them from the big bad wolf who will leave them with nothing - not even the hair on their chiny chin chins.