Democracy Hits an All Time Low - Canada is living with a Dictator and his name is Stephen Harper, our current Prime Minister. If this sounds outlandish then perhaps you are a conservative or you don’t believe in the obvious set of circumstances surrounding the statement.
Normally I don’t go bounding off into space with silly articles, but yet, when one begins to add up all the tiny pictures of Harper’s coup d’etat, and then looks at the whole show now, a reasonable conclusion starts to form. A Democratic Dictatorship.(1) Not a farfetched idea from a mad man (me), nor a bizarre conspiracy theory, but an actual possibility.
Now before you go off to warm-up your hockey sticks to pummel me with, how about I go over a few things first.
To make a very long story short… a one time fan of former Liberal PM Pierre Trudeau and a member of the Young Liberals Club, Stephen Harper soon changed his political hat when he disagreed with Trudeau and his National Energy Program. From there he moved on to the Progressive Conservatives and started as chief aide to PC MP Jim Hawkes.
Harper’s eventual dislike of PC Leader Brian Mulroney, his PC government, his administration policies, and finally the PC Party as well, had him flipping his hat again. With an invitation from Preston Manning to deliver a speech to the Reform Party, Harper soon joined in as one of heavies of the group. It was 1987.
But Harper’s fun didn’t end there. Between 1987 and over the next fifteen years or so, he continued to piss off everyone who worked with him. Like Preston Manning and Stockwell Day for example. Essentially, Harper doesn’t play well with others and generally has a hissy-fit anytime things aren’t quite going his way.
After creating a coalition / alliance between the old Progressive Conservatives whose leader at the time was Peter MacKay, and what was left of the Reform Party and the Alliance Party; he came out of this cozy threesome as the leader of the ‘new’ Conservative Party of Canada. It was now 2003.
With an election called, Harper essentially bullcrapped his way throughout the entire campaign and bombarded the Canadian public with a volley of ‘attacks ads’ of all sizes, shapes and mediums; and used “American style” scare tactics at every available moment. Most of what Harper said prior to his first election for prime minister is not the same as he states today. Opinions and policies have flipped from top to bottom and from left to right. Literally.
Between the lies, fear-mongering and attack ads, Harper pulled together a solid right-wing conservative core group and along with a smaller group of past progressive conservatives created an opportunity to begin his takeover by capitalizing on the Sponsorship Scandal with Paul Martin, the Liberal Prime Minister at the time.
After winning his minority government, Harper’s first task was to train all the new ministers to say exactly the same thing, day in and day out, forever – oh yes, and deny anything and everything. Harper’s control over his ministerial staff was and is undeniably ridged. Harper’s control didn’t end there, his tightly run media conferences have infuriated journalists from all over.
The Liberals mumbled their way along with Stéphane Dion and then Michael Ignatieff as party leaders, both of whom felt the wrath of Harper’s vengeance with crude attack ads on the radio, the television and online; even without an election going on.
The transition from a democratic parliament to a dictatorship wasn’t a smooth one and although a few roadblocks were thrown up by the then opposition party Liberals, Harper worked his way past, through, over and under all of the obstacles one by one.
Harper prorogued the parliament two times, because once just isn’t enough. He made every vote a confidence vote (which in turn creates an election if voted down) and then he topped it off by changing some few hundred or so parliamentary traditions, some dating back to the beginning of this country's existence.
Now he’s changing the Laws, what will be next, the Constitution? Possibly.
When the dust settled after the last election and Canadians started the next day with a conservative majority government, those who hadn’t voted have now found themselves regretting staying home that day.
The saddest part of all? The election was won with a mere thirty-nine percent (39%) of only fourteen million election votes, not thirty-nine percent of all twenty-four million eligible Canadian voters!
Thus, out of the twenty-four million eligible voters, only twenty-three percent (23%) voted for the conservatives. That’s only five and half million voters. Speaking for thirty-three million Canadian citizens!
With sixty percent (60%) of the votes against the conservatives, their long-winded annoying rant of “Canadians gave us a strong mandate” is a little twisted. I suppose if you say it enough, you’ll believe it.
Harper continued his road to Dictator by filling up virtually every available seat in the Senate with conservative friends, neighbours and who ever smiled the right way, like Pamela Wallen and Mike Duffy, both are ex-CTV News staff, and both of whom (and along with many others) have absolutely no business being Senators in the first place.
If you recall, Harper first supported Senate Reform, but changed his mind and decided that having a conservative majority Senate had more uses than not having one.
With the Senate neatly in his pocket and the majority conservative government in Parliament, Harper has succeeded in putting a stranglehold on the entire democratic process.
Now Canadians will have to endure whatever laws et al, Harper considers benefits “all Canadians” – which in reality – don’t benefit “all Canadians” but caters to the conservative core, those hard-nose right-wingers who would ban abortions, gay marriage and have us all saying prayers before classes start.
Right now, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has more power than President Barack Obama. Hard to believe but it’s true. And that is just plain scary.
Unfortunately the story doesn’t end there and if anything Canadians are getting ready to deal with the consequence of this dictatorship when the Omnibus Crime Bill is made into cement despite whatever “hearings that are underway in the Senate” (the same conservative majority controlled Senate); it will not matter in the end as the conservatives will vote and pass it anyway. Along with anything else they want.
The Omnibus Crime Bill (C-10) is a carbon copy of the American version that was discontinued because of its serious flaws and detrimental outcomes. With its famous “Mandatory Sentences”, it will put kids into prison and eliminates the judicial process of fair sentencing. It also comes at a time when crime is down in this country and has been on the decline for many years. Along with this atrocity is the building of new prisons across the country because they will need to house the kids and grandmas they arrest over smoking a joint. Passing a joint in front of a school will get you 2 years in federal penitentiary. Pack your toothbrush.
What a great way to rid the country of anybody who messes with Harper’s utopia.
You can’t have a Dictatorship without the ability to spy on your peasants, so following the American plan, Harper recently unleashed the Internet Surveillance Bill (C-30) and is ready to hand our asses on a silver platter to (his) the RCMP, thus giving them the authority to ask for any IP Address of any person without a warrant. It gets better, not only will the Gesta… oops - police have carte blanc to see every move you make but the government can assign “officers” (i.e. government employees) to view any IP Address information they wish, and that includes Harper himself.
And now the “robo-call” scandal has everyone’s tongues wagging. Could the Conservatives knowingly send voters to non-existent voting polls? The answer may be ‘yes’. Or it may be ‘no’. One thing is for sure someone’s been playing around and if the Liberals are doing anything like this then there is no doubt that the Conservatives are also up to whatever dirty tricks there are available.
Considering they have an enormous amount in their coffers, the Conservatives have the means and the motive to stack the vote in their favour at any cost. With the advent of the complaints pouring into Elections Canada in the thousands, and combined with the questionable wins in the some of the election ridings by a mere seven, eighteen, or thirty-one votes, certainly leads the citizens to wonder what the hell is exactly going on here?
I’ve never seen the country as divided between the right and the left as Canada is now and it’s continuing to move toward a dangerous curve in the road ahead. If Harper wanted his own Little America, I’d say he’s got it.
But it’s a majority of the Canadian people who will get toasted over Harper’s zealous nature while wreaking havoc coast to coast to coast. Not the fortunate few.
There is only one thing we can do about it.
Vote – vote like we’ve never voted before!
Sure, the next election is a long way off but between now and then, the people of this country need to talk to each other – and I don’t care how, text, message, post, call or even the dreaded actual "face-to-face" method and pass it along.
Make the memories of the people who built and founded this country, and for those who fought for the freedom we take for granted every goddamn day – proud.
Are we to let them down? Did they do all this for these current generations to ignore their most important right they will ever have?
If you’re going to act like you’re in a democracy, then you’d better be ready to back it up! Not by setting cop cars on fire and smashing store windows, but by mobilizing the troops to encourage everyone who can cast a vote to get up off their ass and do so when the time comes.
Democracy doesn’t come to people gift wrapped with a pretty bow, and “just add water” instructions inside. If you want it, you have to do something about it!
Vote – vote like we’ve never voted before! It’s time the people of this country break the old voter turnout numbers by the tens of millions!
At least this way, when the next Supreme Ruler of Canada says they have a strong mandate, they probably will have.
Canadians have three years to go – we shouldn’t be wasting time.
Vote – vote like we’ve never voted before!
Image Courtesy of the Prime Minister’s Office
A form of government where the candidate is elected by popular vote but rarely or never actually enacts any policies that reflect the actual wishes of the constituency. The elected representative can either use subtle diplomacy to deflect criticism, arrange for various forms of distraction to divert public attention, or be brazen in publicly declaring that policy will be different to popular opinion. Coined by Tim Francis in 2005.
The United States Federal Government’s track record in regards to foreign policy and engaging military conflict could lead one to the conclusion that it has evolved into a democratic dictatorship. The same could be said for both the Federal Australian and UK governments to some extent, particularly in relation to Iraq and the Kyoto Agreement.