Well let's look at the last couple years of our "new" government under the benevolent dictatorship of Stephen Harper of the Cuddly Sweater Vest.
- Canada has gone from being known as a peacekeeper, to being the American bully's sidekick in wars of aggression.
- Canada is the only so-called democratic, developed nation willing to parrot the absurd notion that the Military Tribunals at Guantanamo Bay are some kind of "judicial" due process.
- As a result of the above item, Canada is the only so-called democratic nation that still has a citizen in custody at Gitmo. A citizen who was 15 years old at the time of his alleged offense against America, thus by definition a victim of war rather than a potential war criminal.
- One of Stephen's new government's first acts was to abrogate the Kelowna Accord, thus perpetuating the ongoing injustices suffered by the First Nations of Canada and negating the years of negotiation by the Provinces, First Nations and Federal Government that led to the almost historic step forward.
- Stephen and gang's ongoing efforts to undermine the City of Vancouver's attempts at harm reduction and any movement toward a sane drug policy. With Stephen the vengeful God of the Old Testament trumps science everytime - science?, irrelevant to these guys.
- Stephen's unwillingness to accept science or do anything to deal with climate change that would upset his real constituency, his adopted province of Alberta. He has been so obstructionist in this regard that his buddy George Bush the Lesser could concentrate on surging body counts and plan new wars and raids on the US Treasury.
- Creating and distributing to staff and MPs a manual with instructions for how to obstruct Parliament when that would be the best course to protect PsuedoCon interests and further the the still undisclosed true PsuedoCon agenda.
- Abusing the Parlimentary mailing privileges to blizzard the country with taxpayer supported attack ads months and months before finally calling a commpletely unecessary election under false pretenses.
I could continue the above list until my laptop batteries died, but lets consider how Stephen intends to continue the ugliness. When Parliament finally reconvened a few days ago, all we heard was that this was going to be a new, civil and co-operative legislature as the economic crisis facing Canada and the rest of the world would require all parties to pull in the same direction. Well it appears that "new" style was as genuine as the new cuddly sweater vest wearing Stephen that was trotted out for the recent phoney election. It is rapidly becoming apparent that Stephen has no plan for the economy other than to take advantage (ala "Shock Doctrine") to gain political advantage and make headway in his holy grail of the complete destruction of the Liberal Party.
This afternoon Jim Flaherty is going to announce some iniatives to deal with the economic crisis. Oddly enough though, they seem designed to undermine democracy and go for the kill on the opposition parties, especially the Liberals. CBC, as of last night, is saying cost cutting at the government level will be the focus of today's announcements. Interestingly the public funding of political parties, based on votes cast, is to be eliminated.
Sources told CBC News and other media outlets Wednesday that the subsidy cut is one of the key elements of the fiscal update that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present Thursday in Ottawa.
Parties currently receive $1.95 for every vote they receive in a federal election, provided they win at least two per cent of the nationwide popular vote. The annual subsidy is used to pay for staff and expenses.
On the surface, it would appear Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives have the most to lose if subsidies were cut because they garnered the most votes in the October election. The Conservatives earned $10 million in subsidies, compared to $7.7 million for the Liberals, $4.9 million for the NDP, $2.6 million for the Bloc Québécois and $1.8 million for the Greens.
But because the Conservatives have such a strong fundraising base(corporate and theocratic -kc), their subsidy represents only 37 per cent of the party's total revenues.
One would think a forward thinking government that has real leadership could have made big savings by not subjecting the country to the recent, unecessary, issue free, election - but I guess Steve figured it was his last best chance for his coveted majority. Perhaps Steve and Jim could have reduced the size of the cabinet recently enlarged by 50%. But then each cabinet minister only receives a paltry wage top-up in excess of $70,000 plus increased staff and car allowance. Remember, many of these "ministers" are the same people who weren't considered qualified to actually speak during the recent multi-million dollar campaign. Now we need the wisdom of these individuals to deal with the economic implications of their individual balliwicks - right!
Mr. Flaherty makes it sound as if the public funding based on votes was welfare for political parties. I guess he thinks people have forgotten that the purpose of this relatively recent policy was to free politicians from the need to curry favor with the Corporate donors and then implement the policy that they request. Unfortunately, he may be correct and the semi-concious public will eat up yet another PsuedoCon Lie.
Mr. Flaherty also seems to think that taking away the right of workers to strike will solve the economic issues, I see it as another attack on democracy and a desparate attempt to shore up the same elites whose greed has caused the current economic meltdown. Coalition Government Anyone - it's the only thing that makes sense?
Back to Now
The main problem Stephen Harper's government is likely to address is the fact that the Liberal Party of Canada is still twitching. Once the party has selected a new leader, it will only be a matter of hours until the Tee Vee is filled with mocking attack ads and in a few days my mailbox will be stuffed with taxpayer postage paid fire-starter attacking the new leader and reminding me how great is St Stephen of the Sweater Vest. With these guys it all politics, all the time!
Stephen Harper isn't likely to let anything like a recession or the Great, Great Depression cool his hunger for carrying out the Corporate Will for Globalization and Socialization of Risk/Privatization of Profit. While meeting with APEC leaders in Lima, Peru, Stephen managed to enter Canada (subject to approval of Parliament, I HOPE) into a Free Trade Agreement with Columbia (will this bring down the price of cocaine?). His soon to be fugitive hero, George the Lesser, wanted the US to do that, but couldn't get it past his still ReThug controlled Congress. But I guess Steve and Uribe have worked out a penalty price for murdered labor leaders and the environmental standards of Hell are good enough for Steven.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember that Canada was once considered a "progressive" nation. But I guess we can look at it this way - with a new administration in the US, Canada can now step forward and take a leadership position in the world. Unfortunately, we seem to be leading from the back of the line and in the wrong direction.
To prepare for the new paradise as envisioned by St. Stephen I would recommend taking a vacation - Go to the Alberta Tar Sands and take a few good books like the works of Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair. If you breath the emission enhanced air, drink deeply of the sludge infested rivers and immerse yourself in the worlds described by Dickens and Sinclair, you should be pretty well prepared to thrive in and enjoy Stevie's Canada.