"I'm trying to free your mind. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it."
Parliament in Crisis: Bandwagon hopping at its finest.
Okay here goes... my first blog. While I listen to Rod Phillips' play by play of the Oilers getting peppered by the San Jose Sharks, I'm setting up this blog but need to get a few things off my mind...
So where do I start? Politics. How about the current debacle in Ottawa: what a sorry exhibition this is... there hasn't been this kind of passion in Canadian politics since Pierre Trudeau flipped us the 'bird' in the 80's!
What in the fuck is going on up here?
The newly re-elected Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephan Harper has prorogued Parliament until January 26, 2009. Why? To postpone a no-confidence vote in the House which should've occurred Monday (Dec.8/ 2009); which would have ended the tenure of his minority government and replaced it with a coalition government consisting of Liberals and New Democrats that could govern with a majority with the already endorsed support of the Bloc Quebecois or force another election not two months later from the one we just had on Oct. 14th.
Canadians are in an uproar; rallies are being held all over the country; melees are breaking out in bars and pubs, radio stations' phones are lit up all day over this whole fiasco. Everyone here is running around like coke-addled baboons, fearing our democracy is being jeopardized as some degenerate illegitimate coup backed by the fucking separatist party is taking over Parliament.
What baffles me about all this is: not one month has passed since Albertans cried and openly cheered Barrack Obama's historic Presidential Election victory, and the same people manically defend the Harper government as if he and Obama were the same person.
Talk about a conflict in fucking ideologies: what both politicians stand for and the groups they represent are in polar opposite to each other. Which makes me conclude The Edmonton Sun has either clouded their asshat judgement again or everyone is hopping on the fucking Bandwagon as they believe that's where everyone else is and don't want to look unintelligent for not knowing the issues (Of course that is what they did when Obama won too but that is another Blog post for another day). I just wish people would look for what Harper really stands for before forming an opinion.
The principle argument defending the Harper government is the coalition is undemocratic and illegitimate as the people of Canada never voted for it. I rebut that it is legitimate as Canadians do not vote for the Prime Minister per se but for MPs, representatives of their ridings. The coalition would actually be a better representation of what the people has voted for than the minority government itself. Is the coalition undemocratic? What's pathetic about the whole ordeal lies not within the actual issue of who should be in power but how many peopleare in a furor over this after an election that recorded the lowest voter turnout in the history of Confederation. There was more attention given to those candidates in the US Presidential race of whom we cannot even vote for. There was more assiduity in the Biden-Palin debate in Canada than there was for any election debate since Meech Lake. Of those of the 40% that showed up at the polls, watered down their vote among 5 competing political parties. For shame on those complaining now about our current state of Parliamentary process: how democratic is it not to vote???
The second major assertion defending Harper's admin is the Coalition is in cahoots with Separatists. Stephane Dion and Jack Layton sold out their parties to conspire with a party who's sole interest is to break apart the country in a coup d'etat. Perhaps, but those who argue this have short term memory loss. Have
they forgotten Harper has twice used the support of the Bloc before in his attempts to dissolve Parliament? The first time Belinda Stronach crossed the floor to defeat Harper's no-confidence motion; the second Harper sided with the NDP and the Bloc to defeat Paul Martin's minority government.
What is ironic is Harper's scare tactics of Quebec Separatists is the same maneuver the Grit's used against Harper back then. What is more shocking is that it's working: people are that ignorant to believe it over and over again. Talk about alienating a large group of the voting public! I don't believe the hype: A Quebec separation is as real as an Alberta separation: I have yet to meet a French Canadian who really wants to secede from Confederation. Maybe I'm that naive but my Canada includes Quebec and French Canadians: they cheer for the same hockey team as I do when the Olympics come about. And, I highly doubt they would be jumping ship even if France had a hockey team. In addition, I am in disbelief that Quebecers are thinking more about separation than the economy these days having elected two straight Liberal Provincial governments; and, Charest is again the favorite to win this week's Provincial election with a majority government in Quebec. Which means, the Bloc were voted in by French Canadians to look after their best interests; only by which Harper has re-evoked the issue of separation again has it come into the minds of Quebecers.
After delving further , I discovered that Harper is responsible for this political predicament occurring in the first place: Harper's so-called economic update he was trying to pass through the House included no economic stimulus plan for the global crisis already befalling within our borders. Even throughout his election campaign in October, Harper has regularly dismissed that the credit crisis had hit home yet. But as a disciple of economics and money, I tend to believe if one has a store that sold 80% of his wares to one customer and that patron ran out of cash, it would not be long before the store will foreclose. In addition to the economic update, Harper's preferred agenda also included a cut in political party financing ; basically cutting his all his oppositions' funding from underneath them. These subsidies are based on the number of votes received during elections. Cutting those subsidies was another surreptitious ploy of Harper's to eliminate his competition.
The update also comprised of new impositions of wage control of unionized Public Employees, overturning existing freely negotiated collective agreements: promising to write the wage rate increase limits into the law while denying the right for future collective bargaining. Unions also would become jointly responsible for pay equity settlements or awards in the proposed update. Case in point, if a woman won a case for equity pay under her right to non-discrimination in the workplace, the Union would be jointly liable if an employer refused to pay fair wages and would have to pay half of her compensation.
I, for one, am going to support the coalition. Yes, I was quite turned off by the very idea of another election when I first heard the Opposition parties were going to bring down the newly elected government. We've had 3 elections that begat 3 minority governments in the last 4 years! Add in an Alberta Provincial election with a leadership race, a civic election, and all the hoopla in the US Presidential campaigns, no one around here wants another election!
But, I am really more anti-Harper than I am pro- Dion. Though I voted for the Liberals (actually the "ABC" party: Anything But Conservative) in the last election as a strategic vote (strong Grit riding; Anne McClelland's old riding) hopeful of a Liberal minority, I do believe Stephane Dion, a smart enough man to realize all three Opposition parties by themselves could not possibly win an election against Harper even after a no-confidence vote, does not have the charisma to pull off being Prime Minister. But, the very thought of a Harper majority government unsettles me more than a Coalition of three guys who just don't like each other.
A Wiki of Harper will show he has remained true to his xenophobic, homophobic, and sexist Reform Party roots. He has publicly opposed gay rights, stood against Unions and bilingualism, made cuts towards the funding of Arts and women's lobby groups, cut social programs such as tech development, youth employment and internship, Indian affairs, and Volunteerism Initiative, practiced inaction towards environmental concerns, advocated property rights over human rights, and supports the privatization of healthcare.
Is this who the Canadian voter wants to give a majority government to? A majority pretty much will give Harper the authority to do anything he wants; hence why he desires it so. Harper dissolved Parliament and called an unpopular election a year early in contradiction to a fixed date law set by his own government because he could rush to the polls at a time where his party was ahead in popularity.
I'd rather take my chances with the Coalition. Truth is, I think we're stuck with the George W. of the North until someone more charismatic comes along or Ken Dryden changes his mind about the Liberal leadership or until Justin Trudeau is ready to follow in his old man's footsteps.