A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Democracy's Future

After 5 years of writing about democracy's decline and the impact of one particular individual had in that regard I am now faced with the question of 'what do I write about now'. The choice is not hard for there is much to be done not only to return from where we came, but to move forward with improving our democratic systems and establish into law such systems so that they cannot again be twisted and ignored by future leaders and their followers.

A good place to start seems to be the Liberal platform on Democratic Reform which seems to say all the right things but as always it will be the details and implementation that will be the stumbling blocks. With it improbable that any legislation in this regard will be introduced anytime soon this leaves me lots of time to go over their 32 point plan some of which they can implement right away like unmuzzling our bureaucrats, scientists and federal departments so that we see the true details of the task ahead of us.

Before I get into that I am going to take a look at some of the problems that arose around the country at the polls both from the point of view of the elector and from that of an election worker. It was good to see a central place to report problems at #pollwatch and I shall use some of the things posted there as a basis for some suggestions of both what went wrong and how to correct them. Given the millions of voters and the thousands of folks on twitter (I am not one of them) the volume of complaints was not that large, however if even one voters was turned away (and many more than that were) then it is something that must be fixed. I do hope that EC will be looking into such matters but have yet to see any commitment to do so.

This then is the task I have set myself in the coming weeks and months, one part of which will be reexamining, once again, the various voting methods that may be part of the promised study of electoral reform that is a big part of that 32 point plan, and the implementation of which is high on the agenda of a large majority of out population.

So from a pessimistic view of our democracy’s future I now must change my mindset to an optimistic outlook, this view will not be shared by all readers particularly highly partisan individuals who's political aspirations took a hit last week. I urge all Canadians to look upon this an opportunity to put partisan rhetoric aside and do everything we can to enhance and secure our democratic systems for future generations. A recent very good sign is the invitation by Justin for all the premiers and opposition leaders to join him at December's climate change summit in Paris both from an environmental point of view and a governmental cooperation perspective.

Democracy can be messy but democracy doesn’t exist to make leaders look good. It exists to do good for the people.” - Justin Trudeau 

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Political Party Sans Politics

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil
Conservatives are looking for a new leader and in doing that, the conservatives may have to make an important decision. Harper and his CONs have, particularly in the last 4 yrs governed for only for 1/3rd of Canadians. They've governed only for their base. Much of the policies created by Harper not only appeased his base, but also satisfied his neoliberal agenda. Harpers continued exclusion of the Canadian majority throughout the last 4 yrs, was because he knew Canadians would not agree with his neoliberal/fascist/evangelical policies. Every avenue, to hide what he was doing from the Canadian public, that Harper could take, he took. From omnibus bills, to signing trade deals and announcing policy changes outside the country, to just plain doing things in secrecy. This exclusion of the Canadian public even carried over to the election by instituting an invitation only attendance at Harpers campaign stops. What is truly amazing is that the MSM has never exposed that Harper was governing only for his base and how he was doing that. So what will the new leader do? Will he/she focus primarily on their base, or will they include the rest of Canada in their future plans? Will they reach out to all Canadians? The MSM and people within the conservative party are talking about what has to be changed. Many are saying it's the tone that has to change. That's like saying that a rabid dogs problem is not that he has rabies, but that he barks to loud. Harper after being PM is staying on as an MP. Anyone think that he is doing this because he cares about the people in his riding? Harper wants to be able to influence who the new leader will be, the more malleable the better. He thinks if the conservatives get to govern again, the chosen leader will continue on with his neoliberal agenda. It is important to understand though that Harper and many people in the conservative party are living in their own self made bubble. While they were in power, they remained in that self made bubble, that is how they governed and that is why, essentially, they lost the election. Living in a bubble does not stop them from making plans for the future. They know they need the people outside of their bubble, but they have to figure out the best way to communicate with them without offending their base.

Whoever the new leader is, I think he/she will continue with the same strategy of pandering to the conservative base, because, apart from wanting to give this base a political platform, their base are also the ones with the money . If they wanted to change from having a conservative base to having an actual Conservative Political Party they would have to allow in red and progressive tories. They would have to stop being primarily a right wing, christian fundamentalist party. This is who they are. They are not really a political party. They are a group of people who have no political philosophy, but are connected together by a shared belief in christian fundamentalism and neoliberalism. Low taxes, austerity, small government and being born again does not a political party make.We must never forget that this group of people, call them what you want, a cabal, a cult, a sect, were our government for 9 years and we must never forget that the man at the helm of that government, Harper, wanted to make Canada into a fascist police state, then feed us to the Global Neoliberal Sharks. It will be a long time before the christian fundamentalist, neoliberal conservatives, if ever, get back into power. In the meantime they will find a new leader and will continue to operate in their self made bubble, becoming over time, a mere appendage of the Canadian political landscape. And Harper? He will become the forgotten man of Canadian politics.

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Last Chance .........

Tomorrow will be the last chance to have your say as to who you want to represent you in parliament and, although we currently vote for individuals, this election has been all about which party is best positioned to replace the Harper Regime, With a minority government very much a probability we can only hope that whichever party get the most seats will work with ALL MPs to undo some of the antidemocratic practices that the Conservative have made common practice, and that opposition MPs from other partys put aside partisan games to ensure that this happens. That the remaining conservatives in both the House and the Senate will mostly be obstructionists in this regard is a given so its even more important that the remaining MPs work together for the good of Canada.

Even this faint hope will disappear if Harper get back in, and if the Libs and the NDP are to be believed will result in a 'hung parliament' that does NOT have the confidence of the majority and given Harpers past performance would result in a 'constitutional crisis'!
So if you have not voted already, which almost 4 million citizens have done, then please ensure that you do get out and vote and please vote for change......
And do not forger that the millions being spend on those almost continuous adverts, telling us that if you vote for anyone but Harper yes men the world will end, will be reimbursed at around 60% from the taxpayers pocket, the upper limit of which has basically doubled due to the long election and Con legislation! So much for lower taxes eh.
If you are reading this you have no doubt already decided that Harper and his 'election team' are a bunch of lieing, scheming, anti democratic, would be dictators with no morals and who will do and say ANYTHING to retain power, so I am preaching to the converted but I will leave you with these thoughts from Kibycairo who sums up my thoughts with remarkable accuracy.....

“Some on the left might argue that the Liberal Party is just a 'kinder gentler' group that is going to screw the weak and the vulnerable. And there is a sense in which that is true. But here's the thing - when you eliminate the rule of law (as Harper is doing), when you eliminate the ability for people to protect themselves against the arbitrary power of government (as Harper is doing), when you make the House of Commons entirely unaccountable (as Harper has done), when you gut Elections Canada and make Election Fraud de facto legal (which Harper is doing), when you destroy the freedom of information system (as Harper has done), when muzzle scientists and eliminate fact-based policy efforts, when you do all these things then it really doesn't matter what you believe because you really can't change anything. And this is the trap that Harper represents..............

The Liberals may not become the progressive government many of us were hoping for, but HarperCons are a threat to the very system itself, to a system in which we can meaningfully fight for justice and equality. Harper represents a dark, American-like (Pottersville) sort of future where the justice system is a pawn of the government, where the police and the Army are an extension of a political party, where racism is institutionalized, where guns are everywhere, where the Charter of Rights is distant memory, and eduction and healthcare is reserved for the rich. Justin Trudeau may not be a progressive wonder-boy, but I will take a man and a party that represents the possibility of change than one who represents a dark, goose-stepping future any day of the week.
Amen to that!

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 20th, 2015: Harper Leaves

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil
A conversation between stephen Harper and Jason Kenney is overheard the day after they lose the election.

Kenney-"Well we lost the election, Steve.

Harper- "No shit Sherlock"

Kenney- "Look we can, regroup and come back in the next election, stronger then ever."

Harper- "I was so close. I was ready to act on all of the groundwork I had laid, but the left wing media and those toronto intellectual elites couldn't handle having a down to earth guy like me as PM."

Kenney-" I know, I know"

Harper- " Trudeau, they voted in Trudeau!!"

Kenney- "I know, I know"

Harper- "And that damn Muslim Nenshi, could't keep his mouth shut, that cost us votes in Calgary"

Kenney- "I know, I know"

Harper- "Will you stop bloody well saying that, it's getting on my nerves, besides, you'll be fine. You're running for the leadership right? Got your future all neatly mapped out. Doesn't matter what happens to me"

Kenney- "I'll be carrying on your legacy"

Harper-" Look Jason, it's my legacy! The only one who could have continued it was me. Got that?"

Kenney- "But it's a legacy we all agreed to"

Harper- "Only with me as the Leader. I didn't do all of those changes to the bloody liberal, Pierre Trudeau Brand, so someone else can take credit for it"

Harper- Repeats- "Oh God! They voted in Trudeau, Trudeau!"

Kenney - "Maybe they liked his charisma"

Harper- "Are you saying they didn't like my substantial presence?"

Kenney- "No, it's just"

Harper- "It's just what?"

Kenney- "Well, the average Canadian is not equipped to see the difference"

Harper- "You got that right"

Harper- "The average Canadian knows squat. Why do ya think I kept my distance from them, didn't want to even talk to them. Always wanting me to explain what I'm doing, like 6 year olds wanting teacher to tell them what the world is all about. My base? Well they understood, they trusted me. They accepted everything I told them."

Kenney- "You'll probably get alot of offers in the next few weeks My mom says your phone will be ringing off the hook."

Harper- "None of them will come close to being PM. I mean look at the perks. Look at my entourage. People at my beck and call for anything I needed. Being the only one in charge. People doing what ever I've told them to. That's strong leadership. You know what George W. said to me when we were reading the bible together. He said Steve, never forget because you are one of God's chosen leaders, you take what ever you need to get God's work done and don't forget them infidels. We owe it to our people to rid the world of them. No one understands that better then you as PM of Canada and me as President of these here United States"

Kenney- "Did Bibi call?"

Harper- "No, he's in Moscow right now talking to Putin, probably making sure if Russia ends up being in charge and not the US. they'll be willing to negotiate with Israel. He also asked me not to criticize Russia about helping Assad at least until he says it's okay. Doesn't matter now."

Harper- "Lynton flew home to Australia last night. After the election results were in, he couldn't get out of here fast enough. Cameron hasn't called either, he was the one who recommended Lynton to me."

Kenney-"I thought for sure the wearing of the Niqab issue would help you win another majority. Mom described you as a valiant crusader for Canadian values."

Harper- "So did I. Probably those bloody Muslims worked behind the scenes and got the courts to support them and that bloody Muslim Siddiqui wrote an article calling me a racist and a despot and the the next day wrote another article, telling people to vote for Trudeau. I thought Siddiqui retired. There should be a law, that after journalists retire there no longer allowed to write any more columns. If I would have won I would have made a law doing just that."

Kenney-" Yeah you could have included it in one of your omnibus bills."

Harper- Puts face in his open hands "Oh God Jason I was so close. With the RCMP and bill C-51 I could have controlled the whole country. No one would have dared protest. I would have been free to complete my Neoliberal agenda and would have solidified and expanded my power. I could have been Prime Minister for life! Did ya hear that, for life!!"

Kenney- "Yes, I thought we had all our bases covered."

Harper- "So did I. We knew the MSM would follow our lead and do what we wanted them to do and they did. Also, any conservative running was told to stay away from local debates and the media, and they did. Vetting and giving invitations to those who wanted to attend my campaign stops was a brilliant idea, because only those who supported me got an invitation, that way I could control the message. Some Canadians not of our base complained, but I figure their just so insecure they have to be included in everything I do."

Kenney- "And don't forget the ads, telling Canadians what they should think about Trudeau. They worked brilliantly in the 2 previous elections."

Harper-"The one that should have definitely worked, but didn't, was the Fair Election Act. That was supposed to be my ticket straight to the majority everyone promised me."

Kenney- "Yeah I thought for sure it would give you your majority,I mean were talking about people here who don't even have the correct ID that the new Election Act requires and there now going to go out and get the right ID just to vote? People like indians? I don't think so! My mom says, for as long as she can remember, Indians have alway been shiftless and irresponsible."

Harper-" Yeah, well, I was talking to Bibi about a month ago and I told him , my majority was in the bag, that we had laid the groundwork in many ways to assure a majority win . I told him that once we won, I would be able to finish what I had started and Canada would be the Country I had dreamed of and the Country him and I had talked about over many hours when I was in Israel and I thanked him for his advice. I also told him that we had put a hold on refugees, preventing many muslim refugees from coming to Canada and we had figured out a way to get rid of many muslims who were already here and I would tell him all about it when we got together after the election."

Kenney- "Yeah you would have finally been able to get rid of that Palestinian busy body Dr. Abuelaish." My mother says she would never go to a Dr. with the last name of Abuelaish, as a woman she just couldn't trust him."

Harper-"yeah, can you imagine the nerve of him asking for a meeting with Baird or myself. All because he wanted visas for 100 Palestinian kids to get medical help. The Palestinians brought this on to themselves. Bibi told me that Palestinians use their kids as shields. He says their quite primitive people, sort of like our indians. Old Stock Canadians know what I'm talking about."

Kenney- "How about Mohamed Fahmy coming back the last week of the election."

Harper- "Yeah and blabbing his big mouth off that I should have called el- Sisi directly. That nobody publicly telling me, me the Prime Minister of Canada, that I should have done his bidding. If I would have won, he would have been the first person I would have deported under bill C-24. and I would have seen him off myself waving goodbye to him at the airport."

Harper- "Do ya think we can find a way to stay?"

Kenney-" Like how?"

Harper-"I don't know. Maybe if there was a terrorist attack, not a real one, but an attack that could be called terrorist, then I would have to use the War Measures Act. to call a state of emergency and I could stay as Prime Minister. Then I could keep extending that stay. I would have to get approval from the Governor General, but he does exactly what I tell him, so no worries there. I would have the RCMP and the Military acting in support of bill C-51. By the time everyone figured what happened it would be too late and I would be in place to be PM for life."

Kenney- "hmm, I don't know Steve, even if it did work, I don't think we have the time, you know, to make the necessary arrangements, mom always says good planning is what makes a project successful."

Harper-"I don't give a damn what your mother says, It's what I say that matters.

Kenney- "Not anymore Steve

Then someone knocks on the door, opens it, pokes his head in, looks at Harper and says,"Mr. Harper, Prime Minister Trudeau is here to see you."

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Its not about me!

The Conservative “This election isn’t about me, Stephen Harper” ad that reached airwaves during Friday’s Blue Jays game is remarkable. It is impossible to look upon it as anything other than an acknowledgment that the leader of the Conservatives has become a liability to his party.
Remember this is the man who dictated that our Canadian Government shall henceforth be known as the “Harper Government” but its not about him eh!

In the case of the Conservatives it must also be considered that the party is substantially a creation of its leader: in a real sense he is its God. The party’s post-Harper fate is unclear, but the chance of schism is obvious. And if it can hold together, the possibility of falling into a deep bog of mediocrity is equally obvious. So what does Harper represent to a Conservative partisan? He is everything. He is the horse on which the farm is already bet.
This is the man that has been airing personal attacks upon young Trudeau for many months and making this election very personal.

But there is he on TV, complaining that the other candidates want to make things personal and that they would rather talk about him than about their policies. It is an all but explicit appeal to voters who like what I sometimes think of as the Martin-Harper version of Canada, but who are tired of Harper and his callow Prime Minister’s Office myrmidons.

It is the death march of deception for Harper to try to remove himself from the political equation in this election. This is the man who insisted that the public service refer to the crowd in charge not as the “Government of Canada” but the “Harper government”. This is the guy who allowed everyone to remove their muzzles just long enough to read scripted lines that came down from the high-command in the PMO.

The Conservative Party of Canada IS Stephen Harper, he has made it such with his obsessive need to control everything personally and the building a cadre of unelected disciples in the PMO to do his bidding. This election is very much about him, and ridding the country of this would be dictator.

We want him Gone, Gone Gone so Vote That Fker Out

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

If He Stays: Canada's Sovereign Demise

A guest post by Pamela Mac Neil

There is really only one question that Harper and his gang has in this election. How can we win? Sounds innocent enough, after all, all of the leaders and their parties want to win but it is different with Harper. He will say anything no matter how repugnant, he will do anything, no matter how ugly or corrupt, he will tell any lie, no matter how blatant, he will fake any emotion that he thinks will make him seem genuine, he will trash anyone who he thinks gets in his way and he will promote any issue no matter how vile, that he thinks his base will vote for. Nothing is off the table for him to use. Not racism, not bullying, not lying, not pandering (only to his base), while telling 2/3rds of Canadians to get stuffed. We can all see that he is absolutely desperate and determined to hold onto power, but we need to look deeper and ask why he's prepared to use such extreme measures to win. It's not just about his lust for power and his authoritarian agenda. That is part of it and a big part, but more then anything, the thing that matters the most to him, the thing that he will do anything to achieve, the thing he has been working on for the most part in secrecy for 9yrs and especially in the last 4yrs, working, working, working on the nation he wants so fervently to see Canada become, his national dream that he is frothing at the mouth to realize, is Canada becoming a nation who is governed completely by Neoliberalism. Everything Harper has done is to that end.

A Neoliberal Nation he can point to and say proudly, I created this. The reason he is desperate to hold on to power is that he is not finished yet. He needs 4 more yrs. to complete his Neoliberal agenda. He needs 4 more years to destroy democracy and replace it with Neoliberalism. He has already taken our liberal infrastructure by the throat and throttled it, but he hasn't yet destroyed it. He needs 4 more years to do that. He has painstakingly and incrementally laid the groundwork to implement his Neoliberal infrastucture. He has implemented some Neoliberal policies where possible, like replacing the Canadian Wheat Board, signing trade deals, implementing full economic austerity, but for the most part he has been busy laying the groundwork for the real pay off , being able to implement Neoliberal policies full scale, across the Canadian government and succeeding at delivering a fully intact Neoliberal infrastructure, over the next 4 yrs. He wants to change the Canadian state into a market state that he will lead.

Does anyone think that after he does this, he will, after 2015, in the next election, be voted out, so he will eventually have to leave. The future elections will be so thoroughly rigged that he will win every time. They will be elections in name only. Like the ones Mugabe holds. Let's take a look at some of the groundwork he has layed. Harpers exclusion of 2/3rds of Canadians from attending his invitation only campaign, is not new. He has been excluding the Canadian majority since becoming PM in 2006, but certainly more so since 2011. But how the heck do you prevent the majority of Canadians from wanting to know what you are doing. You start with your Caucus and Cabinet. No one who thinks, let alone thinks for themselves is allowed in and if there happens to be some who get through, he makes short shrift of them. These ministers and backbenchers must be told exactly what to say, in the house and in public. This is important because they are the ones bringing Harpers message to the Canadian public, so they must be able to explain, through talking points, what the government is doing without giving away Harpers Neoliberal agenda. Total obedience, nothing less. Message control and vetting is another example of laying the ground work. These controls are instituted across the board for
everyone in Harpers government. Harper and the PMO, through information control, controls every facet of the government and in so doing controls the Canadian majority. If the people in our government cannot communicate with us of their own free accord, then they will stop communicating with us all together, except for Harper followers. All public pronouncements by civil servants, diplomats, the military, cabinet members and conservative MPs must be approved by the PMO or the PCO. When the Canadian governments ability to communicate is curtailed or completely shut down Canadian citizens are left in the dark about everything their government is doing. Continuous unfettered dialogue with Canadians and there government, may lead to questions about what is the thinking behind Harpers various political decisions.

When people are talking to their government, they expect answers and it is too risky for Harper to be asked anything about Neoliberalism. Better to just cut communications off completely from Canadians. After awhile they'll accept it and move on. Harper knows 70% of Canadians will not vote for him, so how does he make that not matter. He creates a law, called The Fair Election Law, which suppresses votes by making it harder to vote by changing ID requirements, by those unlikely to vote conservative such as aboriginal, students and those with disabilities. He even bans the chief electoral office from promoting voting. And expats who have been away from Canada for more then 5 yrs? Tough their not allowed to vote. This law was created long before the 2015 election. That's what's called thinking and planning ahead and laying the groundwork to get closer to achieving a 2015 election victory.

There are actually 3 major beliefs that underly Harpers Political decisions.
1. Neoliberalism
2. Fascism
3. Evangelical fundamentalist Christianity

Sometimes, his policies are defined by his Evangelical beliefs, such as his dogmatic support of Israel, his rejection and thrashing of anything Muslim and his deregulation of environmental controls. His deregulating of the environment though is really a combination of his Neoliberal beliefs and his Evangelical beliefs. By undermining and eradicating Scientific, centralized knowlege and shutting research stations and destroying the work of science libraries, he is laying the groundwork for having environmental decisions based on market signals and not on scientific knowledge and evidence. Neoliberal, free-market environmentalism and environmentalism according to Evangelical Christian Fundamentalism, make the corporate elite, God and his base very happy. Everyone knows about Harpers disdain and refusal for the most part of talking to the MSM.When he does deign to talk to to them, he dictates what the questions will be and how many. The MSM has fallen into line very nicely, succumbing to Harpers autocratic demands. When their talking to him or about him the word Neoliberalism, never passes their lips. It's like talking to or about the Pope, but never ever mentioning his Catholicism. Deregulations and defunding are Neoliberal tools. They lay the groundwork for privatization.

Just look at the social programs that have been defunded like healthcare, education, UI, OAS, Veteran Affairs to name a few and because of Harpers defunding of these social programs, if he gets 4 more yrs, he won't hesitate to privatize them and all of the other Canadian social programs. Then there are the democratic institutions like parliament that must be thwarted, undermined, ignored and abused, eventually to be done away with completely. A market state doesn't need parliamentary oversight. Neoliberalism holds that it is the free market, not democracy that leads to freedom. Neoliberalism requires a strong state that uses its power to create and enforce markets and prop them up when they fail. Harper is creating a state governed by market transactions, not democratic practices. He believes and wants a Neoliberal government. He does not believe nor does he want a democracy, a democracy with all of its liberal institutions, its social programs, Its laws and courts supported by a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, its human rights, its public education, its public health care, in short a democracy that prevents him from having a Neoliberal government, will have to go.

It is astounding how successful Harper has been at controlling, manipulating and isolating 70% of Canadians, the Canadian majority, Harpers real enemy. He is able to continue this offensive behaviour even during an election. They must not ever be witnesses to what their PM and their government is really up to. Like the wife whose husband is having an affair and she is the last to know, so Canadians will be the last to know about Harpers Neoliberal deceit. Canadians are kept in the Dark mainly because Harper governs in complete secrecy. Harper the tyrant and his autocratic behaviour lends itself well to operating in secrecy. Having a profound need to have power, coupled with his profound need to create and lead a Neoliberal government is a lethal combination. Margaret Thatchers Neoliberalism, while corrupt, was implemented by a woman who somewhat thought ,whether British citizens, liked it or not that a Neoliberal government was being created for their own good. Ronald Reagan , supported Neoliberalism policy, probably without knowing what it really meant, but because it fit with the myth he held so dearly that America was "A shining City Upon a Hill" "Gods Country." A sign of American Exceptionalism. Both brought severe and lasting damage to their countries and the world. Harper however has long believed that a Neoliberal government is the ideal and only government. He has been promoting Neoliberal ideas since University and he has, since being Prime Minister of Canada, systematically and secretly been changing the fundamental relationship of Canada's Government and Its citizens by dismantling our democratic sovereign nation and replacing it with a dictatorial Neoliberal nation. If he gets 4 more yrs. Canada will become a country where police authorities including a secret police will not have to abide by the constitution and will be at Harpers beck and call.

If he gets 4 more yrs. Harper will finish his ongoing destruction of Canada's sovereignty. He will then hand Canada's governence, on a silver platter, to the global political, corporate and economic elite. An elite he desperately wants to be part of. Canada will be a National Sovereign State no more. We have to stop just focusing on each particular undemocratic policy, law, program or strategy that harper initiates and ask ourselves what these undemocratic particulars share when their united together. What is the bigger picture. If during the next 4 yrs Canadians, do catch on, maybe not so much to his Neoliberal agenda, but more to his dictatorial behaviour, observed when they oppose and protest, then they will understand that the unconstitutional legislation such as Bill-C13, Bill C-34, Bill C-639, and Bill C-51, are necessary laws, created to monitor, arrest, jail and just plain stop Canadians when their protesting against Harpers turning Canada into a fascist police state. If Harper gets 4 more yrs., the scope of the damage he has already done to our democracy, will be further expanded to include
all of our democracy. If Harper is voted out in Oct., I wonder how many Canadians will realize how close we came to losing it all!

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Say it with Song

After six and a half years of writing about our failing democracy under the Harper Regime there is little more that I can say that I have not already said at some point. So many Progressive Bloggers have joined the battle in recent years (and a few notable writers proceeded my efforts) that, with just a week to go before the future of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy is decided, no one who is active on line can profess ignorance as to the danger of reelecting Harper. Before we start view the first minute or so of this clip from Globals 'The West Block' wherein Tom Clark explains why Harper did not appear on the show and how he attempted to control the message.

Now here for a change are a few opinions from some other folks, both musical and not..... (sorry no imbedded content, just follow the links!)

First up, Marg Delahunty aka Mary Walsh

Global's Dr. Samir Gupta tells us why health care should be a major focus when determining your vote in this federal election.

Blue Rodeo tells us that Harper is 'Stealin’ All My Dreams,'

Danny Williams of all people says that we just cant trust Harper...

A band with the curious name of Enid Penis sings...
“Stevie Harper’s on a mission to kill, Kill democracy on Parliament Hill'

In an interview Rick Mercer tells it like it is, as always...
Then there is this weeks 'rant'....

Canadian bands Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde teamed up to sing about the “Land You Love.”

This quote from an open letter signed by 587 Canadian academics highlights the efforts of the Harper Regime to create special rules for those who he deems unfit to be Canadian. Beware it could be you!
By conjuring up a phantom menace to the country and implying that some immigrants and religious minorities are enemies, the Conservatives hope to pit Canadians against one another. Like many sophisticated forms of vicious propaganda, the invocation of barbarism is meant to create fear and anxiety rather than to identify a real problem.
We enjoy the rule of law in Canada and it requires the equal application of the law. Those who break the law should be treated within a common system of criminal justice.”

And finally this band clearly makes our wishes known and says “Vote that Fucker Out!'

A tip of the hat to the Ottawa Citizen and various Progressive Bloggers for drawing my attention to these Videos.

I will leave you with this assessment from former Conservative caucus member Brent Rathgeber :-
Junior staffers concocting schemes, micromanaging legislators, providing bogus stories covered by flimsy talking points, and all with a haphazard respect for truth, are all indicative of a Prime Minister’s Office run with a malfunctioning moral compass,”

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Do Not Be Muzzled.

Do not be muzzled Oct 19th, get out and have your say on who you wish to represent you in parliament, bearing in mind that many of the promises are just that and may either be a long time coming or reduced or eliminated once in power. Particularly should the winning party get a majority!

I believe that the best indication of future behaviour is past behaviour hence my listing of the Conservatives attacks upon our democracy over the past 10 years. Another indication is more subtle and that is how open and accountable (remember that phrase) those vieing for power have been. In that regard here are a few recent indications of how the Conservatives deal with requests for information fundamental to our evaluating their performance.

The Canadian Press filed the access to information request (regarding the Duffy affair) to the Privy Council Office (PCO), the secretariat of the federal cabinet, which is headed by Harper, in August, 2013. But the PCO withheld almost all of the records requested.
“The PCO identified 28 pages of responsive records, but withheld 27 of those pages, releasing just two emails in which its staff discussed similar access-to-information requests,” The Canadian Press reported Tuesday (September 15, 2015) . “PCO claimed every single word on every single one of those 27 pages might jeopardize solicitor-client privilege, or reveal personal information, or third-party information, or details on secret deliberations.”
The Canadian Press lodged a complaint with the information commissioner’s office. The Commissioner investigated and concluded that the PCO was unjustified in withholding the records. The Commissioner recommended that Harper fully comply with The Canadian Press‘ request and the PCO, “on behalf of the Prime Minister, declined to implement the recommendation.

A potentially explosive parliamentary investigation into the Harper government's so-called "muzzling" of government scientists shows no signs of being released before the federal election on Oct.19, despite Canada's Information Commissioner digging into it for more than two and a half years.
“Voters need to know what the result of that investigation has been,” said law professor Calvin Sandborn, with the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre. “I think the public needs to know the extent of the muzzling… Our submission is that it runs very deep in government."
In February 2013, the university law group, together with Democracy Watch, filed a formal complaint to Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault, alleging federally employed scientists, with expertise from fisheries to fracking, are under a gag order from sharing their taxpayer-paid expertise and scientific findings with the press or public. Two months later, in April 2013, Legault agreed to investigate the Harper government information restrictions as possible violations of Access to Information laws. She pledged to look into complaints at seven different government insitutions:
National Observer has been writing the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada for months, asking: 'Will this report come out before the election? Why has it taken more than two and a half years? Is the office understaffed? Is the report itself being muzzled by the Conservative government?'

And then there is our recent hero, Harperman’s composer, Tony Turner, was told to stay at home from his job at Environment Canada in July after his employers told him they were investigating whether he had breached the public service’s code of ethics. Now, in his first interview since he was sidelined by Environment Canada eight weeks ago, Turner has said he will end his seclusion and take his protest song on the campaign trail ahead of the country’s general election on 19 October.

Turner officially quit his job on Thursday evening, after his employers said the song breached protocol calling on public servants to remain impartial. Turner and his union vigorously dispute the finding. The songwriting public servant had been scheduled to retire in November.

Can we believe anything that those who would hide, suppress information in this way, say? Can we trust, and vote for, those who attempt to intimidate citizens who criticize their actions past and present? I think not!

Finally we have the much touted TPP 'agreement which we are told is 'good for Canada' but whose detailed script we will not see till after the election.....
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper promised long-term funding to help the auto industry adjust to the newly-signed Pacific Rim trade deal and said automakers would have been worse off if Canada had not signed the 12-nation pact. ......... If re-elected, the Conservatives would provide $1 billion over 10 years beginning in 2018, when a current Automotive Innovation Fund expires, to help the auto industry deal with the reduction of protective tariffs under the TPP.”

If its such a good deal how is it that Harper has promised millions to help the auto industry and dairy farmers deal with the fall out from it, before the ink on it is barely dry never mind available for public scrutiny .... and how many other areas of our economy will need “helping”, what other things that effect our sovereignty have been agreed to?

Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Vote, Vote, Vote - Vote ABC

Are you Registered to Vote?

By this time you should have received your Voter Information Card telling you where your polling station is located, if you have not received one then either you are not on the list or you information on that list is incorrect and you should call or visit your local Election Canada office and get your information added or corrected.

If you did receive a card then check it out and make sure that the name and address matches that on your personal identification, in particular the address. If it does not contact EC and get the electors list corrected or you may be turned away on voting day.
Find your local EC office address and phone number here.......

I am told by someone who recently took poll clerk training that should you turn up at a poll with address information that does not match the listings or when you are not on the list then you will NOT be turned away but added to the list and asked to swear that you have not voted elsewhere.

Its a difficult choice we must make this time around in order to remove the current dictator from power, the choice of which other candidate (and thus the party they represent) is best placed to defeat the incumbent, or new, conservative candidate is not always clear in many ridings. You may be tempted to say I want him gone but I am not sure who else to vote for and therefore not bother. Please don’t do that, if the more that 40% of folks who did not vote last time get out and vote ABC then ANYTHING can happen in any riding.
So make sure you are on the list, your details are correct, and get out and VOTE, dont let Harper steal another election with his unfair election act changes designed to discourage voting and prevent Elections Canada from encouraging voters to vote and hamper investigation of electoral fraud.

Advance voting days
October 9, 10, 11 and 12, noon to 8:00 p.m.

Election Day is Oct 19th
The time polls are open will vary depending upon your time zone but ALL are open a minimum of 12 hours

Other ways to vote
Go to any Elections Canada office by 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13

No card?
Find out where to vote and check out if you are on the voters list here by entering your personal information


More voting wrinkles

Just found an interesting wrinkle in the voting process for those who wish to keep their face covered, despite have all the required documents the same as those who do not have photo ID and are permitted to vote right away those with face covering must swear an oath before they may vote. This does not seem logical or fair.

Those who want to make a protest by accepting a ballot and then refusing to vote will not be counted as refusing but their blank ballot placed in the box and counted as a spoiled ballot. A far better way to make your dislike of the system known would be to vote for a candidate who supports electoral reform. 31,000 people voted for “none of the above” in the last provincial election in Ontario where such an option was available, lets make every vote count..... against the dictatorial and corrupt Harper Regime!

As in all previous elections those that are turned away due to insufficient or incorrect identification or being at the wrong poll are not counted so we will never know how many voters tried to vote but were denied the opportunity. Please be sure you are on the voters list and have matching identification.
This information and more can be found in the polling clerks training manuals available on line on the Elections Canada site.

You should also have received a flyer regarding what to do if you did not receive a card which says you must present ......

1) Show one of these pieces of ID

  • your driver's licence
  • your provincial or territorial ID card
  • any other government card with your photo, name and current address

2) Show two pieces of ID

At least one must have your current address
What it does NOT say that said address much match in large part the address that EC has on file if it does not or if they have no listing you will have a problem.... call EC to ensure you can vote.

Almost 10 million Canadian voters did not vote for one reason or another in 2011, if all these folks make their wished know in this the most important election in years, possibly in Canadian history, then we CAN get rid of this undemocratic regime.............

In the 2011 Federal Election the conservatives formed government (with a disproportionate number of seats) with approximately 700,000 votes more popular votes than the runner up HOWEVER over 9.5 Million eligible voters did not vote. You CAN make a difference get out and VOTE! 
  Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers