Thursday, May 29, 2008

Long Live the King, King Harper?

Like his American Idol, George w. Bush, our own Furious Leader, Stephen Harper is dead keen on usurping the power of the legislature in order to concentrate it in his own hands. He and his faceless, unelected minions in the PMO are the Ringmasters of Harper's parliamentary circus.

From the Toronto Star:

"When Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood in Parliament and introduced a bombshell motion to formally recognize the Québécois as a nation within Canada, he surprised not just the country but his own cabinet minister ostensibly in charge of the file.
Michael Chong, intergovernmental affairs minister at the time, says Harper never consulted him about the bold move – made in November 2006 – even though he was responsible for Ottawa's relations with the provinces.

A few days later, Chong resigned his post, saying he disagreed with the intent of the motion.
Academic and author Donald Savoie cites that incident as one example of the growing concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office – at the expense of MPs, bureaucrats, cabinet ministers and ultimately the public.

He argues that Canada has evolved into a court-style government, where the prime minister sits as "king" and has a "court" of select senior ministers, mandarins and lobbyists that rule the nation. Savoie says Parliament has been reduced to a bit player and cabinet ministers are now mere pawns."

Obviously imperial rule appeals to a leader who values secrecy above anything else and considers that notions of accountability stop well short of his elevated throne. This guy has no respect for our people, our Parliament or our democracy.
Update: h/t Ken Chapman for drawing attention to Lawrence Martin's piece on the "Sun King" in today's Globe & Mail.
"Not a team man. Not a big advocate of democratic decision-making. The flaws of Stephen Harper are spelled out in Preston Manning's book, "Think Big."
In the Reform movement of the late 1980s and '90s, Mr. Harper wanted to do everything himself, Mr. Manning said. "He had serious reservations about Reform's and my belief in the value of grassroots consultation and participation in key decisions and my conviction that the adjective to distinguish our particular brand of conservatism should be 'democratic.' " Not only did Mr. Harper take a dim view of democratic tendencies, Mr. Manning recalled, but if he didn't get his own way, he would get up and leave."
That pretty much sums up Harper today, more warlord than prime minister, a creepy sort of guy to be hanging around in our prime minister's office, too obsessed with plotting to have much time left over for serving the country.


Anonymous said...

Congrats to your man Trudeau, who's fully responsible for this... because he's the one who changed the way the PMO works by concentrating all the power there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you guys did it first . . . we just do it better.

(such a compelling argument and demonstration of true leadership)

The Mound of Sound said...

Typical right wing nonsense, Anon. this is Harpo's doing and it's a consistent pattern all the way from his dark secrecy to emasculating his cabinet to gagging the public service. Blame Trudeau? That's a joke, pal.

Red Tory said...

Don't these anonymous twits ever tire of blaming Trudeau for everything and squawking "But, but... the Libs! Adscam!!!" Pathetic.

LeDaro said...

Trudeau’s motive was to strengthen the federal/central government in order to keep the country together and stop balkanization and not to feed his megalomania. Trudeau was quite open about his goals which is not the case currently.

Anonymous said...

"Stephen Harper, not a leader - a dictator!"

The Mound of Sound said...

Well he certainly is the most authoritarian leader, by far, in our history. He hasn't suspended the constitution and seized powers. Yet he's plainly circumvented, even trashed, our Canadian traditions, standards and values. It's one of the reasons he operates so secretively. This guy knows he has to hide.