Thursday, May 01, 2008

What's Next for Harper, a Gulag?

There are times when Canadians have to put aside their political affiliations and stand up for the country, its institutions and its very democracy.

In my opinion, it speaks volumes for the patriotism of Tories that they sit mute, continuing to support their Leader (do I need to translate that into the original German?) when he steadily gags our government, establishing himself as some sort of autocratic emir served by a cadre of faceless, unaccountable political commissars in the Prime Minister's Office, the PMO.

The essence of democracy is the free flow of information and transparency. There is no free flow of information, no full democracy, when the flow of information is constrained and filtered and manipulated for political advantage. This is not democratic, this is not the Canadian way, but it is very much the way of the Conservative Leader, Harper.

First he gagged Canada's environmental scientists, forcing them to communicate to the public only through the PMO. Information would be submitted to Harper's political commissars to be censored, shrunken, warped and shaped, not to reflect the truth but to reflect Mr. Harper's chosen message. That, friends, is thought control and nothing but.

How many conservatives did you hear howling in protest, coming to defend Canadian democracy when Harper raised that dark curtain around the environment ministry? How many conservatives finally rose up to defend Canada when he did the very same thing to the defence ministry? How many chose Canada over Stephen Harper? Damned few.

Now Harper wants to muzzle Parliament's independent agencies, institutions such as Elections Canada and the Auditor General in the very same way. The Harper regime has issued draft rules that would require even those who are supposed to be independent, at arm's length from the government, to submit their intended public statements to the PMO for vetting or filtering, blatant censorship.

Even with the Tory rank and file sitting mute in the face of this outrage, the rest of us, which includes the overwhelming majority that did not vote for this thug, need to yell "no, enough". We need to show conservatives and their Leader that this is Canada, not Stevieland, and that he's not the choice of most Canadian voters and he can damn well stop acting like he's the Dick Cheney of the True North.

It's time to take the gags off the environment and defence ministries and it's time to stop Harper muzzling Elections Canada, the Auditor General and others.

Here's something to think about. If Harper will so blatantly abuse Canadian democracy while he's in a minority, what excesses will he resort to should we ever be blind enough to give the Tories a majority?


Anonymous said...

If there was only some democratic process to put an end to all this carnage....a means in which all the other party's could gang up and throw the bums out of office. If what your saying is true, then, surely a spring election is on its way, I mean, how could any Liberal sit and allow this to happen, unless of course they've been told that an election right now would hurt their party, but, wouldnt that mean that the interests of Canadians come second to the interests and success of the party? Oh ya...after 12 years of the NDP and the Liberals and the Bloc blocking any and all passage, thanks to the Conservative new found power, the age of consent has been raised from 14 to 16. Your welcome. billg

LeDaro said...

It is amazing and perplexing that a minority government can get away with all this. Where is the opposition?

The Mound of Sound said...

Well Billy boy, once again you try to sideswipe the issue of your support for this thug. Tell me, Bill, do you think your Leader is entitled to gag the public service and transform the government into his propaganda mill? Is that your idea of democracy? Leave aside the obvious failings of the opposition, they didn't implement these anti-democratic measures, your man Harper did. He put the gags in place, he appointed the faceless political commissars in the PMO who filter and manipulate the information circuits. This is your guy, Harper. This is Canada's democracy. Do you support what YOUR leader is doing to Canadian democracy? Simple question Bill. How about an answer?

You're right, LD, where is the opposition on this? I'm pretty disgusted about it.

WesternGrit said...

To answer your question - with my best guess... If the NDP and Greens actually had enough seats, we could form a coalition, and "throw the bums out". Unfortunately the NDP does not hold the balance of power, and any coalition would have to involve - gasp - the Bloc.

It is something WE should consider when we win our next minority (and it probably will be that in the next election). Mr. Dion would look like a very open and conciliatory man (vs. what Harper is), by extending open arms to the NDP to join a Liberal government. It would be very tough, however, to deal with the "crazy leftiness" of some the Dipper's ideas, so I'm not sure the marriage would work very long at all, but it could work long enough to pass some important laws to shore up Canada's SOCIAL framework to prevent any further neoCon attacks.

The Mound of Sound said...

Good points WG. Even a temporary coalition COULD do an enormous amount of good to undo the chicanery of these scoundrels.

Anonymous said...

Wow, its like an echo chamber in here.

Do any of you realize that it was the Privy Council Office (NOT the Prime Ministers Office) that circulated a communications policy for discussion? The proposal applied to the civil service, NOT independent officers of Parliament like the Auditor General's Office and Elections Canada.

In fact, they couldn't do this if they wanted to, the PCO has no authority over independent officers of Parliament, and Ms. Fraser pointed that out.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your fearmongering. Echo, echo, echo ...

Oldschool said...

Harper silenced Enviromental Scientists . . . really . . . like Tim Ball PHD, Paterson at Carlton Unniversity, Dr. Mitchell Taylor, Manager, Wildlife Research Section, Department of Environment, Igloolik, Nunavut, Dr. Petr Chylek, adjunct professor, Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, Surrey, British Colombia.
All these scientists commented on the idiocy of Al's movie . . . but of course were panned by the MSM and the LPC who signed on the the Kyoto nonsense.

Hey Mound . . . is the water rising in Parksville yet????

The Mound of Sound said...

Curious, Anonymouse, that Sheila Fraser didn't see it as benignly as you do, perhaps because she, like the rest of the thinking planet, recalls how Harper gagged, yes gagged, EnviroCan and DND. Of course, then again, I expect Ms. Fraser doesn't know as much about the perils of government as the anonymice.

And as for you OldSchool, simply dredging up the likes of Tim Ball in your post disposes, quite nicely, with your shredded vestige of credibility. By the way, if you would like to life yourself out of the depths of ignorance, check out the link in my post of a few days ago about what happened to the weather. It's all there if you can stop sporting your abject ignorance long enough to read.

Anonymous said...

What can a person expect from a die hard fundamentalist. They have all the answers. Is that one reason Harper is such a friend of WGB? I also have to ask, where is the opposition and where are the people who advocate what the MOS has written about....forgetting political beliefs and standing up for the country. Same old same old.....Canadians are complacent and just don't give a darn. It begs the question "why" don't Canadians care??????

Anonymous said...

Subject: Fw: Harper's latest move . . .

Harper has just shut down Co-ordinated Access to Information Requests system site. The CBC blog about it is overwhelmingly expressing alarm. Someone on the blog has set up an
email site to register a petition signature against this. It is

Here is more information about the site and what has been done:

The Canadian Federal Government has quietly killed the Co-ordinated Access to Information Requests system. The system had served to make the government more open. With the death of CAIRS, the federal Conservatives have shut the door on transparency and accountability.

Could you send this out to your contacts? This should go Canada wide.