Tuesday, July 10, 2012

HELP, We're Trapped Beneath a Dead Prime Minister and We Can't Get Up

Sometimes it can feel like Stephen Harper is a giant dead body that's fallen on top of Canada.  He's not really dead but you can look at him a good long time and not spot any signs of life either.  And that's a technique he's brought to the prime minister's office.

Steve is heavily into lube.   He's all about everything bitumen - getting it out of the ground, pumping it through pipelines and into the bellies of supertankers and selling the stuff to foreigners.   That's the Harper government in a nutshell, if only it could be in fact jammed into a nutshell.

But government is about so much more than a single resource.   Just not for Steve and his government.   When it comes to all those other things,  Harper has two approaches - screw with it or ignore it.   He likes to screw with things whether it's slapping his own picture up all over the PMO, or indulging his prison fetish, or seeing just how easy it is to defund the federal government.   He'd love to screw with capital punishment and criminalize abortion but that might just start a ruckus that could mess up his bitumen agenda.  A man, after all, can only do so much.

And for the stuff he's not screwing with, that's where ignoring stuff comes in.   Screwing with stuff is actually easier than ignoring stuff.   That's why Steve has found that he's better off to make the stuff he wants to ignore disappear all together.   This is especially true when confronted with information and knowledge and, gee willickers, science!   So he gets rid of information about poverty and inequality and other social ills by ditching the census and defunding NGOs and other pesky agencies.   And Steve absolutely gags those damned scientists.   He can't just chuck them all into a gulag, not in today's Canada, not yet, but he can censor their contact with the outside world and make sure when they do venture outside they're at the end of a short leash firmly held by trained minders.   And, better yet, Steve can shut down their programmes and simply lay them off.  Who'll notice?

And that's how you wind up with a stale, moribund government led by a seemingly lifeless prime minister that suffocates the country and its people.   But there is hope.  Help is on the way.   Canadian scientists, the bain of Harper's iron-fist existence, are fighting back.   Today they'll march through Ottawa in a protest against Harperian war on science.

"In my view there are a lot of attempts in this country, and other countries too, to push through resource-based economies," said Prof John Smol, a freshwater lake biologist at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. "People working at ELA are constantly finding reasons why you can't just put a pipeline here, or an industry there, because there are going to be environmental costs."

Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, was even more pointed. "It's not about saving money. It's about imposing ideology," he said. "What's happening here is that the government has an ideological agenda to develop the Canadian economy based on the extraction of oil out of the Alberta tar sands as quickly as possible and sell it as fast as it can, come hell and high water, and eliminate any barriers that stand in their way."

"The Harper government is the most environmentally hostile one we have ever had in Canada. Harper pulled Canada out of the Kyoto protocol, gutted the Fisheries Act (our strongest freshwater protection law), and hollowed out our environmental assessment legislation, making it easier for extractive industries to get licences to exploit," said Maude Barlow, a former UN advisor on water and chair of the Council of Canadians. "It is heartlessly shutting down a programme that costs very little to run given the incredible benefits it brings, in order to silence the voices who speak for water."


the salamander said...

Its an excellent analogy.. Perhaps he's not in fact dead.. like a great dead dinosaur, but overcome & snoozy due to the orgasmic n slippery wonder and majesty of his so called majority. I wonder if he's tuned into the Stampede breakfasts right now with Rob Anders, Ezra and some petro-kings or listening in as the Supreme Court probes one of his precious riding outcomes in Appeal... If he has no real concerns re upcoming by elections or investigations then perhaps he's sorting out his next unhealthy experiments in Economy uber Environment.

I've being watching the CBC stream and live blogs.. and I'm struck by the detailed pleas of a very adroit Conservative lawyer specifying that certainly in Canada Eh! we don't take away a person's vote because of a simple clerical errors.. even if nobody in Canada has been able to identity or find the electoral clerk that made the errors. The lawyer neglected to point this out, but I suspect the eminent judges are aware of the mysteriously incognito poll clerk. Perhaps it was Poutine ?

So .. Robo/Live Call Fraud is ok for now.. absolutely no proof it happened as Harper - Del Mastro have trumpeted in Parliament and in public.. but how dare we question a person's vote due to clerical error ?

Your article causes me to again be struck by the extreme contrasts that The Harper Government presents us with.. mainly via controlled message (propaganda) and mainstream media that to a great extent can barely spell, much less understand context.. thus they either perpetrate propaganda.. or worse, blur the facts and context.. muddy the water.

Let me summarize re the ludicrous contrast here .. The Supreme Court is in deep deep examination over about 70 votes in Etobicoke.. (The staggering legal fees for the two contestants initial court case and this current appeal will likely exceed the cost to continue the ELA program!) and meanwhile we appear to have at least 200 other ridings where intensive electoral grooming preceded electoral fraud. We also know that electoral spending is being investigated (Del Mastro & Fantino) Is this classic red herring tactics or what ?

Is Stephen Harper simply the forerunner .. ? Where we find that political animals that display essentially ZERO Canadian attributes (courage, honesty, compassion, common sense, curiosity.. respect) are somehow manipulated into powerful political positions along with their shadowy but equally un-Canadian, morally and ethically bankrupt sponsors and stooges ?

I hope The Supreme Court understands the overall context of this appeal. I hope they quash the appeal, award for a by-election and that each of them dispenses some salty comments that quibbling over people voting twice, bad record keeping, sloppy polling station procedures and missing electoral clerks is likely the least of our concerns.. if the entire election was hijacked.

I want to hear them in the near future tell Stephen Harper that he does not, and never will have the power or right to extinguish First Nations treaties. That he must follow due legal process and take responsibility for any of his actions or his cabinet regarding our environment and resources, That he can no longer obstruct Parliament or operate in secrecy, or without an earned mandate from the people of Canada. That those who attempt or succeed in interfering with individual votes or elections will be punished as stated by the law, and that nobody will be exempted.

I have high hopes and admiration for the scientists today in Ottawa .. you have to really be screwed up to stimulate such a strong reaction. Let's hope the general population starts marching as well..

kootcoot said...

I'm changing your handle to Mound of Wisdom after this post. But are enough Canadians aware that a dead or dead equivalent body is sitting in the middle of the PMO and as the song goes about the skunk - "stinking to high heaven?"

Heaven = a concept that Harper is familiar with and holds dear, unfortunately not supported by scientific evidence (all the more reason for Harper to love it to death)!