Wednesday, February 04, 2015

They've Already Shown You Their True Colours. And You'll Vote for Them, Why?

My party has only one voice in Parliament but it's a voice against which all the rest are to be measured and, when you do that, you get to see them clearly for what they are, their true colours.

In today's Toronto Star, columnist Tom Walkom calls out Mulcair and Trudeau for what they are - spineless opportunists for whom serving themselves will always trump serving Canada.

So far, the only opposition MP with enough guts to critique the content of the Conservative government’s new anti-terror bill is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

She said Monday in the Commons that it would turn CSIS into a “secret police force.”

She also asked if the bill’s remarkably broad definition of crimes against the security of Canada included anti-pipeline protests (and got no answer)

Now that experts have had a chance to plow through the omnibus bill, other critics are surfacing.

In a statement released Monday, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association asked the most trenchant question: Why are these extraordinary new security powers needed?

“There are still no answers as to why our existing laws and powers didn’t work — or if they didn’t work,” CCLA executive director Sukanya Pillay wrote.

She also pointed out that criminalizing something as vague as the advocacy of terrorism could have a chilling effect on academics and journalists.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has gone even further, saying that Bill C-51 would create “an unprecedented expansion of powers that will harm innocent Canadians and not increase public safety.”

In a release, it said it is alarmed by proposals that would expand the amount of time a terror suspect can be jailed without charge and that would allow judges to impose stringent conditions — including house arrest — on people who have not been convicted of any crime.

Stripping a person’s liberty where no crime is committed or suspected runs counter to our “most basic principles of fundamental justice,” the B.C. association wrote.

But none of this stopped the Liberals or New Democrats from supporting Harper's odious bill.  Walkom cuts to the chase.

Why are Canada’s usually obstreperous opposition parties so meek? Alas, they are afraid — afraid that if they criticize the substance of Bill C-51, Harper will paint them as soft on terror.

Yes, they're afraid.  Mulcair and Trudeau had to choose whether to stand up for Canada and oppose this egregious assault on our democratic freedom or buckle to Harper's will out of fear.  If they're this spineless in opposition you can be certain they'll be worms if they ever get power.

It was precisely this political malignancy that The Guardian's George Monbiot wrote of just a few days ago.

We are told at every election to hold our noses, forget the deficiencies and betrayals and vote Labour yet again, for fear of something worse. And there will, of course, always be something worse. So at what point should we vote for what we want rather than keep choosing between two versions of market fundamentalism? Sometime this century? Or in the next?

Perhaps there was a time when this counsel of despair made sense. No longer. The lamps are coming on all over Europe. As in South America, political shifts that seemed impossible a few years earlier are now shaking the continent. We knew that another world was possible. Now, it seems, another world is here: the sudden death of the neoliberal consensus. Any party that claims to belong to the left but does not grasp this is finished.

Trudeau and Mulcair just wiped their boots on you.  This country has no need of their kind or their parties.

h/t Lorne, Politics and its Discontents


Kirby Evans said...

I agree entirely concerning the problems of the Libs and NDP. However, I wish that I could feel better about voting Green. As much as I appreciate May, the policies of the Green Party are far too invested in Market solutions for me.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Kirby. The thing is that if we're to have any hope of preparing Canada for the environmental train wreck heading our way we have to decouple Canada from neoliberalism. I believe May knows that as well as anyone.

Purple library guy said...

On the criminalizing speech thing--apparently, contrary to the previous bulletin a few days ago, NONE of us are Charlie Hebdo.

Kirby Evans said...

I agree that May is the only leader that really questions the Neo-Liberal "consensus," however that in itself does not solve the problem. And by voting for the Green Party I am putting myself in the same boat again (voting for a party with which I disagree on many issues, just to get rid of another party with which I disagree). I don't actually believe that Green Party policies will substantively fix the problems that they seek to fix, and will, I think possibly make matters significantly worse for the working-class. Obviously, we can't debate this here, I am just saying that just because May is the best leader in the HOuse and the only one of the major leaders who really understands that there is a problem, that doesn't mean a priori she is on the right track to solving it. Thus, I find myself in the same boat in which I began.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ PLG - well that was certainly a rude surprise.

@ Kirby. Watch out for that boat you're in. I think there's a leak in the bilge.

Kirby Evans said...

To make the metaphor more effective, I am actually floating in the water watching all the boats sink, each with a slightly different hole in its hull.