It's election time in Canada again but this is an election with a difference as it marks the first time in the history of the Commonwealth that a government has been found in contempt of Parliament (a penalty that theoretically could involve jail time). On March 21st a Commons procedure and house affairs committee tabled a majority report concluding the government was in contempt "for refusing to disclose enough information about the cost of several big-ticket items." The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois concurred and united in a non-confidence motion against the Harper Conservatives.
So not a first we can be proud of but then there hasn't exactly been alot to be proud of around these parts in recent years. According to Amnesty International Canada's global reputation as a human rights champion has been eroded. “No longer the champion, more and more Canada is perceived to be a country that is reticent to take a consistently strong stand for human rights. Sometimes Canada now is also seen as part of the problem, not the solution,” said Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty. The scathing Amnesty International report also notes that “On the home front, Canada’s human rights movement feels under siege. Never before have Canadian organizations worried so much that there might be consequences if they disagree publicly with the government on a human rights concern.”
As we move towards election day I know the nation is in dire straits when I find myself missing sweater vest Harper. At least back during the last election Steve-o was actively trying to convince Canadians that he was harmless (how could a guy in a sweater vest from Sears possibly be a serious threat to democracy?). But now it's as though he's figures that not enough of us care about democracy in the first place—that a significant percentage of Canadian voters are either NeoCon fanboys or apathetic and lazy enough not to want to be bothered by pesky little things like the environment, human rights, transparency, ethics and democracy. So these days Steve-o's dropped the sweater vest act and is sticking to alternately sneering and uttering the word "economy" like it's a chant.
Economy. Economy. Economy. I made the economy, damn it. And I can take it with me when I go too.
Or something to that effect. Which is a hoot because Steve-o was the last party leader to realize the Canadian economy was in trouble in 08.
If the Tories were to run an honest campaign it would look like this:
But then again, Steve-o hasn't really been hiding his feelings these past few years, has he? So maybe he's right about the NeoCon fanboys and folks that don't want to be bothered with democracy. I can only hope he's wrong about the number of them that are out there because I know there are quite a few of us who are livid that he's been able to continue tearing the country down for this long.
Some Additional Reality Check Reading on Stephen Harper