Stephen Harper Wants To Take Democracy Off Your Hands

Stephen Harper Wants To Take Democracy Off Your Hands

Scary stuff Stephen Harper's said

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.

How about this Stephen Harper gem from back in 2005: “When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it’s rapidly losing its moral authority to govern.” Coming from someone who has since prorogued Parliament twice (to avoid confidence votes he would've lost) and brought U.S. style media control to Canada that's downright hilarious.

Stephen still can't take any heat from the press and during his campaign stops is limiting national media to four questions a day which stands in marked contrast to the way NDP leader Jack Layton and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff are running their campaigns. "Harper finds time to do one or two carefully staged photo opportunities each day...As with all such events, the people who come in contact with Harper are Conservative supporters or part of the planning."

If the Tories were to run an honest campaign it would look like this:

Stephen Harper despises this country and he hates most of us Canadians too.

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

* The Canadian Nixon (a 2008 article which is more relevant than ever)

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