Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Jobs Done---No more Need For This Blog

I recognized early that Stephen Harper did not reflect the values of Canada or Canadians and ths embarked on this project in 2008.  In 2015, Canadians caught up to me and turfed the bum.

Good thing!  Because with Harper's Bill C51 (Canada's Antiterrorism Bill) which undermined Canadian's Free Speech and Canada's Bill of Rights and Freedoms enshrined in the Constitution,  I might have been tossed into jail as an enemy of the state for speaking out against Harper and his right wing Conservative Party.

The crunch came with the Oct.19 Election following the longest Election Campaign in Canada's history, when the Canadian Electorate threw him out in favour of Justin Trudeau, whose positive campaign style and ability to meet people convinced Canadians to bring out the Harper hook

Harper's total campaign cosisted of promoting hate and fear (chiefly of Moslems and female face veils), and vilifying his opponents painting bleak pictures of resultant economic catastrophes if he was not re-elected to "stay the course" with his failed economic policies.  Constant attack ads for example painted winner Justin Trudeau as "just not ready---nice hair though!"

Ging forward, this blog will continue to exist in cyberspace only simply to document this dark cloud in Canada's history with the hope that we never again elect a demagogue hell-bent on destroying the best of what Canada stood for---respect and tolerance for all our fellow Canadians and a strong safety net of social policies like Universal Health Care and the Canada Pension Plan.

Finally---Stephen Harper's Politics of Fear and Hate is gone!

CLICK HERE to read about Stephen Harper's politics of fear and hate.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why Did Harper Lose? How could he win?

There were hndreds of reuasons for Harper Conservative's alienation and loss of trust. Writ large, the chief reasons can be briefly listed: overbearing administration, abandonment of the provinces, Machiavellian politics, corruption and arrogance.

Cross Canada Post Election Media Commentary and Analysis

Oct 20th Canada-wide post election media commentary

The Record Stephen Harper Leaves Behind

CLICK HERE to read the dubious record Stephen Harper leaves behind.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Harper among least trusted leaders, poll shows

DANIEL LEBLANC---The Globe and Mail
Monday, Nov. 12 2012

Canadians are slowly losing trust in Parliament and political parties, and share some of the toughest views in the American hemisphere about their national leader, according to a new 26-country survey.

At the same time, Canadians are holding on to their positive views of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP, an above-average appreciation of their law-and-order institutions.

All in all, Canadians are expressing dissatisfaction with their political system, but also no appetite for major changes to the federal apparatus.

The survey by The Environics Institute, part of an investigation into political attitudes in 26 countries in the Americas, found that Canadians have been shedding some of their optimistic and positive views on politics and government.

While attitudes toward politics are slowly improving in the southern half of the Americas, the findings in Canada show “clear evidence of decline” in the approval of political institutions since the first survey was conducted in 2006.

“Canada hasn’t made any progress [on a number of key rankings] in recent years, and it has lost a bit of ground on others in the last few years,” said pollster Keith Neuman of The Environics Institute. “The gap with other countries is smaller than it was before.”

The survey found only 16 per cent of Canadians place “a lot of trust” in their Prime Minister, putting Stephen Harper near the bottom among all leaders in the Americas.

“In an international context, Harper has a lower level of trust than almost every other national leader in the hemisphere,” Mr. Neuman said.

The levels of trust are also low for the Canadian Parliament (17 per cent), political parties (10 per cent) and mass media (6 per cent). The findings come after Canada lived under a series of minority governments from 2004 to 2011, fuelling a sense of growing partisan bickering in Ottawa.

Still, the survey found little appetite for major changes to Canadian institutions or the governance regime, with large numbers of respondents feeling that they can make their views heard in the political process.

“There is no groundswell for an overhaul of the system,” Mr. Neuman said of the results.

A large number of Canadians have trust in institutions such as the Canadian Forces (53 per cent) and the RCMP (36 per cent), and the level of confidence in the country’s justice system remains above average among respondents to the pan-American survey. Mr. Neuman said that the Canadian Forces and the RCMP have long commanded much respect in Canada, despite controversies that have affected the national police force in recent years.

The full results of the Canadian survey will be made public on Thursday at a meeting of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association in Ottawa.

The 2012 AmericasBarometer survey was conducted in 26 countries. Overall, 40,971 people were polled, with samples ranging from 1,412 in Haiti to 3,009 in Bolivia. Each questionnaire was administered by a domestic pollster, with the polls conducted in people’s homes everywhere but in the United States and Canada, where an online survey of 1,500 respondents was conducted.

See 1751 Reader Comments to this article

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Former Chief Electoral Officer discusses seriousness of illegal Conservative Robo Calls

Former Chief Electoral Officer discusses seriousness of alleged Conservative voter suppression charges and impersonation of Elections Canada Officials attributed to Harper's Conservatives in the 2010 election. Jail sentences and stiff fines may result if guilty verdicts are rendered and by-elections may be called in ridings where such activity has effected the result. Hold on to your hats....Thn Harper Government may be thrown out if a few election results are overturned....and it is doubtful with the illegal election fraud, that Conservatives would win any seats that become contested through these by-elections! There is still hope for Canadians!

Is the Harper Government the legitimate Canadian government?

Elections Canada reportedly has received over 30,000 complaints of illegal Robo Calls directing liberal and NDP voters to the wrong polls. Can you trust these guys to run this country?

Get some goons with clubs to insure Liberal and NDP don't vote----Is this the Harper Conservatives Election Strategy?

How are the Conservative Robo Call voter suppresion tactics different from goons standing at the door with clubs in some third world country ensuring that voters are unable to cast their vote? Think of the G20 police violence against Canadian citizens, the Conservative In and Out funding scandals, the $50M misappointed funds to ensure Tony Clements re-election, the peroquing of parliament twice to avoid loss of confidence votes against all parliamentary traditions in Canada...and now the robo calls! Will the very un-Canadian ethics of this Harper Government never end?

Illegal Robo Calls----Deny! Deny! Deny!

Deny! Deny! Deny! That's the conservative Johnny-one-note message re the illegal robo calls redirecting voters to the wrong polls. The other party panelist and the commentator on this CBC TV parliamentary news show raise some interesting questions that remain unanswered by the Conservatives when all the evidence points strongly at these illegal calls being part of their national campaign in over 30 closely contested ridings. As for the Conservatives conducting their own investigation, there have been news reports that they are listening to recordings of the illicit calls and my consern would be their destruction of any incriminating tapes. Hopefully Elections Canada will supoena all of these records before the evidence is destroyed.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Alleged Conservative illegal campaign tactics during May 2, 2011 Federal Election

It is alleged that the Stephen Harper Conservatives used robo calls and live telephone calls from hired calling centers directing non-conservative voters to the wrong polls, with callers and recorded calls often identifying themselves as Election Canada officials, and called many Liberal leaning voters late at night, often with rude calls, saying they were from the Campaign Office of the local Liberal Candidate, and called many Liberal supporters of the Jewish faith on Saturday, their holy day. Elections Canada has received over 30,000 such complaints and, along with the RCMP, have launched an investigation into these alleged illegal election practices. According to the longtime Commissioner of Elections Canada, these practices could result in jail time for those committing the offences and also result in by-elections from a null and void election result where the calls were seen to result in unduly influencing the election outcome. As expected, the Harper Conservatives are vehemently denying any wrongdoing while the opposition Liberals and NDP Parties are calling for investigations of the practices

Click here to read complete coverage of this issue!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Elections Canada Raids on Conservative Headquarters---Illegal election funding and filing of false election spending statements

On April 15, 2008, the RCMP executed a search warrant at Conservative Party Headquarters on behalf of the Elections Commissioner in order to seize documents related to the investigation of the In and Out scam. The warrant alleges that not only did the party exceed the maximum amount allowed for election expenses but the Conservative Fund may also have filed financial returns "that it knew or ought reasonably to have known contained a materially false or misleading statements."

Friday, January 15, 2010


One of the great things about this country is our tradition of parliamentary democracy and the freedoms the people have in determining their political destiny. The power of the people as represented by those we elect to govern is supreme over the power of any individual, no matter his/her position in our great nation. The vote of parliament is supreme on every issue.

The Prime Minister apparently doesn't get it!

Many despots throughout history first achieved political power through the popular vote and then started centralizing this power in themselves once power was attained only to start reaping havoc on their nation and the world. We have to look no further than the two "great" wars for examples of this.

It seems to me that Stephen Harper has developed an attitude that he is bigger than the long parliamentary traditions we have developed.

He has centralized power so completely in his office even to the point of muffling his cabinet ministers who must seek permission for their public utterances.

All of this, of course, with a minority parliament. Think of his possible actions if the people gave him a majority.

Hopefully this is a possibility that the Canadian people never have to face.

Harper has undermined our traditions enough. Let us not give him opportunity to do more damage to our Canadian "consensus way" of doing things.

And incidentally, despite Harper's statements that proroguing parliament again is not an issue with Canadians, I want to inform the Prime Minister that visits to this site have exploded over the last week.

People do care!

Background information

Tories Consider Proroguing Parliament
Little Support for Proroguing Parliament---Poll
The Top 10 Reasons Harper Prorogued Parliament
Prime Minister Prorogues Parliament
Calgarians against proroguing parliament
The Economist Editorial...Harper Prorogues Parliament
Facebook Page---Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament
The Varsity--Proroguing Parliament illustrates Harper's Hypocrisy
Globe and Mail...Harper to Prorogue Parliament
National Post---Shutting down Parliament Routine...Harper
Harper prorogues parliament...again!
Critics say anger is growing over Harper's "Imperial" style♦
Disatisfaction grows with prorogation in Canada---Angus Reid Poll
Proroguing shuts down investigation
Siddiqui: Harper acting like an elected dictator

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Is Harper Changing the Nature of Canada

Yes! Says respected columnist James Travers.

According to Travers, Harper is centralizing increasingly more "Presidential Powers" in the PMO remote from the oversight functions of the House of Commons.

He used the Christmas Constitutional Crisis to tell Canadian people that they directly elected the Prime Minister which of course is factually wrong as our Prime Minister is defined as the individual who has the confidence of the House of Commons. Instead, Harper led Canadians to believe that we directly elected our PM similar to the direct Presidential election in America. Of course, only the voters of Calgary Centre got a chance to vote for Harper and he became PM only because he was leader of the largest party, albeit a minority party. It was constitutionally correct for any other parliamentarian to be appointed as PM if they enjoyed the confidence of the House, a responsibility that would have fallen to Stephane Dion who had the support of both the NDP and the BLOC. To avoid this aspect of the Canadian Constitution, Harper convinced the Governor General to proroque Parliament at the most inopportune time when economic action was required to combat our faltering economy. What a time to take a holiday! But it is one other way that Harper has Americanized our Canadian system.

It was dishonest and unprincipled for Harper to lie to the Canadian people merely to preserve power. His action was unique for Prime Ministers in Canadian history but hopefully it will not set a precedent for other more principled leaders in the future.

Canada needs a leader who respects the most basic law of the land...the Canadian Constitution.

Harper once derided Canada as "a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it." He also told an American audience that "Canada is content to become a second-tier socialist country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services, to mask its second-rate status."

As Harper once boasted: "You won't recognize Canada when I get through with it." Since taking office, he's been carrying out his promise."

Perhaps we need a Prime Minister who is proud of the history and traditions of this country...and Harper is not it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is Harper's Departure Imminent?

Speculation is rife that PM Stephen Harper is on his last legs. Columnists are speculating this and this is supported by Harper's recent push for exposure on the international stage by his visits to foreign heads of state as well as his travels for interview on American TV Network political and news shows as well as his public comments regarding international events. It appears he is making his "last splash" before moving on.

In many ways, it appears also that Conservative MP's have had enough and are now getting the courage to stand up and speak up. They are sick and tired of the PM who micromanages every word they utter which is true also for the control he exercises over most members of his cabinet. This was certainly apparent over the Brian Mulroney issue where Harper forbid his charges to communicate with Mulroney and Harper's henchmen let it be known that the former PM was no longer a member of the party.

Harper is perhaps learning that those who live by the sword die by the sword.

Canadians, in general, appear to be losing confidence in the Harper Conservatives.

Even the Obama Administration is reaching out to Liberal Leader, Michael Ignatieff, to give him "face time" on the important Afghani file with the administration and perhaps even with the President that Harper did his utmost to deny on Obama's official one-day visit to Ottawa. You will recall that Harper's office scheduled a 20 minute visit Ignatieff/Obama chat at the airport upon Obama's departure. You will also recall that Obama extended the visit with Ignatieff far beyond the brief time Harper scheduled.

Perhaps Conservatives will be smart enough in future to select a "consensus builder" rather than a dogmatic demagogue as its leader.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Did PM Harper Know of our impending grave economic climate during the election campaign?

Harper is finally starting to acknowledge the grave employment situation in the nation scant months after the election campaign when he said the economy was in great shape with nary a problem in sight. He even prorogued parliament for over a month when parliament could have been working to avert the crisis. With the employment figures now out and the economic concern all around us, if the prime minister didn't see all this coming during the election campaign, how can we have confidence in a prime minister who can see no further into the future than the tip of his nose. If as I suspect, the prime minister and his advisors saw all this coming, and blatantly lied to the Canadian public to secure his continuance in power, how can we support a PM who would have such disregard and disrespect for the public that he would knowingly lie to them to get re-elected. Either way, he's got to go!

Fortunately, polling figures across the country show a loss of support for his leadership. Perhaps his party will throw him out first to save the Canadian public the effort.

Canadians are a people of moderation, a people of conciliation, a people of concern for their fellow citizens...and Stephen Harper is none of these. He is an unbridled neocon combatant that has to go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I get a kick out of this picture (credit: Tom Hanson, Canadian Press) of the Prime Minisiter strolling through Times Square on Feb. 23, 2009 with his impressive security detail. He's got all those guys guarding him but no one is paying any attention. It's Harper's play on the Obama-mania just witnessed in Canada. It must make a guy feel important even if no one's paying any attention. Perhaps all those security guys will attract a little attention of passers-by as to who that guy is in the middle! Maybe the security guys could carry placards announcing Harper's presence. Then they would have a little parade!

This picture contrasts with my memory of seeing PM Lester Pearson strolling alone down Avenue Road outside the Park Plaza Hotel on a sunny Saturday morning...nary a security guy or anyone in sight. But hey, he was only a guy to win a Nobel Peace Prize, Act as President of the UN's 7th General Assembly, lay the groundwork for the creation of the State of Israel, and bring us universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, and the Canadian Flag.

These days, a guy has to make the most of his moment in the sun.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remember this? Does a leader who misleads the Canadian Public deserve to be Prime Minister

Stephen Harper led the Canadian public to believe that the three opposition parties were pulling a cout d'etat when they agreed to form a coalition to govern as a result of their reaction to the Dec. 2008 Conservative Economic Statement that
1) removed political party funding which replaced private fund raising,
2) told parliament to expect legislation to erase women's equal pay for equal work legislation, and,
3)told parliament to expect legislation to erase Federal employees right to strike.
All this without addressing any measures to avert the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

As you all know, Harper convinced the Governor General to prorogue parliament to close it down at that critical time. Hardly the honest and principled leadership Canadians needed or deserved.

Never once did Harper inform the Canadian Public that coalition governments were within the constitution when a government loses the confidence of the house and that the Prime Minister is any individual who has the confidence of the house. Nor did Harper remind the Canadian Public that he attempted to form exactly the same coalition with the Bloc and the NDP to displace the Paul Martin Liberals as the government scant years earlier.

Enjoy CBC's Rick Mercer's rant on the situation.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Did Harper learn any lessons at Obama's political knee ?

So Superstar Obama has just taken off. While in Ottawa, "hermit" Harper tried to sequester Obama from the public and all but a few chosen politicians. Harper wanted to celebrate the President's trip here all by himself trying to minimize his exposure to the Canadian people while maximizing his own exposure with Obama. He even had Obama meet with the Governor General and the Opposition Leader at the airport rather than in the Parliament Buildings...perhaps over the lunch held in the Senate Speakers Dining Hall.

"Real" politician, Obama, however, asked Harper if he minded if he waved to the crowd once he arrived at Parliament Hill. Harper acquiesed and followed Obama's lead in acknowledging the people...the real purpose of being for a politician. And then, of course, the President detoured his entourage through the Byward Market to sample a famous "Beavertail". Could you imagine Harper doing this?

So why would Harper want to script Obama's visit here as tightly as he scripts his own interaction with the Canadian Press and the Canadian People? It's just one more proof that Harper is a "control-freak" one-man show.

In the TV coverage, however, it was obvious that Obama was the superstar politician while Harper looked like a little puppy at the master's political knee. Obama comes across as thoughtful, honest, open, and sincere while Harper acts, talks, and looks scripted. The President was even able to call press conference questioners by their names whereas Harper didn't seem at all interested in relating to them in any kind of warm or friendly way. Of course, he always tries to keep his distance from the press unless he has total control over the questions and the interaction.

Harper did seem to make a major turnaround over the environmental carbon footprint. While he bad-mouthed Dion's poorly sold "Green Shift" during the election saying it was a tax increase on everything, he now seems to have come "full-circle" on the importance of limiting carbon emissions with his signing of a "Clean Energy Agreement with the President. Too bad he didn't "come clean" over the importance of this issue during the election. This was blatant dishonesty with the Canadian people combined with "scare tactics". If Harper didn't agree with Dion's plan, he should have at least acknowledged the importance of the issue and proposed his alternative solution.

Hopefully, this meeting with President Obama is close to the end of the road for Harper's and his flight into the limelight.

To survive as a politician in the future, hopefully voters will be looking to cast their votes for more "Obama-like" politicians. To that end, Harper, if he hopes to survive, will have to cast aside his evangelical right wing dogmas which attempts to destroy opposition rather than involving or listening to them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Please, Mr. Harper, no more tax cuts

Brigitte Nowak, Toronto

I don't want tax cuts. My taxes pay for my government to provide social services so that I can maintain at least a minimal standard of living. I also don't want tax cuts for corporations so that they can provide their shareholders with a "good return," usually at the expense of workers who are being asked to do more and more to ensure a profit, and fired whenever executives' bottom line might suffer.

I'm still trying to find my last tax cut – the penny off the GST. All I know is that under Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty, Canada has gone from a multi-billion dollar surplus, to this year's projected $35 billion dollar deficit. Had we not had previous tax cuts, would our economy not be in much better shape to weather the current recession?

It is anticipated that the deficit might reach $100 billion – more than wiping out our hard-fought deficit reduction strategies.

I hope the impending budget is not a plot by Harper and his ilk to gut our much-needed government services in the name of "fiscal responsibility."

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Study in Contrasts---Hitting the Road Running vs Hitting the Road Hiding

Barack Obama has not yet been sworn in as President, but he's taken off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, and gotten to work. He realizes in this deepest economic meltdown since the depression that immediate and effective action is needed to stop the slide. He realizes that consumption has to be stimulated in the economy to save jobs. That means money has to get in the hands of Main Street, not Wall Street!

Obama Early Frenetic Action

Prime Minister Stephen Harper provides a study in contrasts.
In the six weeks leading up to the election, Stephen Harper was telling Canadian people that the economy was strong, that the Canadian government would be running budget surpluses for 2009, and that he would never lead the Federal Government into deficit budgets. Amazing how his positions changed immediately following the election. He calls himself an economist! Some economist if he didn't see the economic realities media worldwide were reporting...or did he...and just didn't come clean with the Canadian public.

Harper must be more like George Dubya Bush than Obama. He is out of date in this new age of honesty and integrity in politics.

In many ways, Harper's election statements and fear-mongering would not meet the standard of truth demanded by National Advertising Standards in this country.

Harper's initial solutions to the worldwide recession presented in his government's first economic statement on November 27, 2008, served to inflame opposition parties with measures to 1) Cut political per vote subsidies introduced to move political parties away from corporate donations which tended to produce legislation favourable to donors, 2) Prohibit strikes by Federal Civil Service, and 3) Limit pay equity legislation guaranteeing women equal pay for equal work.

Harper's government has recently introduced Tax Free Savings Accounts to stimulate savings...exactly the wrong policy to introduce now. This policy tends to rob the economy of consumption dollars at a time when consumption has to be stimulated. Further, over his history as Prime Minister, he has favoured general tax cut policies which favours the rich. Only the rich can afford savings, and only the rich have enough income to generate meaningful tax savings. While the rich might profit from tens of thousands of dollars from tax cuts, most Canadians save only pennies. How much did you benefit, for example, from Harper's 2% cut in the GST? How about 20 bucks for every thousand you spent on GST taxed purchases? Would that make a difference to your expenditure? Would that stimulate your spending to get the economy back on track?

So while Obama rolled up his sleeves and got to work, what did Harper do?

Harper's frenetic action to shut down parliament in its first weeks

He rolled down his sleeves, put on his baby blue sweater, put on his blinders, put his head in the sand, put mufflers on his MP's and Cabinet, and shut down Parliament for two months..of course, hoping his problems would go away.

So what is leadership? You tell me!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Harper's Broken Promises:
A Comment by Democracy Watch

Reprinted from Toronto Star, Letters to Editor, December 29, 2008

Written by Duff Conacher, Co-ordinator, Democracy Watch

With his appointment of 18 Senators, most of whom are Conservative party cronies, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has added another broken promise to the 27 democratic reform and government accountability promises the Conservatives have already broken since they were elected in January 2006.

In their 2006 election platform, the Conservatives promised to establish an independent Public Appointments Commission to ensure fair, merit-based and widely publicized searches for qualified candidates for the PM and his cabinet to appoint to government agencies, boards and commissions.

Harper broke this promise after opposition parties changed the Federal Accountability Act to ensure the commission would be non-partisan and operate independently of cabinet, and be accountable to Parliament if it did not ensure fair appointments. The Conservative cabinet has gone on to appoint more than 1,000 people to key government positions, many with ties to the Conservatives.

They also broke their promise to "Prevent party leaders from appointing candidates without the democratic consent of local electoral district associations" and Harper showed his dishonesty further by appointing several Conservative candidates for the recent election. He has also made false claims about why he has broken these promises, as usual blaming opposition parties for his failures.

The PM also used his so-called "Accountability Act" to cut the ethics rule that requires him and his cabinet and senior officials to be honest. He obviously wanted to protect himself from being found guilty of breaking the honesty rule.
Canadians deserve better. The Conservatives are practising dishonest, unethical, secretive, un-representative and wasteful federal politics as usual. The key question is, will the opposition parties offer good government to voters?

Duff Conacher, Co-ordinator, Democracy Watch, Ottawa

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Visit from St. Stephen

Copied from the Lethbridge Herald
Monday, 22 December 2008

’Twas just days before Christmas, and all through the House,
With Parliament prorogued, and no one about,
The calculating genius set to his work.
There were seats to be filled! No prerogative to shirk.
Setting aside any talk about changing the Senate,
The timing was right to dispense with that tenet.
No elections are needed when loyal Tories abound,
Announced at this time, they’d make barely a sound.
So clad in a sweater-vest, a populist nugget,
The PM opened a goody bag, so full who could lug it?
Inside were fat pay cheques, appointments nearly for life, a pension, free travel — no economic strife!
With a seat in the Red Chamber, your future is set,
Promises broken? For sure, but voters forget.
The critics were howling, “It’s undemocratic!”
But St. Stephen can quickly brush off all that static.
With faithful rewarded from coast to coast,
No one from Alberta, where we’d much rather vote.
Even with 18 senators, most leaning right,
The Grit majority in the Chamber is still water-tight.
“Now Manning! Now Dickson ! Now Gerstein and Wallin!
“On Duffy! On Greene! The Senate’s a-callin’!”

To the top of the patronage heap you will go,
To the tune of six million in taxpayers’ dough.
With the goody bag empty and Ms. Jean buying him time,
The PM is now due for a holiday sublime.
Fear not a coalition, nor taxpayers’ ire.
January will be ripe for that kind of fire.
And so with the PMO’s considerable might,
Best wishes for Christmas, and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quebec Election shows effect of Harper Quebec Bashing

In the recent parliamentary debates surrounding the Liberal/NDP/BLOC coalition, Prime Minister Harper continually stated that it was treasonous and salicious for the Liberals and NDP Parities to form a coalition with the sovereignous BLOC Quebecois, something he said the Conservatives would never do, despite his efforts to do so in 2004.

His statements indicated his sentiment that the BLOC MP's were somehow less than those of the other parties since BLOC members support Quebec soverignty, and thus, he maintained, the breakup of the country. This was the same Prime Minister who declared Quebec a "distinct society" in the last government thus setting it apart from all of the others. This gained favour in Quebec and separtist sentiment dropped from ealier fever pitches and gained Conservatives some political leverage in the province.

It was projected that his recent Quebec Bashing would have a backlash in Quebec stoking up Quebec Nationalism once again...and this was seen in last night's Quebec election results. The Parti Quebecois, the Quebec sovereignist party, rose from 3rd place to 2nd (opposition opposition) with a gain of 15 seats from 36 seats to 51 seats in the 125 seat parliament.

It would seem that Harper has destroyed any opportunity for a majority Conservative Government if his budget is defeated at the end of January and the Governor General calls an election rather than asking the coalition to form a government.

Kicking Harper out of the PM's chair would be a good day for Canada! We need a leader to unite...not divide us!

Monday, December 8, 2008

If Harper Survives

By Murray Dobbin (BIO)| December 5, 2008, Reprinted from

I am surprised that my astute Tyee colleagues Rafe Mair and Bill Tieleman have outright rejected the coalition government being proposed by the Liberals, NDP and Bloc.

Both know only too well just who Stephen Harper is and what he would do to the country should he ever achieve a majority.

With no mandate to do so, he would dismantle the work of three generations of Canadians in building a decent, if far from egalitarian, society.

He would, for starters, gut and or sell off the CBC.

He would repeal the Canada Health Act and open the Medicare system to massive privatization and balkanization.

He would, as quickly as he could, further gut the spending powers of the federal government with more destructive and ill-considered tax cuts for the wealthy and for Canada's corporate welfare bums.

He would rapidly devolve power to the provinces, balkanizing the country and its egalitarian approach to social programs.

Our foreign policy would be made in Washington and our energy and environmental policies would be made in Alberta. More billions would be poured into making our military a war-fighting adjunct to the U.S. war machine. (If you think Obama is going to dismantle the American Empire, think again.)

None of this will ever be part of a Harper election platform. But it is what he would do.

No ordinary moment

This is not an ordinary government, nor an ordinary prime minister. Harper has proven himself incapable of compromise. For more than two years, he governed as if he had a majority - not because the House of Commons was in broad agreement regarding his policies, but because he is contemptuous not only of the opposition parties but of virtually every aspect of our democratic system. He is contemptuous of Parliament and its committees - producing a 200-page guide on how to cripple the democratic process inside those committees. He is equally contemptuous of the 62 per cent of Canadians who rejected him and his party.

Having set elections dates, he cynically ignored his own law, then made barely any effort to broaden his political base during the election, preferring instead to solidify his already solid right-wing core.

Why? Because he simply can't stand the idea of compromising his rigid political ideology for the sake of the country.

Harper is a right-wing revolutionary manipulating a democratic system, which he detests for what it has produced: a pluralistic society, an activist state and a compassionate society.

So rather than compromise in the interests of the country, he determined before the election to govern by destroying the opposition parties through eliminating the government funding of political parties.

And don't forget, this government funding formula was a democratic breakthrough of historic proportions - eliminating the possibility of corporations seizing control of the political process with their money (and eliminating union funding, too).

Harper never 'evolved'

His arrogant response to the coalition government proposal of the three opposition parties demonstrates that he is not the least bit interested in changing his approach. If he outmaneuvers the coalition, he will continue to govern as if he has won a majority of the votes of Canadians, and not the 38 per cent he actually received. There is no humility here, no mea culpa, not a hint of any apology for his blatant brinkmanship.

Stephen Harper is a political leader out of control and he must be removed from power before he does even more damage to the country and to our democracy.

That is the context for the proposed coalition government. Canada faces not only an economic crisis, it faces a crisis in democracy. And the only way it can be solved is to remove Stephen Harper from power.

Is this a perfect solution? Hardly. It is messy and unsavoury in some aspects. Stephane Dion was massively rejected by Canadians. He, personally, does not deserve to be prime minister. Gilles Duceppe is a separatist - nominally at least - and it seems bizarre on the face of it to have him being key to the survival of the Liberal/NDP coalition.

But given the circumstances, these are acceptable flaws. The Harper government is doomed to defeat at some point simply because Harper is incapable of changing his governing style. He will continue to run roughshod over Canadian democracy and Canadian political culture. The opposition parties will, sooner or later, be obliged by their own mandates to throw him out.

Preview of proportional rep

As Jack Layton pointed out in the news conference of the three leaders, the coalition is exactly the way a government under proportional representation would work: parties with often very different philosophies and policies come together, find common ground, and put together a government that actually reflects the will of the people. If this coalition comes to pass, there needs to be a massive public lobbying campaign to ensure that it puts in place a system of proportional representation before the next election.

On purely constitutional grounds, the three coalition partners are completely within their rights and mandate to defeat the Harper government. The government has quite simply lost the confidence of the House. Period. When that happens, governments fall.

Bill Tieleman says this coalition will be terrible for the NDP. But he misses perhaps the most important aspect of this coalition. The three parties are all taking huge risks by putting the country before their partisan interests.

Duceppe is taking a huge risk in propping up a federalist coalition.

The Liberals risk alienating their more conservative supporters across the country.

The NDP risks losing support in the next election if the Liberals get credit for running a decent, moderate govt.

The three parties should be congratulated for taking these risks.

Send a message

Everyone who cares about the future of this country should drop what they are doing and vigorously support the proposed coalition. It is far from a done deal and Stephen Harper will do anything to hang on to power he does not deserve to wield.

We can only hope that the three coalition partners are just as determined in their efforts to rid the country of this destructive prime minister.

This column was first published on The Tyee.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Legitimacy of BLOC Votes

Last time I looked, Quebec was part of Canada, and as such they have equal right to select representatives to our National Parliament as any other Canadian.

Harper has continually undermined support for the BLOC indicating he believes in two kinds of Federal MP's...those from the Conservative, Liberal, or NDP Parties and those lesser MP's who support the BLOC.

Such nonsense...but an excellent way to fan Quebec Separatism by bashing Quebecers saying their vote doesn't count. Except I guess when it is supporting Harper and the Conservatives. Witness Harper's own attempt to grab power from the Paul Martin Liberals with a coalition attempt supported by the BLOC. How times change to suit your purpose! How dishonest to say its okay for the BLOC to support a Conservative Coalition but treasonous and salicious for the BLOC to support a Liberal Coalition. Such drivel.

Amazingly, past Mulroney Conservative Cabinet Minister Lucien Bouchard founded the Bloc Quebcois which in fact became the Official Opposition with Bouchard as leader. Was he a lesser Cabinet Minister in the Mulroney Cabinet than the others because of his sympathies with Quebec Nationalism? Doubtful! He was Prime Minister Mulroney's confidante and right hand man. Indeed, Bouchard was a well-known Quebec nationalist when Mulroney recruited him to the Conservative Cabinet in the hopes that he would bring a significant Quebec vote with him.

Those who have no strong reasons to oppose always attack the integrity of their opponents. If they can't explain their position logically, they attack the opponent person or group. Forget the to the emotions! This is anti-intellectualism to the greatest degree!

In this case Harper has worked to undermine the coalition by dividing Canadians whipping up soverignist sentiment in the process in Quebec and anti-Quebec sentiments in the rest of the country.

How can our National Leader consciously work to divide the country? Unusual isn't it for the leader of the country?

Perhaps he feels his political career is more important than the unity of the country he wants to lead.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The following letter to the editor was printed in The Toronto Star on Friday and I thought it fitting to reprint it here.

Harper has shut down parliament because he does not agree with it. Some say this is unprecedented. But he is following parliamentary tradition. Consider the following:

Re:1629: King Charles I in England

Re:1799: Napoleon in France

Re:1913: Victoriano Huerta, Mexico

Re:1933: Adolf Hitler in Germany

Re:1936: Francisco Franco in Spain

Re:1939: Benito Mussolini in Italy

Re:1973: Augusto Pinochet in Chile

Re:2008: Stephen Harper in Canada

Sean Fordyce, Gloucester

Friday, December 5, 2008

Canada's Parliament Shut Down---Prorogued

Pro-rogue--An Analysis of Its Meaning
by Scott Templeton, Whitby, Ontario

Now that parliament has been postponed lets take at look at the word pro-rogue…pro-rogue by itself means:

1) To discontinue a session of (The British parliament or a similar body)
2) To defer; postpone

But if we separate the word, ‘pro’ and ‘rogue’, we come to a complete different definition.

Lets Start with‘PRO’--we all know that it refers to
1) the pros, the professional athletic leagues, as of football, baseball, or basketball: He's sure to be signed by the pros.
2) An expert in a field of endeavor
3) In support of're "pro-Canadian" meaning you support Canada

Now lets look at the word “ROGUE”
1) a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel
2) to cheat
3) to uproot or destroy (plants, etc., that do not conform to a desired standard)
4) (of an animal) having an abnormally savage or unpredictable disposition, as a rogue elephant
5) no longer obedient, belonging, or accepted and hence not controllable or answerable; deviating, renegade: a rogue cop; a rogue union local

The analysis then--pro-rogue could mean in support of rogues...or support those who demonstrate the characteristics of rogues 1 to 5 above

So does that mean by extension that some of our politicians are dishonest, knavish scoundrels that cheat to uproot or destroy, have an unpredictable disposition and are no longer accepted?

Look at Canada's present government to judge the applicability of this analysis...Does it fit?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Conservative Government Fiddles While Rome Burns

Obviously I was wrong in predicting the Governor General's decision in meeting with PM Harper this morning. No one could have foreseen that she would make an unprecedented decision to allow parliament to be prorogued to allow the government to avoid facing a vote of confidence in the House of Commons.

This has never before happened to anyone's knowledge with parliamentary constitutional monarchies and sets a dangerous precedent for the future. The decision undoubtedly surprises Canada's premier constitutional experts.

The basic tenet of our parliamentary system is that government's continue to govern only while they maintain the confidence of the house. This seems to have changed with the Governor General's ruling today. It appears that future Prime Minister's now have precedent to request to shut down Parliament to avoid defeat through a vote of "non-confidence" in the house.

No one shall ever know the basis of Governor-General Michaelle Jean's historic decision because as head of the government, she need not answer to anyone. In addition, communications between the Governor General and the Prime Minister are privileged so we shall never know her rationale. Undoubtedly though, many constitutional experts will study her decision into the future. All of us will have to undoubtedly await a book of her experiences she writes following her retirement where she would undoubtedly reveal her thoughts on this historic day.

What seems to be true though...the constitutional landscape has been changed with the new precedent set today.

What also is true. We have no government at this critical time of economic uncertainty. Undoubtedly, though, the whole exercise has placed pressure on the Prime Minister to soften his autocratic, doctrinaire, and unilateral manner and he will produce a Good News Budget to garner widespread citizen support. The past week though may have undermined his Conservative Caucus and House of Commons support. The whole situation has poisoned the atmosphere of the house making a working minority parliament difficult.

Many also are blaming Stephane Dion's communication abilities as part of the weakness for the success of the coalition movement.

Could it be that we shall see new leaders for both the Conservatives and the Liberals early in the new year with another election taking place shortly after Parliament re-convenes in Late January.

I might point out that this post is no mea culpa in regards to my previous post and believe that the political landscape will change quickly in consideration of the constitutional challenges we have experienced in the last week.

In the meantime, Rome continues to burn!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Author's Preamble About the Cause and Resolution of Canada's Constitutional Crisis

From the title of this blog, it is obvious that it supports installation of the Liberal/NDP Coalition Government with the 18 month support of the Bloc. This is an unusual position for me, a former Federal Conservative Candidate in my riding, and so explanation is necessary.

As a Conservative, I must confess that I was more “progressive” than “conservative” occupying a position on the left end of the Tory Spectrum that would be classified as a “Pink Tory”…one who believes in individual initiative in success but also one who believes in strong social policies for the weak, poor, and disadvantaged working to provide equal opportunity for all, no matter the accident of birth.

With the coalition of the “Reform Party”, the “Alliance Party” and willing “Progressive Conservatives”, a new Neo-Con party was formed which deserted my belief systems, leaving me very concerned about the health of our country and its future with “one-man-band” Stephen Harper in charge.

Canada from it’s very beginning has always been a country of compromise and consensus, a quality not possessed by the present Prime Minister who has one position, "my way or the highway". He has silenced his cabinet and government members and all decisions of government come not from the cabinet table, but from the chosen few in the Prime Minister’s Office. Harper is head of a dictatorship!

For public consumption, he has tried to moderate his image with his pastel blue sweaters camoflaging the real Stephen Harper until he gets a majority government. The real Stephen Harper is the Reform/Alliance Policy Advisor who wants to Americanize Canada with more powerful provincial governments, a smaller less important federal government with smaller taxes and reduced Federal responsibilities. This jeopardizes programs such as the Canada Pension Plan, Medicare programs, and transfer payments to universities creating a “Canada for the rich” and limited opportunity for the poor…he wants to create a “land of privilege”. Like, perhaps the worst American President ever, George W. Bush, the tax cuts Harper implements favours grand decreases for the rich and little for the poor. Witness a 2% cut in the GST. If you spend little like the poor, you benefit minimally. If you spend a lot like the rich, you benefit maximally. The similar situation is true for general tax decreases. Tax credits like those for children’s participation in sports programs again at maximum for the rich who can afford to have their children participate and nothing for the poor who cannot. He also implemented huge corporate tax decreases to improve the bottom line for the investors but nothing for the workers who produced all the wealth. In all ways, Harper benefits the rich, does little for the middle class, and virtually nothing for the poor.

In his recently disclosed fiscal update delivered by Finance Minister Flaherty on Nov. 27, 2008, he has stated his intention to outlaw strikes by the civil service, eliminate pay equity provisions of the country which insure pay equity for women, and to eliminate the $1.95 “kickback” per vote each party receives in a Federal Election. This subsidy was introduced to limit large donations by those who would want to benefit significantly from their donations…a bribe for “scratching their back”, to put it bluntly. The cutbacks to political party funding reduced their ability to hire researchers to provide an effective opposition, which was key to Harpers Plan…reduce the effectiveness of the opposition while giving Harper’s Government free rein with the use of government researchers and department expert staffs all paid for by the taxpayer. His strategy…silence the opposition and make it ineffective so he could steamroll unopposed!

Further, Harper has proven he is not a person of integrity in this new Obama age, when personal honesty, integrity and justice seem to be the new political order of the day, Harper has:

1) Repeatedly referred to a so-called negative ethic of making a deal to overthrow a minority government with the help of the BLOC, whom he says want to break up the country. In fact Harper signed a similar agreement with the BLOC to overthrow the Martin Government in 2004 and in TV presentations of December 4, 2008, repeatedly referred to the BLOC in his English message as SEPARISTIST (a negative connotation for that audience) and in his French message as SOVREIGNISTS (a positive connotation for that audience). Why a different message to different audiences?

2) Harper says that the only way the Liberal/NDP coalition can take over the reins of government is with a vote of the people in another General Election. This is blatantly untrue. Canada’s Constituition names the Prime Minister as the person who can command the “confidence of the House of Commons—Parliament”. Harper knows this and thus is the reason why he actually signed an agreement with the BLOC and the NDP in 2004 in an attempt to wrest control from the governing Liberals. If it was okay for Harper in 2004, why is it not okay for Dion in 2008?

3) Harper says the people elected him to be Prime Minister…again, blatantly untrue. Harper’s name only appeared on one ballot in the country in the riding of Calgary-Southwest, the only group of people that elected him. Similarly, all other ridings in the country elected someone on their unique ballot to represent their interests in Parliament. It’s true that each candidate for office had a party affiliation but this is incidental to who forms the government. If any MP who was a member of a party opposed his party vote, he could be responsible for turfing his party out of government according to the constitution as this may result in his former party losing the confidence of the house. Similarly, party numbers, and thus the government, may change when a member crosses the floor after election to support another party. This may result from blatant enticements and inducements such as cabinet appointments made by the party needing another member (Liberal Emerson from Vancouver who accepted a Cabinet Appointment from the Harper Government in 2006 to prop up the Conservative minority in Parliament, and the “reported” insurance benefits offered to the dying Chuck Cadman in trying to entice him to support Harper in attempting to replace the Paul Martin Liberal Government on a critical confidence vote. There have, of course, been movements from the Conservatives to Liberals at recent critical times (Scott Brison and Belinda Stronach come to mind)…but the point is, it is the majority members of the House of Commons quite irrespective of which party they supported when they were elected, that determines who governs. This is Proof that the members themselves are more important under the constitution rather than the parties they represent which is incidental to the fact under the constitution.

4) Harper questions the ethics of the Liberal/NDP/BLOC coalition, when in fact, his present government is a coalition of REFORM/ALLIANCE/PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE parties although this alliance under the banner of the Conservative Party did get electoal support as a minority government.

5) Harper argues the BLOC is out to destroy Canada and thus the Liberal/NDP Coalition should not be in any agreement with the BLOC to support their coalition budget and confidence without saying that he has sought their support over his term of power and in fact the BLOC have voted with Harper’s Government over 100 times including supporting his budgets on 14 occasions…Did Harper think they were destroying Canada then?

6) We are in critical economic times and Harper in two months since the election has not come up with a plan to stimulate the economy and in fact did not intend to have a budget until the end of January. The economic statement he had the Finance Minister read on Nov. 27, 2008, was combative, non conciliatory, and its contents only served to inflame the opposition.

So where do I think the present crisis is going to lead?
1) Harper will undoubtedly try to prorogue parliament suspending all action to intervene in our economy till the end of January. Hopefully, the Governor General will not agree to allow Harper to fiddle while Rome burns, economically speaking. This request though should lead to a credibility problem for Harper for trying to cling to power by asking that Parliament be suspended at this time of economic meltdown. I don’t believe that the Governor General will agree to this.

2) Secondly, Harper will call for another election. Again, I don’t think the Governor General will agree to this as we’ve just had an election.

3) I believe she will call on the Liberal/NDP coalition to form a government. I believe this government will be very socially progressive realizing that given the opportunity , the NDP and its forerunners have had profound influence on National Social Policy. Both Canada Pension and National Health Care were Tommy Douglas inspired and Petro Canada was Ed Broadbent inspired.

4) I further believe that the Liberal/NDP Coalition will give rise to a new political party, The Liberal Democrats, which will govern into the next decade or so. I believe also that this new party will sheppard in new eras of integrity, co-operation and consensus under which our people and our economy will flourish.

5) I believe that Conservatives will call a leadership convention at the earliest possible time to replace Stephen Harper as there is no place in Canadian Politics for an uncompromising demagogue.

6) I believe the resulting socially conscious coalition government will introduce such social policies as called for in my site

The New Coalition

The Coalition Agreement

Stephen Harper's negotiation with Bloc and NDP which he now calls "Separatists" and "Socialists" in his attempt to form a Coalition to overthrow Liberals in 2004

Liberals, NDP, Bloc sign coalition agreement

Leaders Vow Fast Economic Stimulous

Who Should Take Helm of Coalition?

Coalition Faces Uncharted Territory

Opposition Sets Coalition Terms

Is Bloc support for the Coalition a concern for Canadians?...A comment!

A Former Conservative Premier's Point of View

Rideau Hall's Choice

Dion's Letter to Governor General asking her not to proroge parliament

Constituionality of a coalition government

Conservatives Argument that they do have confidence of the house

Harper to talk to Canadians about constitutional crisis

Harper Lies about coalition details--Broadbent

Out Come the Knives

Prentice for Leader

John Baird for Leader

Harper Speaks to the Nation Tonight

Harper Questionned on Cadman Case

Secret Tape A Window on the Talks

Selected Press Reports Regarding Canada's Current Constitutional Challenge

Harper Shows His True Colours

Q & A On Coalition Governments

Harper was in on the ground floor on coalition building

Harper Invokes Bloc Bogeyman

Luxury Travel Contracdicts Tory Frugal Image

Constitution and Precedent are on Coalition's Side

Experts Weigh PM's Options

Harper Scrambles to Preserve Power

Tories Climb Down in Face of Coalitiom

Tories May Be Foisted By Own Consitutional Petard

This is not leadership

Coalition feud sparks flurry of online reaction

Harper Shows His True Colours