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

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