You know me I never have an opinion on anything and surely not on something political, it is too disagreeable for words and gentlemen never comment on such matters.
However the current Election campaign in Canada, the second longest in history since 1892 is driving me and at least 30 million other Canadians to distraction, Ok maybe 10 million. At any rate it is long and tedious and so far we have 7 more weeks of it before October 19.
the four Canadian Political Party Chiefs, from left Stephen Harper, Elizabeth May, Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair.
The issues facing this Dominion of ours, no one is really speaking about them, its all about Fraud Trials, who is going to jail or who is not, who is lying and who is committing fraud, who has been disqualified from Voting (voter suppression à l’Américaine) or who is disqualified from running in this Federal Election. There is a lot of hate out there against PM Harper who has now fallen into third place according to at least a dozen Pollsters who publish results in various media outlets. We are now in a Recession the second one since 2008, unemployment is going up, the dollar is worth as much as one Indian Rupee. Many Canadians cannot afford to go South this Winter.
But what of the real issues? Like good governance, investments, job creation, our foreign policy, Unity of the country, infrastructure. It seems those topics are gone. The Middle Class gets lots of play but what about the poor, the Veterans, the over 55+, pensions, respect for our Judicial System as a pillar of our Government system, respect for our democratic system, Parliament, the Charter of Rights.
Will a party Leader present a plan to reign in the almost dictatorial powers of the Prime Minister to put a stop to the abuse we have seen in the last 9 years. Our Democratic system in Canada is broken, that is clear. Unelected persons, insiders working for the Conservative Party have far to great powers to influence and intervene in all sectors of government. Ministerial responsibility is gone, Ministers are mere puppets of the Prime Minister. Everything they say or do comes directly from the Prime Minister’s Office Communication Bureau with its 1000+ staff. The RCMP, has been reduced to nothing more than a personal Praetorian Guard of the Prime Minister who rides around Ottawa in a 9 car heavily armed convoy, as if we were in Lagos, Nigeria. We are spending over 20 million dollars on his personal safety more than we have ever spent on any PM in 150 years of history. Does he really need 200 armed RCMP guards 24/7, when the Heir to the Throne is in Canada, him and the wife get 10 bodyguards and the Governor General who is the Head of State has 7 guards only on a daily basis. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.
It has to be understood that how we govern ourselves in Canada has to do with established Conventions and not a written Constitution where everything is detailed, spelled out and explained. Like in Britain where there is NO Constitution, we simply rely on what has always been done in the past, on Tradition. This worked fine for us until Harper came along and he demonstrated in words and deed that he is not going to play according to established Conventions. Our Constitution the British North America Act of 1867 and 1982 and the Charter of Rights of 1982 spells out in section 92 how the powers are divided between the Provinces (who created the Federal Government of Canada in 1867) and the Federal Government, but that is it and how Parliament will operate with the phrase ”For the advantage of Canada” pretty broad meaning, the rest is up to established traditions and conventions.
The word Canada in 1867 meant Quebec and Ontario.
The Queen EIIR signing the Constitutional document with the enshrined Canadian Charter of Rights on the steps of Parliament in Ottawa in 1982.
I have been voting since 1974 and this is the first National Election, I cannot remember any other past election were pure hate and division between Canadians is fuelling the constant bickering across party lines. Harper has made a hallmark of his regime to use wedge issues and appealing to the lowest common denominator in his base that 30% who will vote for him no matter what, to govern. His base are a very strange lot of people, they are not the old Conservatives of the years prior to the amalgamation of the Reform Party and Conservatives which took place in 2002. No, it is a group of extreme Right Wingers, xenophobes, gun owners, racists, neo-nazis and Rapture Evangelical types, who hate anyone who is not in their camp. Harper’s political allies are people like George W.Bush, Karl Rove, Silvio Berlusconi who he admires, David Cameron, the Koch brothers who help him out. So you get the picture.
The issue which Harper constantly likes to bring up is the deficit and government waste, convenient issues since few people really understand how the government works and most imagine there is massive waste due to lazy bureaucrats who are all corrupt. In turn the bureaucrats are helped by the Media who are all liars according to the Conservative Party spokesperson Kory Teneycke. Of course the White knight who will save us is Stephen Harper.
The fact that Harper added more to the Federal debt in his 9 years in Office than any other PM combined is lost on his supporters. He has been unable to balance a budget in 9 years and our economic growth is the weakest since the great depression of the 1930’s. Harper has slashed taxes so much that the government is unable to function properly, programs are in place with no money to administer them. Some 2 million children in Canada, our population is 36 million, live in poverty and the number continues to grow at an alarming rate, but he is oblivious to it. We have lost more of our Canadian Veterans from the longest war (12 years) in Afghanistan to suicide than to the Taliban, again it is not his problem, Harper cut budgets and services to Veterans and fought them in Court to deny them compensation, he claims we have no responsibility towards them.
Now the refugee crisis, Harper refuses to act, despite the fact that in 1947 Canada was one of the founders of the UNHCR and until 10 years ago we were a leader on refugee questions in the World. Harper declares that this conflict is a regional one, he blames the population of Syria and Irak for the situation, after all they are all Islamists, Arabs, people he has made abundantly clear he hates and his base is convinced that they are all terrorists, did Harper not tell us so repeatedly, so why should we help them.
This will be a very close election who ever wins will not win a majority. We may need a coalition, NDP-Liberals to defeat the CPC. There is a movement afoot to either vote strategically to ensure that Harper does not get in again or ensure a coalition to defeat him, nothing is certain. I cannot see a future for Canada under Harper if he was to be re-elected. Unfortunately there is still that 30% of voters who refuse to see the disaster this man brought upon us. Hatred, Xenophobia, Ignorance, Racism, this is what motivates his base.
We have had Prime Ministers in the past with whom I could not agree or disliked their policies, but there was always a middle-ground, there was always a way to reach a concensus which is the Canadian way in Politics. Now that is gone, only extremists remain and the politics of division, that is not good for our Dominion. It was understood in the past that your political rival was not an enemy but a rival and in the end all worked for ”Canada’s advantage” to quote our Constitutional text.
The road out of this tunnel is a long one and many Canadians say they want their Canada back the way it was. I am afraid this will never happen, we have become a nasty little country where bigots are proud. It will take a great effort to turn that tide, we can only hope.
UPDATE!!! 8 September 2015
New poll shows Conservative in third place, if election was held today they would not even be the Official Opposition. Let’s hope this confirms itself on Election day Oct 19.