April 7, 2011
Ten critical reasons for getting rid of Harper's Conservatives
Nadia AlexanMore by this author...
Should Stephen Harper ever get his coveted majority, you can kiss our compassionate, caring Canada goodbye!
It will be replaced by a mean, lean, spiteful dictatorship. This is not an ordinary election like any other. We must try to save Canada from an impending catastrophe.
1. The Economy: Harper considers the economy his “chateau fort,” He thinks he is the most trustworthy steward of the Canadian economy! Yet the facts prove otherwise.
He spends money as if he had a bottomless pit; but he spends it on his rich friends. When he took over power, he inherited a surplus of $16 billion, which he blithely turned into a deficit of $55 billion.
He spent $75 billion on a bail-out package for the banks, while they were making record profits.
He spent $1.2 billion on the G-20, boondoggle, entertaining a few friends, with an artificial lake and imprisoning hundreds of innocent demonstrators in the process.
Democracy is good for Libyan demonstrators, but not good enough for Canadian protesters!
He now proposes to spend $30 billion on the purchase of Lockheed Martin, F-35 warplanes, without a public tender or any discussion in parliament.
He promised to give away $6 billion to the rich banks & corporations, with no strings attached.
The Conservatives are Bad for business: A MacLean’s’ article questioned the Conservatives’ laissez-faire attitude: “Ottawa has stunned investors with populist decisions that took precedence over sound policy. Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is actually hurting Canada’s reputation as a stable and open market for business investment… No issue has sparked as much public fury as Internet download limits. The Tories protected Air Canada from competition with Emirate Airlines, an airline regularly ranked among the top 10 in the world.” (MacLean’s Feb.15, 2011.)
Poverty levels are at an all time high. Twelve per cent of Canadians are living in poverty, most of them women and children. Harper declared war on women, although they earn 69 per cent of what men make, Harper still refuses to install an urgently-needed national day-care programme, or to recognize pay equity, which would relieve women’s poverty. He is a pig-headed misogynist.
Guess what he will do to our public services if he ever gets a majority?
2. Democratic Deficit: For the first time in the history of Canada, Harper’s government has been found guilty of contempt of parliament! Harper behaves like a dictator. It’s his way or the highway!
He treats parliament with brazen disdain. And when he is found out, he lies blatantly.
He flouts parliamentary democratic institutions by hiding documents from parliamentarians, as well as freedom of information requests by journalists.
He threatens witnesses, and sabotages parliamentary committees; then he suspends parliament whenever a scandal or controversy is brewing.
Harper is a control freak.
He makes a mockery of accountability and transparency, although he campaigned on these principles. He muzzles his M.P.s and his ministers. Every news-release or pronouncement must first pass inspection by his officers or “mind controllers,” just like the despots in the Middle East.
Elections Canada has found Harper’s team guilty of spending more than the allowable maximum of $1.2 million. Then he tried to camouflage the crime. Harper was accused of behaving like a dictator when he fired Linda Keene, Canada’s Nuclear Safety Watchdog, for refusing to give the green light to a nuclear reactor she deemed unsafe.
Mounir Sheikh, head of Statistics Canada resigned over Harper’s decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census.
Peter Tinsley blew the whistle on Canada’s participation in the torture of Afghani prisoners, when he was the chairman of the Military Police Complaints’ Commission. Harper did not renew his contract.
Harper wants to kill the CBC, the only non-commercial, independent broadcaster that binds Canadians from coast to coast; flouting all recommendations against the concentration of the media in the hands of a few barons.
3. Governance: Harper lies blatantly about “a Coalition,” since he himself, tried to form one, in 2004, when he made a deal with the leaders of the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to unseat Paul Martin’s Liberals.
Most democratic countries rule by means of coalitions. Moreover, most democracies have proportional representation, which rules out the formation of a government with a third of the popular vote.
Harper wants to ban public funding of parties, so that they will not have a level playing field. The Conservatives will be able to outspend the other parties because their corporate base is very rich and very powerful.
The Harper government has muzzled Civil Society groups, environmental organizations, women’s advocacy groups, anti-poverty groups, progressive think-tanks and watch-dog agencies, by means of intimidation and budget slashing.
Having basically silenced all his critics, all that is left are the courts. Harper has already filled any Federal Court vacancies with his own supporters. If he should ever get a majority, he will replace 8 out of the 9 Supreme Court judges eligible for retirement.
4. Environmental Degradation: The Harper government refuses to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
They campaigned aggressively to get rid of the Kyoto Protocol and insist they will build the Western Gateway pipeline to bring tar sands oil to Canada’s west coast.
The Conservatives intend to expand the Alberta tar sands’ production, despite the contamination of water, the destruction of forests and the resulting C02 emissions of 100,000 tons daily,
His Senate appointees even killed a Climate Change Bill C-311, an Act to ensure Canada assumes its responsibilities in preventing dangerous emissions, already passed by the House of Commons.
5. Lopsided Justice: Harper is obsessed by punishment as a sort of “vengeance,” instead of the “rehabilitation” of criminals.
Although crime rates are decreasing, Harper insists on building more prisons, American style, at a cost of $10 billion.
Amnesty International has just slammed the Conservative government for its poor Human Rights’ record, especially in matters of freedom of information, the selective funding of N.G.O.s, violence against aboriginal women, and the silencing of dissent.
If Harper were to ever get his coveted majority, he would certainly bring back the death penalty.
He also flouts international law. He refused to repatriate Omar Khadar, a Canadian child-soldier, who was left to rot in Guantanamo Bay, even though all other countries retrieved their citizens from this illegal hell-hole.
Harper tried to cancel the long-gun registry against a national outcry by women’s groups and the RCMP, who regularly consult it for security reasons.
An OECD Committee has just issued a stern condemnation of Canada’s soft approach on corporate crime. Only one single case has been found guilty since 1999, although Canada signed an International Treaty in 1997, which aims to fight commercial corruption.
6. Warmongering: Harper practices fear-mongering unabashedly. He continues his obsession with arms by increasing military-spending; although a majority of Canadians oppose our participation in Afghanistan. We are now engaged in two wars.
7. Immigration: Ethnic groups beware!
Harper changed the immigration law by making reunification of families more difficult. He also changed the law so that his minister of safety will be the final arbiter of who comes into the country. The minister can declare any group of immigrants coming to Canada as “a smuggling incident,” whereby authorities could jail men, women and children for a minimum of one year. Harper makes the rules!
8. International Shame: Harper lost Canada a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
He alienated a majority of nations with his unconditional support for the state of Israel, right or wrong. He was disrespectful of the U.N. when he snuck out of a meeting for a photo op, to celebrate the opening of a Tim Horton’s in New York.
9. Aboriginal Abuse: The rightful owners of this country live in abject poverty.
The Harper government refused to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that was adopted by 144 other countries. The Conservatives also decided not to respect the Kelowna Accord that was intended to improve the lives of aboriginal people.
10. Canada’s Sovereignty at Risk: Harper is secretly negotiating a free-trade agreement with the European Union (CETA) without any input from Canadian citizens or any discussion in parliament.
Only Corporations and business moguls are privy to the negotiations. This treaty will touch every aspect of our lives. It will further deregulate big business, decrease workers’ rights and will accelerate the privatization of our resources, such as water. Our public services, such as health care, education, etc. will be up for grabs. Beware!
Nadia Alexan is the founder of Citizens in Action Montreal, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vote strategically for (ABC) “Anybody but Conservatives,” For more information: check out the following websites: Catch 22, Lead Now, Project Democracy, Why Stop Harper? One Hundred Reasons to stop Harper.