The Canadian Angst of the Harperian Cancer
It would seem that St. Patrick’s Day in Canada means more than green beer and food colour stained toilet bowls the next day this year as the Federal government’s opposition parties have drafted a motion that states that the ruling Progressive Conservative Party, and Prime Minister Steven Harper, are in contempt of Parliament (1). If the draft passes into an official motion by the opposition parties, it will mean that Harper and his Conservative Party will be the first government in the history of Canada to face such a motion. The draft is based on their claim that the Harper government has refused to produce full cost estimates for its crime bills and corporate tax cuts, which impedes the respective committees on their work on these issues. According to the House of Commons Procedure and Practice (Privileges and immunities), “Contempts, as opposed to “privileges”, cannot be enumerated or categorized. As Speaker Sauvé explained in a 1980 ruling, “… while our privileges are defined, contempt of the House has no limits. When new ways are found to interfere with our proceedings, so too will the House, in appropriate cases, be able to find that contempt of the House has occurred” (2).
It would seem a case or déjà vu in regards to the charges of contempt for Parliament by Steven Harper and the Conservatives, though it has been a tradition for both Conservatives and Liberals alike. The behaviours of the current federal Progressive Conservative Party that would indicate that they have now fully rediscovered its roots of corruption that were to have been destroyed back in the late 1990’s when the Conservative vote had been split by the introduction of a new right wing party from the Western Canadian Provinces, the Reform Party, into federal politics. The Reform Party had begun as a grassroots party led by Preston Manning, and pushed for real change in the policies and the way the federal governments in the past had done business. This Western incursion into the federal arena, along with the disenfranchised Progressive Conservatives who were soundly whacked in elections because of scandal backlash of the Brian Mulroney era, was in shambles and some jumped ship to the Reform Party.
The parting of the right vote posed a conundrum for both the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform party – as separate entities they would never be able to gain a majority of the right to wrest power away from the Liberal Party of Canada. The one issue that the Reform Party of Canada had was that in the east it was seen as a radical party, a demonic Albertan Party, bent on taking power from the two ‘big’ provinces of Ontario and Quebec, so the party was not successful in gaining any meaningful foothold past Manitoba in order to attain the minimum number of seats required to form a government. The decision, though one that was hard to convince delegates on both sides to merge the parties into the Canadian Alliance Party in 2000, which was to be the dawn of a new age of conservatism in Canada – but then the dregs of old Progressive Conservative party came back in the guise of being reform-minded and in 2004 unleashed its centuries old beast with the election of Steven Harper as the ‘new’ Progressive Conservative party in 2004. The Progressive Conservative “Big Blue Machine” rumbled back to life and has been in overdrive since.
It is of interest to note that one of the main objections in the opposition parties draft motion is on the lack of government transparency and unwillingness to divulge information on costs and the like. One of Harper’s primary platforms for the election of 2006 was the need for government openness and accountability. This was a golden ticket for voters; the Liberal government had been embroiled in scandal after scandal at the time, ranging from trumped up payments to Quebec advertising companies to the buying of new aircraft for the Canadian Armed Forces. To be fair, Harper did indeed create an office for government accountability, however from the lack of action or information from that office, it would appear to be a puppet show at best. Since his initial election, it has been mentioned off handedly by mainstream journalists from all three of the three major television channels, CBC, CTV and Global, that Stephen Harper sets the parameters down for interviews. It has also been noted that even many of Harper’s own cabinet ministers do not make statements without Harper’s approval, or by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) releasing a statement first then the ministers simply repeating the statement. To further indicate that a transparent government has never been or will be a priority for Steven Harper is news of a new national press gallery being built by the Privy Council and the PMO, codenamed “The Shoe Store Project” (4) that would be directly controlled by the PMO.
This comes on the heels that The supreme ruler of Canada, Prime Minister Steven Harper, has decreed that the term “the government of Canada” shall not be used but “The Harper Government” instead. If would seem that Canadians have be under the mistaken assumption that the federal government is supposed to represent the country. It is fortunate that a false west prophet has arisen out from the east to show Canadians the errors of their ways to this notion. It is fortunate that in his effort to artificially elevate himself to more than he is that Steven Harper as at least given one gift to the people of Canada: by insisting that the term “the Harper Government” be used, the Canadian People and the name Canada is not going to be sullied any further than Harper and his government’s unethical behaviours both intra-nationally and internationally have perpetrated in their five year reign.
This ‘renaming’ has the ring of a challenge to the opposition parties from Steven Harper, lending suspicion that even if the motion of contempt had not been drafted, the Conservatives were gearing up for an election call by a non-confidence call over the budget being brought down on March 22. The past few weeks there has been a sharp influx of both “Harper saved Canada from the Recession” and attack ads brought by Conservative Party on radio, newspaper and radio. It seems that Harper does not have a realistic view of how his government looks to the Canadian public as of late. It was less than two weeks ago that the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny, was using his official Minister of Parliament letterhead as to solicit funds from new immigrants for the Conservative party (5). Kenny, who blamed the mistake on a new aide, who since had been fired, said that the fundraising was meant to be done on his personal letterhead but as he was out of the office, he did not personally see that the right letterhead was used. The fact remains that Kenney, without ‘official’ letterhead or not, is still the Minister who is supposedly overseeing immigration – would not that constitute as borderline or unethical actions based on his position. The murkiness of the fundraising letter is not Kenney’s first foray into abusing his position; last year Kenney restructured the “New Canadians” guide, omitting the rights of gays and lesbians in the pamphlet (6). At the time Kenney it was just an issue of space, however, Kenney has a record of attempting to stir the ire of groups in favour of others (7). Harper did nothing.
Jason Kenney, who comes to mind first as an example of Harper’s inability to admit that his government is fallible, there are others, Minister Oda(8), who altered documents, Minister MacKay who sent afghani POWs to American and Afghan police(9) where there had been reports of torture, Minister Guergis (10), and her ex-mp husband were mentioned in a possible trading political favours for profit (along with wild sex and drug parties) – the list goes on and Harper did nothing. The very kind of behaviour that as opposition leader he decried, he now lets occur in his own backroom.
Harper, in his arrogance, has made the mistake to fuck around – something that he is more than welcome to do with his wife, however it is an unacceptable action to fuck around on the Canadian people. It is somewhat ironic that in his attachment to a faith that decries the act of sodomy, Harper has taken every opportunity to shove it up Canadian asses, and that to that effect, his spin doctors attempting to make him appear as the reincarnate of King Solomon have in fact led to Harper being more King Sodomy. If the nuclear radiation from the nuclear meltdowns in Japan successfully permeate the Canadian public’s minds and destroy the majority of brain cells there may be a chance that Steven Harper will once again become the Prime Minister after the next election. If this does occur, there is a notion in the air that in the near future, Harper plans to rename Quebec to honour himself – soon after Ottawa will be changed to Laureen for his wife – which is logical since Ottawa has been Quebec’s bitch since Confederation.
Marleau, R & Montpetit, C, (eds). (2000) House of Commons Procedure and Practice. Retrieved from http://www2.parl.gc.ca/marleaumontpetit/DocumentViewer.aspx?Sec=Ch03&Seq=4&Lang=E
Further Reading on the corrupting road Steven Harper has led
a) Desolation, destruction and deficit:Why the Canadian government should step back from haiti
b) Canada’s Prime Minister and Incongruence of the Universality of Access to Reproductive Technology
c) Stephen Harper: The man who would be king
d) Omar Khadr, America’s bitch
A.B. Thomas: The dregs of old Progressive Conservative party came back in the guise of being reform-minded and in 2004 unleashed its centuries old