A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Democracy Under Fire Surrenders!

After a a few weeks reflection I have concluded that the fight to protect our democracy must continue without my weekly posts for a while. As have many others, I have found recent events both depressing and disconcerting and must take some time to absorb the ramifications of the Harper regimes majority. I therefore will be only posting an occasional article here in the coming months whilst we all see if our fears come true. In my previous post I made some predictions which turned out to be mostly wrong, in the hope that I will this time be totally wrong here then are my predictions for for Canadian politics in the next few years.

The 'New' Harper Regime will increasingly restrict access to information and control what and when Ministers, MPs and Civil Servants can say to the press and the public. The Parliamentary Budget Office will, with the non renewal of Kevin Page's contract, turn into a mouthpiece for the governments latest budget spin, the existing staff will all resign. Numerous reports and inquiries will simply die a slow and quiet death in committee having been blocked by the conservative majority, the few that make it through will be so gutted as to be meaningless. Election financing will, as promised, go through major changes, the per vote funding will be gone, corporate donations will be reinstated and limits for individuals will be raised, the taxpayers will continue to 'subsidize' both individual and corporate funding to partys far in excess of the amount previously designated to the per vote funding. We will all be subject to mail-outs, television advertising and newspaper articles telling us how great the Harper regime is doing on an ongoing and regular basis all paid for out of general revenue, the conservative party war fund will be built to the point that during the next election they can 'buy' enough publicity to totally overwhelm any other partys attempt to get their point of view before the public.

In there efforts to ensure that they, and only they, will be heard rules will be put in place for future debates which will eliminate all but the largest partys by seat count from such public discussions. Harper will build his new media center, will not answer questions either there or in the HoC lobby, or anywhere else for that matter, but simply issue pre recorded propaganda from his control center. The press will continue to print or broadcast this spin for lack of any other information available. The PMOs budget and staff will continue to expand whist all other departments will see drastic cuts, watchdog departments and committees will be particularly hard hit. Auditor-General Sheila Fraser's replacement will not be nearly as open & outspoken and will take most of the next 4 years struggling to get accurate information and fighting for authority to investigate various government agencys.

Harper will be returned for a second majority before enough of the voting public wake up to get out and vote him out. Electoral reform choices will NOT be put before the public in 2015 despite an ever increasing call for such a referendum by both the public and most political partys. It will be at least a decade before such changes take place.

There – 100% wrong, I really hope so, but I fear all too many of these things will come to pass and there is NOTHING we can do to stop it short of taking to the streets, which of course will give Mr Harper the excuse to bring in more draconian police powers and justify his expanded U.S. Style prison system.

And that my friends is why I will be ceasing to produce further articles on this blog for the foreseeable future, I simply see no point in flogging a dead horse. I may pop back from time to time to point out a particularly egregious hit against our democracy but there are a number of bloggers far more active and informed than I doing a fine job of doing that, I hope that, unlike I, they have the fortitude to continue to use the internet to spread the word ....until that too becomes 'government' controlled!

Thank you for your time, I'm done for now.
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Skinny Dipper said...

While you may choose to limit your blogging, I hope that you will put your democratic energies elsewhere.

I do hope that Canadians will become passionate about democracy as citizens in countries such as Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and Iran have--some successfully; some not. I don't think academic discussions on electoral reform will get Canadians anywhere.

If we Canadians want structural changes to our political institutions, let us hope that Harper will give Canadians a doozy of a reason to become street-active. Then, we can demand electoral reform; we can demand democracy!

Anonymous said...

Sadly I agree, We are now looking at ten years of Harper's Canada. I have no words of solace or wisdom to deliver and doubt that any delivered via this medium has any effect.

Maybe we will all have to meet at the barricades.

Anonymous said...

I've gone through the same array of emotions. Unfortunately, the only conclusion I've come to so far is that I don't have a lot of respect for the morons that bought into the Harper lies. By 2015, I don't think we'll have a viable option when it comes to an integrated and cohesive challenge to the Harper regime. This will play into their hands and ensure a much longer stint that anyone will be bold enough to predict.