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.
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh Canada!

Many years ago I stood proudly with other newcomers to Canada and became a Canadian Citizen, of late I have not been so proud to be Canadian. The Canada that I became part of was, I thought, an open and accepting and diverse country governed as a parliamentary democracy and open to new citizens and new ideas. I begin to question where those Canadian values have gone, not that the people have changes significantly except perhaps being even more diverse, but our “leaders” be they be federal or provincial, union or business, city or corporate with a few notable exceptions seem to have been infected with some kind of “Me, me, me” syndrome. Only they have the answers, everybody else is wrong, only they are entitled to their entitlements, the rules do not apply to them but let us rule with a heavy hand over those 'beneath' us.
Recently a number of news items brought this into sharp focus for me, we all know that the Harper regime has had this disease for some time and the following includes some examples of that but it seems the syndrome is spreading. Here is a case where 'lead by example' is NOT a good way to go.

Lets start with the Ontario Elementry Teachers union who are now threatening to fine their members up to $500 a day if they dare to spend a little extra time actually helping the kids. This whilst spending thousands on dollars on radio ad's calling their employers (the government and by extension the Ontario taxpayers) 'undemocratic' and anti human rights for refusing to allow the union to hold the kids and their parents up for hostage in their annual demands for more compensation for less work.

There is our Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's vociferous rant before the UN condemning Palestine for simply trying to become an 'observer state' in that organization, one of only 3 nations to speak to the motion and the only major nation to vote against it.
Then there is is lesser publicized vote in which Canada was one of only six nations in the UN General Assembly to vote against a resolution Monday that called on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and that backed a recently cancelled conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East.

Recent days have reinforced what we knew all along – that the government lied about the cost of the useless and as yet unbuilt F35 fighter jets the Harper regime decided upon without tender and is now rather belatedly reconsidering their choice. Once again our Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page is proved right! Remember the failure to produce documents on this one was a reason for a contempt motion and the subsequent early election in which many alleged irregularities took place, none of which have yet been fully investigated.
Whilst the F35s are 'on hold' so it seems are those promised SAR helicopters and the arctic icebreakers and deep water port promised back in 2005-8 this whilst the need to establish our sovereignty over those water increased each year due to the receding ice.

Even the proceedings in the HoC have gone down hill even more (is that possible) with Peter Van Loan, the regime’s House leader, storming across the floor to get into the face of the oppositions MP, Nathan Cullen and having to be restrained by his colleagues. Parliament is rapidly becoming a farce with Harper running the show via the PMO and PCO and neither the opposition or those citizens they represent can do anything about it.
All this taking place as the Harper regime rams trough the second over 400 page omnibus budget without consideration of any amendments offered by MPs from other party's. A budget which continues to attack our environmental protection laws, our scientific research and countless other fundamental issues that will no doubt come to light once the document is properly examined. According to a new report by the Polaris Institute, the nation's two largest pipeline companies Enbridge and TransCanada plus four other oil firms met with cabinet ministers 52 times between 2011 and 2012 just as the last budget was being dreamed up.

I could go on, but whats the point when all we can do is sit and watch as the Canada we know and love goes down the tubes. We can but hope that enough people sit up and start taking notice, start thinking about Canada before blindly following the leader in to the abyss, and start thinking about our fellow Canadians more and about self less. If we don’t then I fear for our future.

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