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, September 27, 2015

Harper History – Conclusion, Index

It is all but impossible to cover all the things that the Harper Regime has done to diminish our democratic institutions or the contempt that he has shown for democratic conventions in a few paragraphs. From the shutting down of parliament to suit his political purposes to instructing committee chairs on how to disrupt or delay proceedings, from not permitting any government employee or spokesman to say a word with express approval from his censors in the PMO, from his refusal to answer any but 'approved' questions from the press (and only three per carefully controlled 'photo opp” at that) to his gradual gutting of any meaningful oversight of government operations there are simply too many hits to summarize.

Nor have I covered, except in passing, the ideological misuse of public moneys under the banner of The Economic Action Plan whilst at the same time preaching fiscal restraint and instituting cuts to departments and programs in a highly selective manner. That said cuts were primarily focused upon womens programs, scientific endeavours and environmental protections and that expenditures were increased within the PMO, in particular for public 'advertising' should clearly indicate this regimes priorities. Add to this the cuts to the mandate for both Elections Canada and Statistics Canada but the increased funding for Revenue Canada to go after registered charities (but not rich tax evaders) who may have expressed a view contrary to the PMO issued spin and you begin to see how dangerous and frightening further unlimited control of our countries purse strings and Parliament by this regime would be.

In my Harper History Series I have over the last six months attempted to list the lowlights of this regime which particularly focus upon the hits to our democracy, I have made NO attempt to cover other areas in which, in my view, they have show disregard for the less than fortunate or financially challenged Canadians, nor have I spoken of foreign policy’s that have reduced our once highly respected country to a shadow of its former self in the eyes of all but one particular middle east regime. Or of the 'free trade' negotiations that would give foreign corporations the right to sue local governments who would give priority to Canadian employers in their contracts. To even attempt to touch upon these thing would require many hours a day simply to keep up with the ongoing disregard this lot has for all but the rich and powerful (and perhaps the gullible), I can only refer you to my series “The Harper History” (this being the last post in that endeavour) which attempts to list, in chronological order, those things that they have done to centralize power, minimize the influence of our elected representatives, eliminate oversight and keep the electorate from seeing what they are doing.

What has been done is bad enough, the manner of its being done and the ever increasing secrecy surrounding those decisions is far more troubling and when coupled with the abuse of parliamentary procedures, including the use of massive omnibus bills, it is clear that the Harper Regieme had no respect for our democracy but has been rapidly moving us towards a defacto dictatorship. Democracy is much more than having the ability to select your dictator every few years, let us take care to elect individuals who do not subscribe to that view.

To make it easier for those who care to wade through this depressing but alarming list I have combined all 11 posts in two long documents, one covering the regimes anti-democratic actions prior to the 2011 election ((19 pages - 7900 words) and one covering the period from 2011 to the present when they held a majority ( 27 pages - 10,230 words) which can be downloaded or viewed HERE and HERE or you can see all the post individually (in reverse order) by clicking on the 'Harper History' icon on the top right of this blog page.

What follows is an index to the various sections with a direct link to each. Please feel free to share or distribute these pages as you see fit, an acknowledgement of the source would be appreciated.

Harper History, Part 1 - The Early Years

Harper History, Part 2 – In Opposition
June 2004 – Jan 2006
Harper History, Part 3 - First Con Minority

Jan 2006 – Sept 2008

Harper History, Part 4 - Con Minority, Prorogued x2

Oct 2008 – Dec 2009,
Harper History, Part 5A - Information witheld , Omnibus Budget
Mar 2010 – June 2010
Harper History, Part 5B - G20, Census Axed, Contempt.
June 2010 – Mar 2011
Harper History, Part 6A - Con Majority - Election Fraud
Spring 2011 & Subsequent Fallout
Harper History, Part 6B – Budget Reintroduced - More Secrecy
May 2011 – summer 2012
Harper History, Part 7 – Suppressed Information – Advertising Overload
2012 – 2013
Harper History, Part 8 – Senate reform / suspensions, Election Act
2013 – 2014
Harper History, Part 9 – Omnibus budget, Anti-terrorist bill, Election call.
Summer 2014 – Aug 2nd 2015

At this point I can do no more than leave you with the following summation of Stephen Harper and his Regime and hope that my series has opened a few eyes.

Since he has taken hold of the Prime Minister’s crown, a rot has infected our Parliamentary democracy. This offends and fills me with disquietude. It should you, as well. As an elected member of parliament and as prime minister, he has defiled the office he holds, tainting the reputation of Canada and, with the assist of loud, angry, offensive, and ignorant conservative MPs, subverted and made a mockery of our electoral process. Though cited for contempt of Parliament, Harper has remained unscathed, unrepentant and the public largely indifferent. That he has a base of support as large as it is astounds me. How can so many be so blind, so indifferent, so…so dumb? “
Frank A. Pelaschuk in Harper: The Beast

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Owen Gray said...

An excellent series, Rural. Thank you for this walk through recent history.

Rural said...

Thanks Owen, if it makes just one Con supporter reconsider their vote then the work was justified ...... but I hope it does more than that!