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, April 15, 2012

Shooting the Messenger.

We have all by now seen the Harper regimes modus-opandi whereby they attack the organizations that disagree with their view of Canada not by presenting a reasoned and documented argument against such opinions along with alternatives, but by destroying or demeaning the organization itself. The examples are many, some of them very scary, they are clearly ideological choices but are the methods used in keeping with democratic traditions or are they over the top? Most governments make similar choices when in power their favorite causes may get additional resources and other may get less but of late it seems that things are getting totally out of hand, the default position seems to be if you cannot summon a reasonable rebuttal....... shoot the messenger.

There is little doubt that government spending must be held in check and that ways to reduce the deficit must be found but are the choices being made based upon fiscal realities or ideological wishes. Several others have listed some of the cuts and and slights that have occurred since this regime took power, I will jut touch on a few that seem to me to be bordering upon an abuse of power.

From the firing of Linda Keen the nuclear regulator to the shutting down of Rights and Democracy, from cuts to the CBC to budget cuts to Elections Canada, from cut backs at the Food Inspection agency to the demise of the Community Access Program it seems that this government has a habit of closing down or defunding those institutions that do not fit their vision of Canada. This seems to include a Canada where Youth and Women receive little help from Government, even youth emplyment programs have been cut. Canada's student summer employment offices have been chopped by federal government cost-cutting and also by the Ontario Government where youth unemployment is as high as 25%. Their thoughts and actions regarding Environmental organizations and regulations are well documented and need no further comment here.The reaction always seems to be attack the messenger not the message.

It would seem their vision of Canada is much different from mine, I see a democratic society where we share our resources, share our information, help those who are less fortunate, encourage our youth, protect out parliamentary and electoral systems whereas the Harper regime seems to be saying its every man for themselves.

There is little doubt that we all gravitate to things we like and steer away from that with which we disagree but this shoot the messenger bit seems to be getting out of hand, I see folks slamming newspapers because they don’t like the view of one or more columnists, others slam TV stations for their coverage which they claim as biased, some reports are indeed one sided and within a 'news' organization that is troubling, but we now see 'cliques' developing across the internet whereby any given site is limited to one particular particular point of view. There is nothing new about this, you don’t go to a Con site expecting to see Lib views and we here hardly subscribe to the Harper regimes point of view, but it seems to be getting worse, now there are divides developing across those sites that have thus far provided a relatively broad selection of progressive opinions.
At the top of our site we say 'Democracy Requires Dialog' and my guest last week made the call for greater dialog between opposing ideological mind sets, and I have repeatedly called for cooperation rather than confrontation, you don’t always have to agree with the other guy but you do have to both listen to it and present your alternative. As another observer said 'it isn’t just or even politicians whose minds need to be changed - that may never happen under the Harper Regime - but those of our fellow citizens'. Shooting the messenger or building silos of like minded rigid thinkers is not the answer, be it in Parliament, on the internet, or in our lives, we must make an effort to be open to other opinions not shut down or ignore those with whom we disagree.
Democracy Requires Dialog!

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