"The jackasses at Elections Canada are out of control," Stephen Harper wrote when he was president of the National Citizens Coalition. Harper has hated Elections Canada for a long time. In 2001, he took the electoral watchdog to court over what had been law in this country since 1938: Real time election results from Eastern Canada could only be released in western Canada after polls had closed in the west.
Harper waxed poetic about freedom of information:
“Iron-fisted bully tactics have no place in a free and democratic society,” Mr. Harper wrote . . . . “Information is power. The less control the government has over the flow of information, the less control it can exert over its citizens. We cannot allow the government to dictate what information we can and cannot publish.”
As is so evident ten years later, there is no connection between what Mr. Harper says and what he does. That was obvious again yesterday when the Conservatives insisted that the Liberals open their phone bank database, while refusing to do the same. Dean Del Maestro claimed there was no need for reciprocity because, "obviously our party is not behind the calls."
And, after having seen Vic Toews' internet security bill, Canadians have the right to ask, "Are these guys for real?" Unfortunately, they are all too real -- and all too unaccountable.