Carol Goar writes that Stephen Harper has violated the first principle of democracy: a government only rules with the consent of the governed. That principle is most apparent when it comes to the question of taxes. Citizens have the right to know how their money is being spent -- and they must agree to the government's fiscal plans.
But Stephen Harper has established a new set of rules:
His rules strike at the heart of responsible government. He has decided to tax Canadians without allowing their elected representatives a chance to speak for them.
They violate a fundamental tenet of democracy: the government acts with the consent of the people. Canadians never gave their assent to Harper’s just-trust-me approach. In fact, hundreds signed petitions opposing both Bill C-38 and the use of omnibus legislation (massive, multi-part bills.)
They contravene his own pledge of “open government.” Canadians are still in the dark, five months later, about what the Tories cut. Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page is doing his best to find out, but his effort to get budgetary documents have been stymied.
It is emblematic of the Harper government's absolute hypocrisy that it will not allow the people's representatives to scrutinize its budget. The party which railed against taxes now taxes as it pleases.
Now is the time for citizens to rise in anger. Only if the Conservatives know they stand to lose their majority will they consider changing course. Even then, they may be too slow witted to figure that out.