Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mistrust Breeds Contempt

Mitchell Anderson writes that Canada has become The Great Weird North, where the government doesn't trust its own citizens. Consider the evidence:

Revelations last week that Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) was spying on Canadians cell phones through airport Wi-Fi networks only came to light due to documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ontario's privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said she was "blown away" by the news, adding that CSEC's methods seemed those of a "totalitarian state, not a free and open society."

If the "Harper Government" is suspicious about the general Canadian population, they are downright paranoid about people opposed to pipelines. In 2012, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver referred to Canadians questioning pipeline expansions as "environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade." A month later Ottawa released a revised anti-terrorism strategy that lumped environmentalists in with white supremacists as a threat to national security.

Not creepy enough for you? Last week the government introduced sweeping changes to Canada's Election Act without bothering to consult with Canada's chief electoral officer, who called the new bill an affront to democracy. News enthusiasts will recall how a federal court judge determined the database controlled by the Conservative Party was implicated in what he called "widespread" electoral fraud in 2011 and that party lawyers employed "trench warfare in an effort to prevent this case from coming to a hearing on the merits."

Anderson then asks the obvious question:

If the government doesn't trust Canadians, why should we trust them?

For better or worse, Canadians and their government have a long-term relationship. Without trust, any relationship goes south fast. It's becoming clear that the "Harper Government" doesn't trust Canadians, and that Canadians shouldn't trust them either.

We deserve better from this relationship. More trust. More money. More respect. 

When the man at the top is paranoid, he lives in fear and sows contempt. And contempt is what he reaps.


Bill said...

Harper and his criminal clowns have demonstrated in all their actions that they are an affronts to true democracy, honesty, decency, integrity etc ad nauseaum. What they are clearly for is an uninformed, complacent electorate and unchecked power. I look forward to them all being run over by the "prover-able bus".

Owen Gray said...

After having run over so many people -- a number of their own included -- they deserve that fate, Bill.

But, if that is to happen, a strategic majority of Canadians will have to board the bus.

Perry Camisso said...

I'll be on the bus. I wish I could feel confident that Mr. Trudeau will be on the bus too!

Owen Gray said...

I hope he is, too, Perry. However, he hasn't yet purchased his ticket.

The Mound of Sound said...

Oliver referred to pipeline opponents as 'inimical' to Canada, essentially as enemies of the state.

I am still waiting to hear the Liberal and New Dem leaders put on their long pants, denounce this affrontery and pledge to repeal it upon taking office.

Harper is known to trust very few and they're in his inner cabinet. He doesn't trust his back bench. Why would we expect him to trust us?

Owen Gray said...

To take Harper on, the opposition can't be afraid of offending corporate interests, Mound. We have yet to see that kind of courage.

As for Harper, he fears just about everyone and trusts almost no one.

Anonymous said...

That grand old man. PM Winston Churchill? Would have called Harper and his henchmen, Nazi gangsters. That is exactly how Harper is behaving. Canada must be? Harper's Thousand Year Fourth Reich.

The fair election act? Hahahahaha. They should have stuck with, the robo-call election fraud. Justice and courts are all lined up for Harper, just like ducks in a row.

I'm afraid my contempt for Harper is shining, far, far too brightly.

Owen Gray said...

You're simply returning Harper's gift you, Anon -- unopened.