Friday, March 14, 2014

The Worst In History?



When historians eventually get around to rendering judgement on the Harper Government, they will point to many things. They will certainly cite the gutting of Statistics Canada. Jeffrey Simpson writes:

In the summer of 2010, more than 200 institutions and individuals asked Stephen Harper’s government not to eliminate the long-form census.

They represented a Who’s Who of experts in statistics. All sorts of groups, from B’nai Brith to business associations and trade unions, argued that the long-form census, which required some, but only some, citizens by law to answer questions for Statistics Canada, was essential for presenting the most accurate statistical profile of Canadians.

To no avail. The Prime Minister had made up his mind. His hapless minister, Tony Clement, had to toe the line. He did so in such a way as to misstate the true views of the head of Statistics Canada, who resigned in protest.

But perhaps, more than anything else, the judgement of history will hinge on the Fair Elections Act and how  -- once again -- the government paid no heed to its critics:

As Prof. Paul Thomas of the University of Manitoba (and a member of the Elections Canada advisory board) pointed out in a paper he wrote about the proposed changes, Britain’s electoral commission was extensively consulted before changes to the law. Here, Mr. Poilievre said he spent an hour with Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand before drafting the bill. Obviously, he did not highly value Mr. Mayrand’s analysis during their brief meeting, since the Chief Electoral Officer just dumped all over important parts of the bill before the parliamentary committee.  

Up to this point, there is no one piece of legislation which better defines the Harperites. And there is no better spokesman for them than Pierre Poilievre:

This is how the government is proceeding, led by Minister for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre, a young man who leaped into the cabinet principally for his leather-lunged abilities at partisan verbal jousting. Anyone who believes Mr. Poilievre can act on just about anything without the interests of the Conservative Party at heart has not been observing his career thus far. Unbridled partisanship has its place in politics, one supposes, but not for updating elections law.

The Harperites have never been concerned with governing. Their objective has always been to rig the system in their favour. And, when historians eventually take their measure, my bet is that the present government will be in the running for the worst government in Canadian history.

17 comments:

Lorne said...

A stinging indictment, Owen, one in which I find myself in absolute agreement.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the worst Owen, but then the Harper government never has been about governing rather un-governing by wholesale adoption of foreign right-wing nonsense eschewing no government intervention in big businesses business in other words 'keep you nose out of it'.

Unfortunately this includes law of the jungle capitalism where the is no safety net or pity for those who have a difficult time navigating the dog eat dog daily grind at the bottom of this cruel cold capital driven right-wing movement. This includes the elderly, the veterans, the disabled, students as well as those driven out of their jobs by this ludicrous system set in place to move wealth from the bottom to the top one percentile and that it is doing incredibly well. This certainly is a success story and they are proud of it getting away with plundering the whole world given unto them by enablers like Harper and his helpers.

And then we have Norway living proof that the right-wing cold-hearted capitalists are just that right-wing nuts with a frozen heart or none at all and there is a better way. They are people that prefer homelessness, evictions, lock-outs and rampant medical problems plus disabilities to expensive to afford versus a helping hand. These people and many are of the Christian faith are indeed the most hypocritical bunch of loose right-wing fruitcakes alive today. And they thrive in Harpers undemocratic un-government. They are all what 'christ' supposedly taught what one ought not to be.

mogs

Anonymous said...

The trouble is, to get rid of the buggers, becomes trench warfare.

RE: Mr. Pollièvre, the voters of Ottawa (his riding) have to look themselves in a mirror and ask how they could send him to Parliament. Either the Libs or the NDP has to run an extremely strong candidate against him and this has to happen in 100 ridings across the country - hence the dearth of talent which has all been scared away.

A friend of mine in SK, a trader who works in a service sector to agriculture, told me recently that he thinks Harper is finished. This guy is a life-long Conservative. One can only hope that this mood catches on, or else it's 4 more years, after which this country will be a backwater. I've never been more distressed, nor unwilling, to get involved in federal politics than now. So, it's come to this.

My opinions only. People like me need a spring tonic.

Anonymous A

Owen Gray said...

I wonder, Lorne, if these folks have ever considered the notion that history will not be kind to them.

Owen Gray said...

The country needs a tonic, Anon. However, there is a ray of hope if lifelong Conservatives have had enough of these folks.

Owen Gray said...

Norway is the antidote to Harperism, Mogs. The way Norwegians have dealt with their natural wealth shows that there is another, better way to do things.

liberalandlovingit said...

Mogs? Your writing moves me. My Christ did teach me not to be 'one'. And to shine some light, wherever I am, on the phoney, right-wing power-grabbers(in the name of MY GOD!! The Prince Of Peace, no less!), terrorizers of our language and belief systems, and out-right destruction of 'civil society'...

Owen Gray said...

As I recall, Loving It, in Christ's day they were called Pharisees.

Anonymous said...

And, then we have Harper and Baird laying down the law to Putin, in the Ukraine on democracy. Perhaps Putin's vote in the Ukraine will be exactly as Harper's, Fair Election Act in Canada? Or perhaps as Harper's last election win came about? Harper is the one and only Canadian PM ever, to be held in contempt of Parliament.

The problem with many Canadians is, we were brought up in the good, decent democratic Canada. That good country no longer exists. We have to expect the worst from Harper because, worst is all we are going to get.

On one of Harper's x-mas interviews? Harper declared himself a devout Christian. He said he prays every day for guidance. My son spluttered his coffee, half across the room. He said Harper must have meant, he *preys* everyday.

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper certainly is not the person to lecture Mr. Putin about democracy, Anon.

liberalandlovingit said...

Yes Owen, thanks. Scribes and pharisees- hypocrites and their faithful cabal of fluffers...bought and paid for- thanks to the citizenry.

liberalandlovingit said...

Anon, I sure remember being brought up in the good, decent, Democratic country we had once.

Owen Gray said...

And committed to maintaining their ties to the rich and well placed, Loving It.

Hugh said...

Interesting if unrelated news item:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/royal-bank-of-canada-among-16-banks-sued-by-us-regulator/article17498755/

Owen Gray said...

I noted that report, Hugh. And we like to think that manipulating the LIBOR rate is what other countries do.

Hugh said...

More unrelated news. The Bank of Canada is concerned that the cost of things, like gasoline and food, are not rising fast enough:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/how-low-will-canadian-inflation-go-perhaps-too-low-for-comfort-1.2574700

Owen Gray said...

The real danger of austerity, Hugh, is that it can lead to disinflation and a financial crash. We just went through one of those in 2008.