It's interesting to consider the titles of bills that the Harper government steamrolls through parliament. Consider a few: The "Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.” Or the "“Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.” That's the new prostitution law. Or "The Black April Day Act." If you missed that one, Michael Harris reminds you that it:
created April 30 as the day to commemorate the diaspora of Vietnamese citizens after Saigon fell to the Viet Cong in 1975. Thousands of those refugees from South Vietnam came to Canada.
There is only one problem with dissing Vietnam with the Black April Day Act. That country is now an important trading partner and a key ally in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. Vietnam’s ambassador didn’t care much for the name of the private member’s bill or its intent. So he decided to act. He asked to appear before the Senate committee to air his concerns.
As reported by CP, he was turned down. The ambassador was then invited to make a written submission. He complied. But while it was being translated into French, the committee completed its “study” of the bill and his objections were never formally considered. Nor were the objections of any other witness who opposed the legislation.
Obviously, the act had nothing to do with the Vietnamese. It was all about firing up Harper's base:
Harper is merely driving in the wedges. He knows that the base doesn’t like the idea of prostitution, so they will approve of the moralistic bent of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act – and send in $5. He knows that his Christian base also abhors polygamy, so they will also send in $5 to support the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. And they will also send in $5 to support the Black April Day Act because it is a reminder of the horrors of godless Communism.
And, as long as he can fire up his base -- and keep the opposition fighting about sexual harassment -- he'll continue to be prime minister.