Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Democracy Doomed

It has always been said that the wheels of democracy turn slowly in Ottawa. Well now it can be argued that they don’t turn at all, but political events are spinning out of control. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has managed to make himself a one-man show in the nation’s capital and controls all things political. Harper triggered a political crisis in the midst of an economic crisis for the sake of complete power and control over the opposition parties in the House of Commons. His government’s budget update, delivered by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, contained rabble-rousing and irresponsible intentions that had more to do with an outrageous attack on the opposition parties than it did with informing Canadians on the status of our nations economic crisis.

The political crisis sparked by Harper resulted initially in the opposition parties forming a desperate coalition to stop the ever-controlling tactics of Stephen Harper. It then turned into a power grab for the opposition parties without any consultation with Canadian voters. The democratic right of Canadians to choose their government was about to be denied crushing democracy in the process. This rightfully outraged Canadians and, with the separatist Bloc party in the mix, naturally tended to ignite the national unity question and the ever constant pandering to Quebec.

The coalition caused the Prime Minister to back down and forced him to run to the Governor General in a desperate move to save his government from sure defeat at the hands of the coalition. The Governor General granted Prime Minister Stephen Harper his request to prorogue Parliament until January 26, 2009 at which time he promised to introduce a full budget on January 27, 2009. He also promised to reach out to opposition parties in an effort to make Parliament work, address the economy and save Canadians yet another expensive election.

This caused the liberals to realize they were on the wrong side of political opinion and that the coalition and bunking with the Bloc was not popular among most Canadians. It also caused the liberals to realize a sinking ship should not go down without a rudder. The listless liberals continued to flounder as supporters continued to bailout and go overboard. To counter all this the liberals scrapped their leadership convention, their leadership contenders and democracy in a process that has anointed Michael Ignatieff as the rudder of their sinking ship and their leader when the House of Commons reconvenes on January 26, 2009.

Finally, I can conclude that Stephen Harper sparked all these events in the midst of an economic crisis the country has not seen in decades. The political parties are all more concerned with power and control than they are of the best interests of Canada or individual Canadians. 308 Member’s of Parliament failed their voters and their country when the country needed them the most. Canada is now considered to be officially in a recession thanks in part to our politicians. Think carefully how you vote at the next election.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Parliament Prorogued

The Governor General granted the Prime Minister’s request to prorogue Parliament. The Prime Minister is safe until the House of Commons resumes on January 26, 2009. It is possible the coalition will collapse before the House resumes in January. If not, the coalition is likely to hear what the government has contained in their budget to be presented on January 27, 2009. At that point they will have the option of supporting the minority conservative government or defeating them. The coalition may then ask the Governor General to let them have an opportunity to form the government. This may be right within the rules of Parliament, but it would be wrong. The Canadian voters must retain the right to determine who will govern them.

The economic crisis is threatening economic security for all Canadians. The political crisis caused by Stephen Harper has now divided the country on a range of political issues. Divisions between the West and the constant demands of the separatist Bloc in Quebec is now back on the minds of voters. National unity has been threatened at a time when the economy should have been the focus of all Members of Parliament. They chose instead to play their political games for the sake of power and money. In this regard, the coalition sought to steal, through Parliamentary procedures, what Canadian voters had not given them at the last general election.

Voters generally are rightfully not pleased with any of those elected to Parliament at the last election. Now is a good time to call your Member of Parliament and demand that they represent your political views when Parliament resumes in January 2009. Justifiably there is plenty of criticism of liberal Ralph Goodale, but don’t forget that the conservative caucus, including thirteen conservative MP’s in Saskatchewan, allowed Stephen Harper to cause this crisis. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done great harm to himself, his party, the economy and the future of our country. It may be time for Harper to be booted out of the conservative party, but I can’t think of a conservative who has the courage to stand up to him. It is hard to believe how the conservatives under Stephen Harper can ever form a majority government.

It is clear that we need to reform how we elect our Members of Parliament and how Parliament should function after the election. Could independent candidates do any worse?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Political Crisis

Only weeks ago Canadians went to the polls and gave the Stephen Harper government a second minority government. That was a mistake! I have argued against minority governments because it only plays into the hands of politicians who care more about political games in search of power than they do about governing the country.

Canada is facing an economic crisis like it has never faced in decades and now Stephen Harper has provoked a political crisis that cripples the minority conservative government’s ability to manage day to day government business let alone the economic crisis.

Canadians are outraged with the current state of events and blame Harper for having caused the political crisis by acting as if he had a majority government. He unnecessarily provoked the opposition on issues that were clearly not on the front burner like taxpayer-funded contributions to political parties and his attack on unions. These may be conservative ideological issues, but they are not important issues to Canadians at this time or maybe ever. These were issues Harper never discussed with voters when he was campaigning in the last federal election. It is clear that Stephen Harper got himself into this crisis and has now been forced to back down even though some members of his cabinet still support the provocative measures that are at the root of this political crisis.

On the other hand, it is insane for the opposition parties to think Canadians will tolerate their move to force Harper out of power by asking the Governor General to allow them to form a coalition government. Having Canada run by the separatist Bloc party, the radically left Layton NDP and the near dead liberals lead by their lame duck leader Dion should be totally unthinkable to any reasonable Canadian. The opposition parties were elected to oppose not to govern.

So who should be blamed for this political crisis? I say all 308 Members of Parliament are guilty. Conservative members failed to stand up to Stephen Harper and tell him it was time to keep the focus on the economy and not his personal ideological beliefs. That it was time to put Canadians and this country ahead of his own personal ambitions. As for the opposition parties one can only believe that they are attempting to form a government simply for the sake of power without the consent of Canadian voters. This whole mess is wrong from any way you look at it and Canadian voters are being forced to suffer the consequences. It is an assault on democracy.

If another election is forced on Canadians we need to all get out and vote and elect a majority government and then hold each of our elected officials to account. Our politicians have failed us again. If Canadian voters don’t actively become involved in the electoral system and get control of their politicians then we can expect this political crisis to continue indefinitely. Think political reform!